Ahmass Fakahany

Founder + CEO

Ahmass Fakahany was born in Cairo, Egypt, and grew up in Switzerland and England. At the age 17, he moved from London to attend university in the United States. Fakahany received his Bachelor of Science from the Questrom School of Business at Boston University (Summa Cum Laude) in 1979. He received his MBA degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.

An accomplished executive on Wall Street, Ahmass Fakahany worked for Merrill Lynch holding the positions of COO Global Markets and Investment Banking, Chief Financial Officer, and then Vice-Chairman. Fakahany was ultimately President and Chief Operating Officer for the firm before he retired in 2007 after 20 years with the company.

After retiring from Merrill Lynch, Fakahany founded the highly acclaimed restaurant hospitality firm, Altamarea Group. In 2017, Altamarea Group was named one of the fastest-growing companies in America by Inc. Magazine. The group now operates 20 restaurants worldwide, including signature restaurant Marea in New York City which has garnered a myriad of awards and culinary honors since its inception from organizations including the James Beard Foundation, Michelin, and Wine Spectator. In 2019, Marea Dubai opened at the DIFC and was one of the restaurants included in Michelin’s first guide for Dubai. The company also runs the award-winning concepts, Ai Fiori and Osteria Morini in New York City and as well as convivial, quality-casual Italian restaurant concepts, Nicoletta and Morini in Washington DC, Miami, New York, and New Jersey. Altamarea operates the Ristorante Morini brand in Istanbul and Riyadh. Internationally, Altamarea also developed Mohalla, an elevated regional Indian Street food brand, and recently Michelin-starred 11 Woodfire in Dubai.

In 2022, the group opened restaurant 53, a new Contemporary Asian restaurant in midtown New York, adjacent to the Museum of Modern Art. 53 offers a unique dining experience, pairing inspired, pan-Asian cuisine with unique design and a rotating art selection through a curatorial partnership with the globally renowned, Petzel Gallery.

Ahmass Fakahany leverages his business acumen and global leadership experience to set the strategy and drive the highest level of quality, consistency, and performance on every level throughout the Altamarea Group. He works together with the culinary and service teams to develop the concepts and brands and to create a unique and memorable client experience at Altamarea.

Fakahany also serves on the Board of Trustees of Boston University. In 2022, he was elected as the new Chair of the Board for Boston University.


  • Manhattan Chamber of Commerce: Restaurateur of the Year 2014
  • Ellis Island Medal of Honor: Congressional Record 2015
  • Ernst & Young Entrenpeneur of the Year Finalist 2015
  • Richard Melman Restaurant Innovator Award 2015
  • Inc. 5000: Fastest Growing Private Companies in America 2016 (Altamarea Group)
  • 2018 C-Suite Quarterly Visionaries in Philanthropy, Art, & Culture Award
  • Featured in New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Bloomberg, Washington Post, CNBC, Business Insider, Nation’s Restaurant News, amongst numerous others