Joseph Safra ( ar|يوسف صفرا; 1 September 1938 – 10 December 2020) was a Swiss-based Lebanese Brazilian
banker and billionaire businessman, who ran the Brazilian banking and investment empire, Safra Group
. He was the chairman of all Safra companies, among them Safra National Bank of New York
and Banco Safra
headquartered in São Paulo
On August 2020, ''Forbes
'' reported Safra's estimated net worth at US$22.8 billion, the 52nd richest person in the world and richest in Brazil.
Joseph Safra was born and raised in Beirut
to a family of Sephardic Jewish
background originally from Lebanon
with banking connections back to Ottoman
Gherkin bought by Safra Group: Meet the Brazilian-Lebanese billionaire behind the £700m deal
''City A.M.'', 11 November 2014
The family's history in banking originated with caravan trade between Aleppo, Beirut, Alexandria
, and Istanbul
during the Ottoman Empire
The Safra family moved to Brazil in 1952.
In 1955, Joseph's 23-year-old brother, Edmond Safra
, and his father, Jacob Safra
, started working in Brazil by financing assets in São Paulo
. However soon, Edmond Safra separated from his brothers Joseph and Moise and headed to New York City
where he founded the Republic National Bank of New York
(which he later sold to HSBC
in 1999 and donated most of his money to the Edmond Safra Foundation). Joseph Safra founded Banco Safra
in 1955 and today it is reportedly the 6th largest private bank in Brazil. In 2006, Joseph Safra acquired the remaining shares of Banco Safra from his brother Moise Safra
. He remained the chairman of the Safra Group
, offering banking services throughout Europe, North America, and South America, until the end of his life.
In 2013, Joseph Safra's family acquired more than a dozen properties in the United States, primarily in New York City. They also own a portfolio of commercial real estate in Brazil.
In 2014, Safra paid more than £700 million to buy The Gherkin
, one of the most distinctive towers in the City of London
. He proposed to build the Tulip
, a skyscraper in London, but the city's mayor rejected it in 2019.
He founded the Jewish Brazilian school of Beit Yaacov in 2001.
**J. Safra Sarasin
**Safra National Bank of New York
Safra used to live in Geneva
He had four children: Jacob J. Safra
, (married to , son of Sasson Dayan
), Alberto J. Safra, David J. Safra.
Jacob is responsible for all international operations outside of Brazil while David and Alberto, manage Banco Safra in Brazil.
Joseph Safra died on 10 December 2020 in São Paulo at the age of 82.
He had Parkinson's Disease.
*List of Brazilians by net worth
External linksMeet Joseph Safra, The Richest Banker On The Planet
anThe Safra Dynasty: The Mysterious Family Of The Richest Banker In The World
on Business Insider
Category:Brazilian people of Lebanese-Jewish descent
Category:Brazilian people of Syrian-Jewish descent
Category:20th-century Sephardi Jews
Category:21st-century Sephardi Jews
Category:Lebanese people of Syrian-Jewish descent
Category:Lebanese emigrants to Brazil