Afiniti founder quits investment firm in wake of sex assault claims

Afiniti founder Zia Chishti has been ousted as chief executive of his investment company, two weeks after sex assault allegations forced him to step down from the technology firm.

TRG Pakistan announced that Mr Chishti had resigned as its chief executive on Monday morning.

He has also relinquished roles at related companies, including as chairman of TRG International, the subsidiary that owns a 38pc stake in Afiniti.

Mr Chishti, 50, resigned as Afiniti’s chief executive and chairman two weeks ago after a former junior employee accused him of violent sexual assault, sending the firm into crisis.

Tatiana Spottiswoode alleged that Mr Chishti had repeatedly abused and harassed her when she was a 23-year-old in 2017, claims that have been denied by Mr Chishti.

Tatiana Spottiswoode, a former employee of Afiniti, has claimed she was sexually assaulted by Zia Chishti

Credit: House Judiciary Committee via Seattle Times

The Bermuda-based company counts Princess Beatrice among its executives and until recently employed David Cameron as an adviser. The former prime minister quit after Ms Spottiswoode’s claims in protest at Afiniti’s handling of the situation.

Questions had remained over Mr Chishti’s roles at TRG, which continued to give him substantial influence over Afiniti. TRG Pakistan’s board had been due to consider his future in a meeting scheduled for next week.

In an update to the Karachi Stock Exchange, the company said: “Muhammad Ziaullah Khan Chishti has resigned as the chief executive officer and a director of TRG Pakistan, with immediate effect.

“Mr Chishti has also resigned from his positions at [TRG International], effective immediately. This follows Mr Chishti’s November 18 resignation as the chief executive officer, chairman, and a director of Afiniti.”

TRG Pakistan has a 45pc stake in TRG International, which in turn owns 38pc of Afiniti. Mr Chishti himself owns a stake worth close to 10pc, meaning his leadership of TRG Pakistan gave him substantial influence over Afiniti.

Afiniti, which is used in call centres to match customer service agents with consumers, includes AT&T, Sky and Virgin Media among its clients. Sky and Virgin Media owner Liberty Global had said they were considering their positions after the allegations emerged.

Last week, Afiniti’s new chairman Larry Babbio ordered an independent review into Ms Spottiswoode’s claims, led by Leslie Caldwell, a former US government prosecutor.

TRG also has large stakes in outsourcing company Ibex and e-Telequote, an insurance company.

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