number of times this website has been consulted
This page was created to summarize in just one place my relevant personal information, professional information and relevant links (all links in yellow). A smart man once stated that "the amount of energy necessary to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it." Despite the warning, I realized that it was necessary to sort through all the online inaccurate/spammy/illegal mumbo jumbo out there, were it only for the noble principle of restoring the truth amidst this tidal wave of bullshit (check out my extensive research on The Economics Of Bullshit). That being said, I tried my best to conceive this page as my “official” (i.e. accurate) personal and professional information repository. Thank you for passing by and please turn off the lights before leaving...
Hello. My name is Charles and I am the CEO at Corm Capital ®, a global multi-sector holding company founded in 1998 and active in five main sectors: finance, investments, technology, media and real estate. Through a dynamic and pioneering outsourced business model, Corm Capital is able to leverage the combined skills, backgrounds and expertise of a large number of accomplished professionals, bringing together a cohesive, coherent and complementary team of international seasoned executives. Rooted in the spiritual legacy of the acclaimed late Lebanese writer, industrialist and philanthropist Charles Corm and backed by stellar international advisors, Corm Capital thrives to pursue a tradition of excellence, professionalism and dedication. As a company with global interests, Corm Capital is committed to operating to the highest ethical and moral standards. This common goal is extended to the company’s ever-growing portfolio of businesses, assets and investments
I am also a Founding Partner at OX Factory ® (a privately funded ICT startup incubator), a Founding Partner at OX Media ® (a fully integrated online media company) and a Founding Partner at Inco Capital ® (a global boutique investment banking firm). I am an active shareholder in a number of global startups since 1996, having created a solid, extensive and diversified portfolio of what are now, for the most, successful businesses (some publicly listed). I act as a Trusted Advisor to several global companies to which I bring my combined expertise in management, finance and technology to help them achieve a number of critical funding, strategic and business development oriented goals. I also act as a Professional Connector, having assembled since 1996 one of the most extensive contact networks in the MENASA region and beyond. Additionally, I am a Director at Les Editions de La Revue Phénicienne ®, Lebanon's oldest publishing house. I sit on the Board of a number of reputed firms as well as established NGOs and charitable organizations including the Charles Corm Foundation (named after my late grandfather and role model) which grants full college scholarships to underprivileged smart and ambitious candidates. I am also an exhibited (modern art) artist, combining traditional painting, photography and digital art. Other than that, I was a hedge fund analyst and investment banker on Wall Street for several years and part of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD) ®, a leading New York City based think-tank, founded and led by Economics Nobel Prize Winner and bestselling author Joseph Stiglitz.
I hold an MBA from Columbia Business School, Executive Certificates in Computer Science and Computer Applications from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a BA in Economics as well as an MS in Finance from Paris Dauphine University. I am the recipient of several prestigious and internationally recognized awards. These include an Award for Outstanding Achievements in Business from The International Biographical Centre at Cambridge ®, a Listee in Marquis Who's Who in the World, a Listee in Marquis Who's Who in Finance and Business (Marquis Who's Who ® is the leading who's who in the world since 1899) as well as a "Most Connected People in the World" distinction from The Business Sourcebook ®.
Please refer to my LinkedIn profile at linkedin.com/in/charlescorm for my complete information, including: Honors & Awards, Work Experience, Organizations that I am part of, Education, Skills, Publications, Recommendations and much more. Thank you.
Life, the good life, beauty, inner peace, outside peace, yoga, women, naked women, kids, music, art, painting, writing, piano, swimming, diving, infographics, secret societies, nudity, business, investments, alternative investments, risky investments, creating wealth, net worth, technology, entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, dreaming big, big data, algorithms, neural networks, fuzzy logic, artificial intelligence, robotics, genetics, psychology, sociology, geology, debunking bullshit, ridding my life of bullshit, exposing false prophets, questioning rules, questioning those who set rules, challenging unwarranted leadership, tennis, snowboarding, running, product design, new product development, disruptive thinking, being foolish, acting stupid, flattering assholes, trainspotting and (as practiced by John Lennon) watching the wheels go round…
Last Summer, 2014, 100 x 120 cm... For more of my paintings, please check out Charles Corm Art Studio. Thanks.
FAQs - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is it exactly you do?
Mainly, I run a multi-sector global holding company called Corm Capital. It bears my family name as a way of honoring and perpetuating the legacy of my grandfather, the late Charles Corm, who was an internationally acclaimed individual, a true no bullshit visionary who actually turned his visions into reality and in turn into a business empire and most importantly to me, an enlightened and humble human being, my role model and my hero. Corm Capital is privately funded (i.e. we invest our own funds) so we do not seek (or need) publicity and/or self-promotion. We do not seek investors nor are we pitching our products to the masses. We cherish discretion as we have no incentive or reason to mediatize our inner workings and activities as it yields no benefit whatsoever to us. I personally founded OX Factory. OX Factory is a privately funded incubator (a rare breed) that devises, builds and manages its own startup businesses. We don’t incubate others’ ideas, we don’t accelerate/turbocharge them and we don’t hold demo days and fancy parties with helium balloons and all-you-can-drink booze. We work diligently to build great startups and so far we have built quite a few, brought them to international recognition and have started monetizing most. We do not promote their linkage to OX Factory but rather present them as standalone businesses. Most of them have not (yet) required or received outside private equity/venture capital funds so they are “under the radar” of the global PEVC community and we like it that way. I am also a Founding Partner at Inco Capital, a discreet but effective deal management structure, that works with and for high caliber clients on lucrative global opportunities.
As to myself in particular, I am an advisor to and investor in several reputed startups and established global businesses to whom I bring my combined expertise in management, finance and technology to help them achieve a number of critical funding, strategic and business development oriented goals. I hold many other less time consuming functions (but certainly not less important to me). I am also an exhibited painter although I find it nearly impossible to find time for that passion. I like to think that I will get back to painting in due time. I am also a family man, putting my family before my (ambitious) professional goals. That is a priority I have set for myself. That’s it in a nutshell...
Why do you not make your investments public?
Because we do not need to. It brings us absolutely no advantage doing so and only potential problems, scrutiny and questions. To us, someone asking for a list of our past and present investments (as well as OX Factory built startups) is like asking for our bank account statement. Obviously, our bank account is of nobody’s business but ourselves and obviously we do not share that information (would you?) with someone who simply asks (unless there are tangible reasons for doing so which is practically never the case). Again, we nurture a culture of performance and discretion not a culture of bullshit and self-promotion. I hope that people understand that not everybody/all businesses need nor even seek the "spotlights”.
Because we have practically never done (and don’t intend to do) anything geared towards that goal. For all the reasons mentioned in the above two FAQs, our business culture and the fact that this is not who we are and how we operate. Many people think that drowning people in self-praise and self-promotion is the only way to go. Oh my, how lost they must be… Not only is it boastful, it rarely works (consider the source) and ultimately appears for what it is: self-proclaimed propaganda (sometimes true, sometimes not). Again, we do not need nor seek that kind of fame. Nor any fame for that matter. We are a group of businesses that focus on making money (that’s what businesses do or should I say, what they should do…) and nor these businesses (because of their very nature and the way they are structured) nor I need, seek and/or want self-promotion beyond what we consider a necessary bare minimum. On a personal note, I have no desire for fame, celebrity or media exposure. This comes as a "shock" to many people I meet. I really wonder why and wonder how these people think and set their priorities in life. What they seem to be chasing is the opposite of who I am. I like simple pleasures and the simple life. A true, meaningful and purposeful life away from the fake "spotlights" so many seem to crave...
Why do you ask for a retainer when acting as an Advisor/Connector/Fundraiser?
Firstly, because doing the above requires... work. And like everybody in the world who doesn't work for a charity, I don't work for free (I do my "pro bono" work in my spare time by helping young entrepreneurs who need professional assistance but cannnot afford it). I like to boil it down to: would you NOT pay your lawyer or a consultant for their work (regardless whether your lawyer wins the case or the consultant's report effectively solves your problem)? No. Nobody does. Furthermore, the above requires time, energy and costs (let alone the opportunity costs involved). I don’t go around making random calls here and there, hoping something will “click”. I either have really serious leads (most often personal contacts) or I don’t. If I do, I enjoy working with clients to target these serious leads if they have something worthwhile offering. Regarding retainers per se, here is my candid and sincere position... And just for the sake of clarity, let us agree on the definition of a retainer: a retainer is a fee paid in advance to someone in order to secure their services. As simple as that. It is commonly and effectively requested by banks, law firms, advisory outfits, consultants, lobbyists, etc… Actually, research shows that 90% of them request a retainer. Finally, the only way that I have ever seen (and made) deals work is when BOTH parties have “skin in the game”. Dangling any kind of success fee alone (whatever the amount and usually to an endless list of “freelance” brokers) is not skin in the game. In addition, beyond the money, a retainer insures (and acts as proof of) minimal and necessary commitment from the client. And practically every single time a client is not committed and is just signing away as much “success fee only” agreements as possible hoping something will eventually come from all this, he/she/it… fails! That’s not only my position, that is my objective assessment of the importance of retainers, having been on both sides of the equation (paying retainers and receiving retainers).
There comes a time in your life when you finally decide to walk away from all the futile drama and people who create it (and usually sustain it). You choose to surround yourself with positive people who make you laugh, you forget the bad and focus on the good, you love and cherish the people who treat you right and ignore those who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy, all the while knowing that happiness comes in sparks and is not a final destination you ever get to reach. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living. So walk on no matter what...
To my kids...
Produced by OX Factory. © Charles Corm.