|Born||1 September 1938|
|Died||10 December 2020 (aged 82)|
São Paulo, Brazil
|Known for||The richest banker in the world|
|Net worth||US$22.8 billion (August 2020)|
|Parent(s)||Jacob Safra |
|Relatives||Moise Safra (brother)|
Edmond Safra (brother)
Joseph Safra (Arabic: 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, Brazil. 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, Lebanon to a family of Sephardic Jewish background originally from Lebanon and Aleppo with banking connections back to Ottoman times. 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.
- Safra Group
He had four children: Jacob J. Safra, Esther Safra (married to Carlos Dayan, 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.
- "The Safra Dynasty: The Mysterious Family of the Richest Banker in the World". businessinsider.com. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
- 'Joseph Safra (1956) and Joseph Safra (1956), information from the National Archives, Rio de Janeiro. Scan of Joseph Safra's Brazilian entry visa on 1956 on familysearch.org
- Joseph Safra (1956) and Joseph Safra (1956), information from the National Archives, Rio de Janeiro. Scan of Joseph Safra's Brazilian entry visa on 1956 on familysearch.org
- "Jewish philanthropist becomes Brazil's richest person".
- "Forbes profile: Joseph Safra". Forbes. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
- Joseph Safra (1956) and Joseph Safra (1956), information from the National Archives, Rio de Janeiro. Scan of Joseph Safra's Brazilian entry visa on 1954 on familysearch.org
- "Joseph Safra". Forbes. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
- "Bloomberg Billionaires Index – Joseph Safra". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
- "Bloomberg Billionaires Index – Joseph Safra". Retrieved 24 April 2019 – via www.bloomberg.com.
- arielhauter. "Joseph Safra -". ARTnews. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- Kasmira Jefford, Gherkin bought by Safra Group: Meet the Brazilian-Lebanese billionaire behind the £700m deal. City A.M., 11 November 2014
- "Meet Joseph Safra, The Richest Banker on the Planet". Business Insider.
- New York Times: "INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS; The Safras of Brazil: Banking, Faith and Security" By SIMON ROMERO 8 December 1999
- "Financier Joseph Safra, Brazil's richest man, dies at 82". Reuters. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
- Marques, Felipe (14 December 2020). "The death of world's richest banker thrusts heirs into spotlight". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
- Reuters Staff (10 December 2020). "Financier Joseph Safra, Brazil's richest man, dies at 82". Reuters. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
- "Private Banker Joseph Y. Safra Dies". finews.com. 10 December 2020. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
- "Joseph Safra". Forbes. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
- "Safra snaps up the Gherkin for £726m". www.ft.com. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
- Dolan, Kerry A. (10 December 2020). "Brazil's Joseph Safra, World's Richest Banker, Dies At Age 82". Forbes. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
- "Joseph Safra: World's richest banker dies at 82". DW. AFP. 10 December 2020. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
- "Court Accepts Charges Against Brazil Banker Joseph Safra". Jewish Voice. 27 April 2016.
- "Joseph Safra, homem mais rico do Brasil, morre em SP aos 82 anos". G1 (in Portuguese).
- "Jewish-Brazilian Joseph Safra is The World's Wealthiest Banker, Forbes – Jewish Business News". jewishbusinessnews.com. Retrieved 17 December 2020.