client lost 3K contacts when office 365 for mac account deleted from company exchange server

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Outlook version
Outlook 365 for Mac
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
My client is running macos 13 on an m1 mac mini
he called my in to see if there is a way to recovery is 3K contacts from his old business exchange account that was deleted by the server admim
he is using Outlook 365 for Mac
he was able to get an iCloud backup (archive) to his local disk.
there is a .ost file in the archive folder under outlook
The exchange server at his prior business was moved to a new server url in mid Dec 2022
the account no longer connects to the exchange server but his local Outlook account shows about 20 emails
He is a retired employee and the business allowed him to use his old email for 6 years until recently.
He is very upset that he has lost 3K contacts. He is not concerned about the emails.
he has reached out to his old company but the IT support person he knew is gone.
Calls to the firm have not been returned.

I have admin access to his mac mini. I have 30 years of IT experience.
Outlook was never in my wheel house so I am trying to fix this if possible for him.
My research online and at outlook sites seems to suggest that local files might store his contact.
He uses Outlook to manage 1 other exchange account and 3 other gmail accounts.
I am reluctant to start trying solutions without fully understanding the impact to his other Outlook accounts.
I thought of just deleting the remaining 4 accounts, as those can be resintalled as the emails and contacts are still retained at those sites.
As you can sense, I am trying not to do more damage.
He is willing to pay someone to fix this if possible.

Thanks for reading......
>> I am reluctant to start trying solutions without fully understanding the impact to his other Outlook accounts.
Yeah, me too.

>> there is a .ost file in the archive folder under outlook
That means he was using Outlook for windows with the old account. How big is the OST file? What is the date on it? If he thinks the contacts are in it, I have software I can run on it to export to a pst. I charge $50 for conversion, more if I need to help the user put them back in his outlook - but it sounds like you can do that.

Did he have the contacts on the mac? If they were in the On My computer folders on the mac and he is using a current version of office, they could in the legacy Outlook. Check the version on the Outlook app menu > about Outlook.
thanks. questions I will need to get on his mac to find out.
after digging further and searching the entire local drive, including the local icloud archive folder, no .ost or .pst file can be found.
however, there are 984 contacts under Exchange in his iPhone Lists .
These 984 contacts are most of what he needs.
Researching the best way to export these Exchange list contact from the iphone as a solution.
Nothing I have tried have sync'd these iphone contacts with his Contacts on Mac or iPad or in the iCloud.
This is driving me crazy.
His version is Outlook for Mac version 16.69.1 using MS 365 online subscription.
Because the contacts are in the exchange account on his phone, I don't think you can get them off easily. Are they in the apple app?

Did he remove the account from outlook on the mac? I'm wondering if he switches to the legacy outlook, if they might be cached there. Outlook app menu, click on New Outlook to remove checkmark and open in the legacy outlook.
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