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Francis Najafi

Founder and CEO

F. Francis Najafi is founder and CEO of Pivotal Group, a leading investment company focused on private equity and real estate.

He founded the privately held firm 30 years ago, investing in landmark properties.

Pivotal Group's real estate investments have included major hotel properties including the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, Class A commercial office properties such as 650 California Street in San Francisco, and community development projects, including Promontory in Park City.

Drawn by the unrealized potential of well-managed middle-market companies with unique assets, Mr. Najafi entered the private equity market in 2002, and acquired Network Solutions, the world's largest domain-name registry, in 2003. His acquisition philosophy is to initiate and support management-led efforts to build long-term value through the adoption of disruptive innovation, developing new products, expanding markets served and the continued optimization of its cost structure.

Pivotal Group's private equity portfolio includes Global Capacity, the industry's first telecom logistics company globally serving system integrators, carriers and enterprise clients.

Mr. Najafi completed his Bachelor of Science degree in engineering at Arizona State University (ASU), followed by two Masters Degrees from Thunderbird The School of Global Management, and the University of Southern California (USC). At USC, he began his entrepreneurial activities while a Ph.D. candidate in International Political Economy.

Over the past quarter century while heading Pivotal Group, Mr. Najafi devoted significant time and resources to causes in the public interest. His commitment to community service spans the world. Mr. Najafi is a board member of EastWest Institute, a global think-and-do tank that devises innovative solutions to pressing security concerns; is a member of Urban Land Institute and a governor of the ULI Foundation, which generates funding for research and public service activities that enhance communities. Additionally, he is active in the World President's Organization, a global organization focused on corporate responsibility and personal service and Chief Executive's Organization (CEO), which represents 2,000 global leaders who represent leading businesses around the world.

In Arizona, Mr. Najafi is a trustee of Thunderbird - The School of Global Management Institute, and foundation board member of the Translational Genomics Research Institute, which employs innovative advancements from the Human Genome Project.

Mr. Najafi's wide-ranging philanthropic interests include the Arizona Science Center, PARSA Community Foundation, Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), Science Foundation Arizona and Teach for America.

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