Gianluigi Aponte

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Gianluigi Aponte
Gianluigi aponte.png
Born (1940-06-27) 27 June 1940 (age 78)
ResidenceGeneva, Switzerland
Alma materIstituto Tecnico Nautico Statale Nino Bixio
OccupationFounder, Mediterranean Shipping Company
Net worthUS$8.4 billion (August 2018)[1]
Spouse(s)Rafaela Diamant
Parent(s)Aniello Aponte
Gina Gatti

Gianluigi Aponte (Italian pronunciation: [dʒanluˈiːdʒi aˈponte]; born 27 June 1940) is an Italian billionaire businessman, and the founder, owner and chairman of Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the second-largest container shipping line in the world after Maersk.

Early life[edit]

Gianluigi Aponte was born in Sant'Agnello, Italy (near Sorrento, in the province of Naples)[1] on 27 June 1940.[2]


Aponte is a Neapolitan captain, who entered the shipping industry in 1970 together with his spouse, Rafaela. At that time, the newly formed company owned a single vessel that would ship cargo between Europe and Africa.[3] With the growth of his business he eventually made a move towards the cruise industry in 1988. As of 2014 he has retired from the position of CEO and president in favour of his son, Diego Aponte, and took on a role as executive chairman within MSC.[4]


In 2009, at the Teatro di San Carlo of Naples, he received, along with Fabio Cannavaro, Ambra Vallo and others, a prize for "Neapolitan Excellence in the World" from the Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.[5]

In 2012 he won the Cruise International Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his long term activity in the industry.[6]

In October 2013, he received Containerisation International’s Lifetime Achievement Award,[7] as well as a knighthood, Order of Merit for Labour, from Italian President Giorgio Napolitano.[8] In 2014, Aponte and his family were named among the 10 most influential people in the shipping industry according to Lloyds List.[9]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Rafaela Diamant, a Swiss woman he met when she was a passenger a boat that he the captain of.[10][11] They have two children.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Gianluigi & Rafaela Aponte". Forbes. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  2. ^ "La traversata del marinaio di Sorrento" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-08-01.
  3. ^ Saltmarsh, Matthew. "Shipping Magnate Takes a New Tack: The Cruise Business", The New York Times [online], October 29, 2010. Accessed 21 April 2015
  4. ^ Brett, Damian. "Diego Aponte becomes MSC president", Lloyd's List, Containerisation International, 2 October 2014. Accessed 14 April 2015
  5. ^ Andersen, Ole. "Introducing Maersk Line's new Neapolitan partner". Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  6. ^ "MSC Cruises' Founder Receives Cruise International's Lifetime Achievement Award, MSC Cruises, 13 September 2012. Accessed 21 April 2015
  7. ^ "Containers - Aponte wins Lifetime Achievement Award - Lloyd's List". 2013-10-24. Retrieved 2015-08-01.
  8. ^ "MSC’s Aponte Receives Italian Order of Merit for Labor ", Cruise Industry News, 15 October 2013. Accessed 21 April 2015
  9. ^ "Top 100 - 6. Aponte Family, Mediterranean Shipping Co - Lloyd's List". 2014-12-12. Retrieved 2015-08-01.
  10. ^ "Gianluigi Aponte e la MSC Crociere - Grandi personaggi - Impresa Oggi". Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Bloomberg Billionaires Profile". Retrieved 14 March 2019.

External links[edit]