Rumors about Neil Moffitt and Hakkasan have been perpetuated by several websites recently. One of their alleged former investors and former Chairman of the Company has been named in a money laundering investigation that has nothing to do with Hakkasan or its management. There is no suggestion or allegation that Hakkasan is or was involved in any way in money laundering or any other illegal activity. We want to set the record straight for Hakkasan and nothing in our prior story was intended to suggest they are anything other than a profitable, successful company.
We had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Moffitt about these issues and the future of the company.
First, getting to the rumors about Hakkasan and its relationship to Khadem al Qubaisi, the former Chairman of Hakkasan. What is his current involvement in Hakkasan, and is he involved at all with the company at this point?
Mr. Al-Qubaisi has resigned as Chairman of Hakkasan, and is no longer involved in the operation of the company.
Are you planning on staying with the company?
Yes, I have no intent of leaving Hakkasan Group, having first built Angel Management Group and now Hakkasan Group from the ground up in Las Vegas. Having false and troubling rumors spread about a company that employs 6000 people and is the most successful nightlife company in Las Vegas makes my job very challenging. Since my concern is my employees and their families, I will always do my best to rise above the nonsense and focus on our expanding markets and numerous future ventures. Hopefully, it will never come to light that our competitors spread these rumors because that would be disappointing and unfair to the hard working men and women of my company.
Hakkasan has made a lot of money, perhaps having the most successful nightclub in Las Vegas. What has the company been doing with the profits?
Our goal over the last two years has been to prepare our company for very aggressive international growth, and we are fortunate enough to have an ownership group that encouraged us to reinvest our profits into growing our infrastructure and executive team, in preparation for that expansion. At this time, we have more than 25 deals in some stage of development, and the team required to execute that volume of projects could only be built by investing heavily in overhead.
Wynn announced that they were moving away from big name DJs, and focusing on Ultraclubs. Victor Drais basically claimed this is the death of the Mega DJ. What are your thoughts about this?
I think this is complete nonsense, and it’s unfortunate that certain operators feel that in order to market an alternative concept, they need to profess the death of a competing genre of music. It’s often the case that dramatic, unsubstantiated proclamations grab more headline space than facts. As a company, we believe in diversity in our programming approach, and will continue to book ‘mega DJ’s’ as well as live acts, celebrity hosts and any other events that our customers tell us they’d like to see in our venues. We understand our business extremely well, and our booking decisions are driven by facts and data, not politics.
What would you like people to know most about Hakkasan as a company, and its employees and the services it provides?
Hakkasan Group is a top notch company that exemplifies integrity and hard work. Its employees and management have broken every record and ceiling in Las Vegas and beyond. We look forward to continuing our tradition of excellence in service and products.