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It may be cliché  to talk about the proverbial “cocktail napkin” moment, but Rafay Farooqui ’98CC, ‘08BUS and his co-founders at CAIS have theirs framed in the office. After witnessing the financial crisis and the mass exodus of financial advisors from large infrastructure to independent space, CAIS began socializing the idea of building an independent firm around that theme.

CAIS, founded in 2009, leverages its technology platform to create a single access point to bring together the independent wealth management industry with institutional funds and products including hedge funds, private equity funds, structured products, capital markets and precious metals.

In December 2012, CAIS announced a strategic relationship with Goldman Sachs for the distribution of structured notes to CAIS’ RIA client base. In July 2013, CAIS announced it’s strategic alliance with Fidelity Investments, the leading provider of financial services to the independent wealth management industry, to provide Fidelity’s custodial clients access, education, oversight and execution to a robust menu of alternative investment funds.

Prior to forming CAIS, Rafay led the Middle East & North African Equities division for UBS Investment Bank. Specifically, from 2003 to 2008, he was Head of UBS Investment Bank’s U.S. Institutional Equities Sales Group (IEG). Prior to UBS, Rafay was Head of Global Institutional International Sales-Trading in the New York City offices of Goldman Sachs & Co. Outside of the office, Rafay is a member of YPO International (Young Presidents’  Organization), a global organization of business leaders across 110 countries, a member of the Economic Club of New York and the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a member and trustee of the Board of Directors of the United Nations International School (UNIS) and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Queens Museum of Art (QMA) in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.