James Caan was Born in 1960 as Nazam Khan, in Lahore Pakistan. He legally changed his name after realizing that it was a more effective way to get his clients attention. It started out as a joke, when he remarked to his friends that he could spell his name differently and they started calling him James Caan (most likely after the Hollywood actor).
In 2003, James graduated from Harvard Business School’s prestigious Advanced Management Program. That same year he received Price-Waterhouse-Coopers’ Entrepreneur of the Year Award. (He had been on their shortlist in 2000.)
His career started in 1985, when he founded the Alexander Mann group; a UK based human resource outsourcing company. He described Alexander Mann as an executive headhunting firm with revenues of more than £300 million. He eventually sold this profitable company to a private equity firm in 2002 for an undisclosed amount.
In 1993, James, with partner Doug Bugie, co-founded executive head-hunting firm Humana International, taking the business to over 147 offices across 30 countries. In 1999, he Sold Humana International to CDI International, a New York listed company
In 2001, he won the Enterprise of the Year Award for his outstanding business success and most recently a Resident Entrepreneur Mentor for MBA students at London Business School. That same year, he also received the ‘BT Enterprise of the Year’ award for outstanding success in business.
In 2004, James founded London-based private equity firm Hamilton Bradshaw, a private equity company that specializes in buyouts, venture capital, turnarounds and real estate investments and development opportunities throughout the UK and Europe. Hamilton Bradshaw would soon become one of his most profitable ventures, and in 2007, Hamilton Bradshaw bought recruitment specialist Eden Brown with revenues at over £180 million. Within the first 6 months, the company profits have jumped by 70% through a combination of investment and greater efficiency.
In 2005, Asian Power 100 named him one of the 100 most influential Asian people in the UK. In 2006, James acquired the failing sandwich chain ‘Benjys’ from administrators Deloitte. After realizing the chain could not survive in an over-saturated market, he turned the company over to fellow administrators KPMG in February 2007.
Currently he is the CEO of private equity firm Hamilton Bradshaw and an investor on the fifth season of Dragons Den on BBC TV. His current net worth is over £73 million, and appears on the Sunday Rich List at 1096th. He set up the James Caan Foundation to provide education for underprivileged children.
In addition to his business holdings, James also owns property in London and France worth more than £12m. In 2008, he published his autobiography, ‘The Real Deal’.
When asked about his upcoming role on the Dragons Den, James commented, “I’m thrilled to be invited to be in one of the highly coveted ‘dragon’ positions. In business I make a point of investing in people, as I’m a great believer that it is people who create a success in business through their passion and conviction.”