Interview with Sleem Hasan – CEO & Founder Privity – Technology, Art & Interfaith Dialogue

Sleem Hasan is a Financial Entrepreneur with a truly global background. Born in Fiji of Pakistani parentage, raised in Nigeria, Oxbridge educated, worked with the Japanese at Nikko, and now resides in Dubai, UAE. Sleem founded Hasan Financial Corporation in 1996, an independent FCA regulated buy and sell side advisory firm focusing on the Japanese Markets based in the UK. Sleem Hasan is currently the CEO and founder of Privity, an early stage venture-focused firm in Dubai.

Sleem Hasan Interview Questionnaire

1. An introduction from you – background, overview, education…
2. Can you tell me about your geographical wealth background from Fiji, Pakistan, Nigeria, UK, Japan, UAE, Dubai?
You have both a Oxford and Cambridge background. Can you tell us about this academic background where you studied Mathematics.
3. How do you see the relationship between education and technology?
4. Having studied under Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose. How did this influence who you are right now? And how did this change your view on the relationship between Tutors and Mentors?
5. Coming back to your geographic and multi-cultural background can you tell us how this changed who you are?
6. You had a first startup after working in Nikkel and after you created Privity in Dubai. Can you tell us about that?
7. In your career you have been going through multiple changes of the capital markets industry and financial industry and lately in data, STEM and technology that became a glue of all sectors and our global cultures. How do you see this going forward?
8. During your career you saw the growth of Dubai and all the Middle East from being oil and gas powerhoused and exotic place in the desert to becoming one of the leading destinations and growth developments in the world. How do you see that?
9. Do you want to give us some of your career highlights so far?
10. As a person that has a passion and focus on interfaith dialogue. What are your visions for the present and future of our society?
11. You have developed and special nurture a special passion for arts and technology. Can you tell us about it?
12. Covid-19 has been a disruptor in many ways. It has its impact on health, financial and economics but is also a fast forward accelerator of digital and technology. What ways do you envision to redesign our society with technology and social impact?

Sleem Hasan Interview Notes

About Sleem Hasan’s background. I usually summarize my background in 6 flags: the Fiji Islands, where I was born. My parents went there to set up a business. At the age of 2 I moved to Nigeria, where I grew up. My third flag is my Pakistani heritage. My education takes me to the UK, where I became Oxbridge educated. My early career was working in Japan at Nikko as a financial markets expert, and now resident in Dubai, UAE. I was really passionate about maths and saw the potential to work in capital markets so I went on to work in different companies whose focus was on financial public markets.

Hasan’s entrepreneurial career and moving to Dubai. My background until 2002 was only in public financial markets. My current entrepreneurial journey started In 2002, when I did a pit stop in Dubai during one of my travels and I instantly fell in love with Dubai. At that time I was commuting between London, Japan and New York and I decided that it was the right time for a change and decided to move to Dubai. So when I set up myself in Dubai I thought about what to do after the Nikkei -the Japanese Stock Market- closes to do something different. It came to me that it would be a good idea to diversify a bit. It was at that moment when I set up my first company based on technology and trading.

I had to learn my own way into how the private market works as my previous experience was always in public markets. And along that learning experience Privity was born in the form of an early stage venture-focused firm. I believe that Dubai is the perfect place for a business like this. It is at the center of the world, there are many foreigners, different nationalities, cultures and possibilities as it is not glued to only one culture but many different co-living together. And although Privity is a small firm, my vision is very global.

About leadership. I believe that we should respect each other as equals, as we all have the same amount of time, which in my opinion is the most important thing we humans have. And when someone lends their time to you, as a business owner, you need to make sure that their time is well spent and respected. The role of the business leader in that regard is key as if the leader doesn’t teach and act accordingly, everything goes down.

About COVID-19 impact on the world and the challenges of inclusivity. We are indeed seeing an acceleration in digital adoption across industries and verticals but we can’t leave anyone behind. Technology can be used -and it has to be used- to make sure that all this transformation reaches everyone. We need to tell governments, businesses and citizens that we are all in this together and we have a magnificent solution called technology with the capacity to not leave anyone behind. Technology transcends race, gender, ethnics, sexuality, etc.

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Sleem Hasan Biography

Sleem Hasan is an experienced Owner with a demonstrated history of working in Venture Capital and the Japanese Capital Markets. Skilled in Investor Relations, Securities, Asset Management, Investment Advisory, and working with Technology Entrepreneurs. Strong entrepreneurship professional with a Part III Mathematical Tripos from Cambridge University where he lectured under Stephen Hawkins & M.A.(Hons) Mathematics from Oxford University where he studied under Sir Roger Penrose OM FRS, an English mathematical physicist, mathematician, philosopher of science and Nobel Laureate in Physics.

As an entrepreneur, Sleem Hasan founded Financial Corporation in 1996, an independent FCA regulated buy and sell side advisory firm focusing on the Japanese Markets based in the UK. In 2004, Sleem founded Privity, an early stage venture-focused firm in Dubai. From his position as CEO, Privity seeks entrepreneurs with interesting and unique ideas and helps them develop and grow. Privity is agnostic to geography and industry vertical. It focuses on the quality of the entrepreneur and the compelling value proposition of the idea.

Sleem Hasan is a passionate art collector and a thought leader particularly interested in the bridge between Technology, Art & Interfaith Dialogue. Sleem’s journey with art began in the eighties. He was in New York and picked up a few lithographs by James Rosenquist, an American artist and one of the protagonists of the Pop Art movement. Since then he has been collecting and collaborating with artists.

One of the artists Sleem has been working with was Lebanese-Dutch artist Ralph Heimans. Sleem has been helping commissioning art from Ralph as well as promoting him. Ralph’s work now starts at around £250,000 and Sleem is one of the very few who still has the privilege of handling his work. Joined by his wife, Lamia Hasan, the couple is interested in finding new artistic talent from all over the world – something that is continually exemplified through their collection. But more than anything, it is about the ideas that an artwork transmits to the viewer that is most important.

Sleem Hasan and his wife Lamia have been building an art collection that merges a variety of styles, cultures and subject matters. Sleem is married with 2 daughters and is resident in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

About Privity

Privity is an independent Dubai-based advisory firm that was founded in 2004. The company seeks entrepreneurs with interesting and unique ideas and helps them develop and grow. Privity is agnostic to geography and industry vertical and focuses on the quality of the entrepreneur and the compelling value proposition of the idea.
Privity’s Solutions: The 4-i-Methodology

Privity draws upon its unique methodology – 4i , to deliver insightful advisory and consulting services. The proven 4i Methodology is a result of Privity’s vast and diverse experience gathered over the years as well as application of highly specialized domain expertise. The four i ‘s are:


Ideas set the tone for a bespoke business strategy formation. Generating ideas that form a framework for the project is Privity’s first objective. Privity studies the overall value and uniqueness of the IDEA of your business. As a part of the ideation process, Privity identifies gaps and possible obstacles in your business plan and devises strategies to overcome them.


Combining the expertise, experience and knowledge as well as leveraging the association with subject matter experts, Privity captures high-level business intelligence from the market. The data is then transformed and combined into information that is used for enhancing your business plan. This includes planning of execution strategies for plugging gaps and removing obstacles to make your business idea more structured. Moreover, Privity constantly keeps identifying knowledge sources to draw business intelligence from.


Once opportunities have been identified, Privity designs innovative ways to successfully leverage them. Privity has the ability to innovate concepts to suit various industries. Privity’s experience and expertise enables analyzing of problems in different perspectives, ensuring no loose-ends remain open. This is coupled with deployment of new technologies to catalyze the process. Simultaneously, Privity moulds Best Practices and proven strategies to suit your business plan.


Privity uses inventive and rational methods, cut-out specifically for your nature of business, thus helping you devise a fully functional implementation plan. Creativity, intellect and knowledge form the cornerstones of the implementation plans.

Links and sources–Sleem-Hasan–private-investor-and-founder-of-Privity-LLE-Dubai–6-October-2020-ekm7t6