Tofik Arifov (Russian: Тофик Арифов; born May 1953), also known as Tevfik Arif, is a Soviet-born Turkish real estate developer and investor. He is the founder of the Bayrock Group, a real estate development and investment company known for its business with Donald Trump. Bayrock and Trump were partners on the troubled Trump SoHo and the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Fort Lauderdale, which was sold after it defaulted.
Early life and career
Tevfik Arif was born Tofik Arifov in a Turkish family in Dshambul, Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. He received an international relations degree from a Moscow university. Prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Arif worked for the USSR’s Ministry of Commerce and Trade for 17 years. He served as the deputy director of its Department of Hotel Management. Arif resigned from the ministry in 1991 and founded Speciality Chemicals Trading Company, an export-import business trading in rare metals, chrome, and raw materials. He then worked as an “agent on the ground” in Kazakhstan for Trans World Group, a natural resources company run by David and Simon Reuben.
Arif moved to Turkey in 1993. He had owned the Turkish jewellery business Alset Dis Ticaret since 1979. In 1999, Arif partnered with the Rixos hotel chain to open the Labada luxury hotel in Antalya, Turkey.
Following the independence of Kazakhstan, Arif and his brother secured ownership of ACCP, a chromium plant in Aktobe that had headquarters in the British Virgin Islands. The brothers developed ties to the “Kazakh Trio” — Alexander Mashkevitch, Patokh Chodiev, and Alijan Ibragimov. They later established offshore real estate companies to fund high-end developments in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkey.