Together with his brother Akram, he is the owner of Privinvest Holding, a major international naval construction group. In addition to this, Iskandar Safa and his brother Akram control, through P.I. Dev SAL, the French company FIMAS SA specialised in developing and managing real estate properties in the South of France.
Safa was born in Beirut in 1955 to a Maronite Christian family. In the late 1970s, Safa enrolled in the American University of Beirut, graduating with a Bachelor of Engineering degree in civil engineering. He left Lebanon to become a junior civil engineer in the United States, and then moved to France, where in 1982 he graduated with an MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau.
From 1978 to 1981, Iskandar Safa managed the construction of a military airport in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia).
In 1986, he became President of Triacorp International. On 19 January 2005, he stepped down as President of the company’s steering committee in favor of Eric Giardini.
During the 1990s Iskandar and his brother Akram founded Privinvest, a shipbuilding company specialising in naval and commercial vessels and mega yachts.
In 1992, he was elected by the CIRI (Comité Interministériel de Restructuration Industrielle) to purchase the Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie (CMN) in Cherbourg and managed to turn around the naval construction shipyard that was facing difficulties at the times. The CMN became a French company affiliated to Privinvest Group. Iskandar Safa is currently the main shareholder of the CMN. He is also President of the council of FIMAS Group which owns marble carriers in the town Saint-Pons-de-Thomières located in Herault, France, also called ‘Marbres de France’.
In 2007, Iskandar Safa took part in the creation of the Abu Dhabi Mar naval construction site with Al Aïn International and became executive director. Later on in 2011, Privinvest purchased Al Aïn International’s shares.
He is currently considered as one of the wealthiest people in Lebanon.
Since 2011 Iskandar Safa has been the non-executive vice-president of the Marfin Investment Group’s steering committee, a holding company listed on the Athens’ stock-exchange.
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- "L'incroyable résurrection du chantier naval CMN à Cherbourg". La Tribune. 6 January 2015.
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- "Marfin Investment Group Holdings SA (MRFGY.PK)". Reuters.