Joseph Safra

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Joseph Safra
Born 1939 (age 77–78)[1]
Aleppo, Syria
Residence São Paulo, Brazil[2]
Net worth US$20.6 billion (March 2017)
Spouse(s) Vicky Sarfati
Children Jacob J Safra, Alberto J Safra, Esther Safra Dayan, David J Safra[2]
Parent(s) Jacob Safra (father)
Family Eli Safra, Moise Safra, Edmond Safra, Arlette Safra (siblings)

Joseph Safra (Arabic: يوسف صفرا‎‎ ; born 1939) is a Brazilian banker who runs the Brazilian banking and investment empire, Safra Group. He serves as the chairman of all Safra companies, among them Safra National Bank of New York and Banco Safra headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil.[2] Safra has a net worth of around $20.5 billion.[3] He is of Lebanese Jewish origin, and comes from the Safra family.

Early life[edit]

Joseph Safra was born in Aleppo, Syria,[4] to a Jewish Lebanese family with banking connections dating back to Ottoman times,[5] and grew up in Beirut, Lebanon.[6] The family's history in banking originated with caravan trade between Beirut, Aleppo, 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. But soon, Edmond Safra separated from his brothers Joseph and Moise and headed to New York 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. He remains the chairman of the Safra Group offering banking services throughout Europe, North and South America.

Joseph Safra acquired the remaining shares of Safra Group companies from his brother Moise Safra. The two brothers maintain a shareholding in Fibria Cellulose. He has four children: Jacob J. Safra, Esther Safra Dayan, Alberto J. Safra, David J. Safra.[7]


In 2013, Joseph Safra's family acquired more than a dozen properties in the U.S., primarily in New York City. They also own a portfolio of commercial real estate in Brazil.[8] In 2014 Safra paid more than £700million to buy The Gherkin – one of the most distinctive towers in the City of London.[9][10]

Business holdings[edit]


External links[edit]