Born in Queens.

Built in Manhattan.

Who is Omar Amanat? This is a story of the real American Dream. A story of how a baseball-obsessed son of Indian immigrants embraced the advantages of being born in the USA and rode them all the way to the top…and back. This is the real story of Omar Amanat's life. Believe the hype.

Who is Omar Amanat?

Entrepreneur, Innovator & Philanthropist.

Who is Omar Amanat? Omar is an entrepreneur and the CEO of Peak Group Holdings, an investment firm specialising in real estate, technology, and entertainment. Omar has been named one of Wall Street’s “Top Ten Most Influential Technologists”. He has been featured and mentioned in numerous media including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune magazine and Oprah.com.

After attending the University of Pennsylvania, Omar started his career in finance and technology. His first big win came in 1996 when he co-designed the CyberTrader trading platform which later sold to Charles Schwab in 2000 for $488 million.

He then became the founder, CEO and majority shareholder of Tradescape Corporation, which was named one of the “Top 50 Private Companies in the United States” by Red Herring Magazine with revenues of $250 million per annum and 30 branch offices throughout the world. It’s trading technology processed over 10% of NASDAQ’s daily trading volume and it was the largest electronic-trading firm in the United States in 2002 when he sold it to ETrade for $280 million, becoming one of ETrade’s largest shareholders.

After the tragic events of 9/11, Omar shifted his focus from building portfolios to building a better world. He began seeking out companies that, “have the goal of bringing humanity together”. He went on to become a co-founding seed investor and/or partner in several dozen companies in media, finance and technology that fit his ethos. Most notable amongst those endeavours was Summit Entertainment, a then fledgeling production company. Omar provided and/or otherwise raised 50% of the capital for Peak during Summit’s $1 Billion financing, making Peak Group Summit’s largest shareholder. Shortly after, Summit it went on to produce dozens of box office success, including “Darfur Now”, winner of the NAACP Image Award for Best Documentary and the “Twilight” series, which grossed over $2.7 billion dollars worldwide.

Alongside his investments, Omar entered the world of philanthropy. He has sat on the boards of Human Rights Watch, the Harlem Youth Development Foundation and was an initial board member of the Rubin Museum of Art, the premier museum of Buddhist and Himalayan art in the western hemisphere. He was a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and served as the vice chairman of the Acumen fund, which was voted by Barron’s as one of the “5 charities changing the face of philanthropy.”

Early Life

Omar’s journey began as the son of Indian immigrants living in a small townhouse in Queens, New York. Through the first 12 years of his life, he saw his parents use hard work and intellect to build businesses and careers strong enough to eventually move the family to an upscale township in New Jersey. His family had achieved the American dream, and Omar had a front row seat.

Omar enjoyed all of the benefits of being born and raised in America. As a youth, his world revolved around sports. While he enjoyed any type of competition, Omar quickly realised that he got the most enjoyment from team sports. He played baseball and basketball throughout his school years, achieving all-county levels in both sports.

In Omar’s final year of high school, his love for sports was redirected to a new passion…business. After seeing his father use the earliest versions of the Internet to be able to conduct high-level business from home, he went all in.

Setting the Stage

Omar began his entrepreneurial career in 1995 at a startup, the pioneering online brokerage firm Datek Online, which was years later (after Omar left) sold to TD Ameritrade for $1.3 billion after spinning off the innovative Island ECN. With this brief early experience seared into him, he then co-founded Cyberblock, and spent almost 1 year co-designing the CyberTrader trading platform, which Philip Berber’s Cybercorp later sold to Charles Schwab in 2000 for $488 million.

He then became the founder, CEO and majority shareholder of Tradescape Corporation, which was named one of the “Top 50 Private Companies in the United States” by Red Herring Magazine with revenues of $250 million per annum and 30 branch offices throughout the world. It’s trading technology processed over 10% of NASDAQ’s daily trading volume and it was the largest electronic-trading firm in the United States in 2002 when he sold it to ETrade for $280 million, becoming one of ETrade’s largest shareholders.

Changing Tides

Omar was scheduled to have given a speech at the Windows on the World restaurant atop the World Trade Center the morning of September 11th, 2001, but narrowly escaped becoming a victim of the terrorist attack because he was running late. His largest branch office on the 83rd floor had 60 of his employees and was destroyed in the attacks.

Thankfully his employees survived, but the experience changed his life forever. As Omar said, “I stopped asking myself questions like what the value of my stock was, and started asking more fundamental questions of life and death.”

Omar’s focus shifted to using innovative uses of mass media to promote inter-cultural understanding and togetherness. Along with Jordan’s Queen Noor and others, he co-founded the U.N.-affiliated Alliance of Civilizations Media Fund, in a partnership with Participant Productions, ICM and Summit Entertainment. He was the Executive Producer of several films including the “The Visitor,” which earned Richard Jenkins an Academy Award® nomination for Best Actor, “Darfur Now” winner of the NAACP Image Award for Best Documentary, and the Sundance Film Festival entries “Smart People”  and “The Mysteries of Pittsburgh.”

Omar’s mission to examine the “power of films to change the world” led him to personally commission Harvard Medical School to perform neuroscience experiments into the power of media images to heal or inflame ethnic and religious violence. The research was continued by the AOC media fund and resulted in a paper published by UNESCO and distributed to all UN member states.

In 2009, Omar established Reel Knights Productions which has since acquired 8 feature length scripts focusing on subjects matters rooted in ancient eastern mysticism.  The company is also developing a cross platform interactive video game having completed 3D character modelling, animation and plot line for a cross platform interactive video game chronicling the epic Persian legend “Shahnama” also known as “The Book of King’s.” in partnership with Middle Eastern 3D animation studio Aria.  The company has also completed pre-production on a feature length narrative biopic on the whirling dervish, ancient sage and beloved poet, Rumi.

Property Development and Real Estate Ventures

In 2014, Omar initiated a joint $360 million venture with Adrian Zecha to  create Aman Resorts Group Ltd (ARGL). ARGL purchased DLF-owned Silverlinks Resorts Ltd, the owner of the world famous Aman Resorts.

Omar has also engaged in extensive property development and ownership in New York, as well as the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Personal Accomplishments

Omar attended the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School of Business served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence in 2009. He has sat on the boards of Human Rights Watch, the Harlem Youth Development Foundation and was an initial board member of the Rubin Museum of Art, the premier museum of Buddhist and Himalayan art in the western hemisphere. He was a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and served as the vice chairman of the Acumen fund, which was voted by Barron’s as one of the “5 charities changing the face of philanthropy.”’

He was an initial board member of Malaria No More alongside co-founders Ray Chambers and former News Corp President Peter Chernin in their fight to end Malaria deaths in Africa by 2015. He was named one of the “Top 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World” by Georgetown University and served as a trustee of the Democratic National Committee and Co-Chaired its South Asian Leadership Council.

He has been featured and mentioned in numerous media including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune magazine and Oprah.com.

Movies and Documentaries Produced or Financed

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