Opening Plenary Session
May 20, 8:00am-10:00am
Alejandro Agag is CEO of Formula E Holdings – a new FIA backed global motor racing Championing using cars powered solely by electricity, beginning in September 2014. Born in Madrid in 1970, Alejandro Agag enjoyed an international upbringing in Madrid, Paris and New York, gaining fluency in English, Spanish, French and Italian.
From university politics to assisting Spain’s PM
Agag graduated in Economics and Business Studies at Colegio Universitario de Estudios Financieros (CUNEF) in Madrid. It was here that his interest in the world of politics began. Agag initially joined the youth organization of the main center-right Spanish party Partido Popular (PP) and went on to become its Head of International Relations. Upon graduating, at the age of 23, Agag was named Deputy Secretary General of the European People’s Party (EPP) and moved to Brussels. After holding that position for two years, Alejandro returned to Spain. Following the PP’s first election victory, Agag was named personal assistant of the Prime Minister. He was only 25.
Elected as youngest Spanish Member of European Parliament (MEP)
In 1999, after assisting Spain’s Prime Minister for 3 years, Agag returned to European politics, after being elected new Secretary General of the PPE. During the European elections in 1999 Agag won a seat in the European Parliament, becoming the youngest Spanish person to ever win a seat in the European Parliament at the age of 28.
As an MEP, Agag joined the Economic and Monetary affairs Commission of the European Parliament, specializing in parliamentary control of the European Central Bank and antitrust policy. He became the spokesperson of the annual antitrust policy report at the European Parliament in 2000. Also, during their 2000 annual congress in Mexico, Agag was elected Secretary General of the Centrist Democrat International (CDI), a global political organization with over 100 member parties from all over the world. Agag combined those three roles until 2001 when he decided to leave the world of politics and move to business. That career decision also coincided with his marriage to Ana Aznar and their move to London.
From politics to business and motorsports
In London 2002, Agag founded AAL Investments Ltd from which he developed his business activity. Initially, AAL focused on providing strategic consulting advice to international companies. It was during that time, that Agag first made contact with the world of motor racing. Together with his business partner Flavio Briatore (then Team Principal of Renault F1) they purchased the Formula One TV rights in Spain for a period of 6 years. Only a year before this deal was carried out, Formula One had failed to sell the rights in Spain due to low television audiences. Agag and his business partner, managed the TV rights, and came to a long-term agreement with Telecinco TV channel. During those 6 years the television audiences and the value of F1 rights in Spain grew exponentially. Also from 2003, and as a result of his TV deal, Agag starts playing a role in the sponsorship side of F1, brokering deals between teams, FOM, and sponsors from Spain, and other parts of the world. Through this activity, Agag worked with teams like Ferrari, McLaren and Renault F1.
Transformation of a GP2 team to world constructor’s championship winners
In 2006 Agag founded Addax Capital LLP, an investment advisory company regulated by the FSA. The firm carries out investment banking activity, and is presently run by Ignacio Munoz Alonso, formed CEO of Rothschild Bank in Spain. In 2007, Agag took another step into the racing world, acquiring Campos Racing GP2 Team. (GP2 is the feeder series for Formula One). When Agag took over the team, it ranked last in the standings, lacked sponsors and top drivers. Agag completely transformed the Team: changing its name to Addax, signing Qatari sponsor Barwa, hiring new engineers and drivers. As a result the team won the 2008 GP2 Series. Since that year, the Team has always ranked in the top 3, winning the title again in 2011. So far, 6 drivers from the Team have made to F1: Vitaly Petrov (Lotus and Caternham), Lucas di Grassi (Virgin Racing), Sergio Perez (Sauber and McLaren), Romain Gosjean (Lotus), Charles Pic (Marussia) and Guido Van der Garde (Caternham).
QPR Football club turnaround to English Premier League promotion
In 2007, Agag joined a group of investors to acquire the historic English football club Queens Park Rangers. The other main partners were Flavio Briatore, Bernie Ecclestone and the Indian family Mittal. Agag became Chairman of the Club during the takeover and later took on the role of Managing Director. The investors’ aim was to get the Club promoted back to the English Premier League in a period of 4 years (at the moment of the acquisition the team was at the bottom of the table of the Championship division). That feat was achieved in 2011. The Club was then sold to Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes.
FIA Formula E– the electric car race of the future
In 2012, Agag together with his business partner Enrique Bañuelos, a London-based real estate entrepreneur, created Formula E Holdings Ltd. After a period of negotiation, the company signed an agreement with the FIA to exclusively promote the new FIA Formula E Championship featuring racing cars powered solely by electricity. Agag’s motor racing and business credentials earned him the position of CEO of Formula E. The clean energy Championship debuting in 2014 will be held in the heart of global cities, where environmental concerns and rapid urban growth are calling for urgent clean mobility solutions. Agag sees the research and development of electric racing cars as a catalyst for the development of tomorrow’s clean city cars. With over a decade of motorsports experience and years of shaping global and social issues as a politician, Agag is determined to revolutionize the world of clean mobility on the racetrack, city streets and consumer markets. With a passion for technological innovation and a proven skill for turning things around - his biggest challenge yet will be to leave a legacy of clean mobility innovation in our 21st Century racetracks and cities.