Vardis Vardinogiannis

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Vardis Vardinogiannis
Born Vardis J. Vardinogiannis
1933 (age 84–85)
Episkopi, Rethymno, Crete, Greece
Residence Ekali, Athens, Greece
Nationality Greek
Alma mater Hellenic Naval Academy
Occupation Oil and shipping businessman
Years active 1959–
Known for Chairman, Motor Oil Hellas
Chairman, Vegas Oil and Gas[1][2]
Net worth US$1.3 billion (September 2018)[3]
Spouse(s) Marianna Vardinoyannis
Children Giannis Vardinogiannis
4 others[4]
Parent(s) Giannis Vardinogiannis[5]
Xrisi Theodoroulakis [5]

Vardis Vardinogiannis (Greek: Βαρδής Βαρδινογιάννης; born 1933) is a Greek billionaire oil and shipping businessman.[6] He is the chairman and controlling shareholder of Motor Oil Hellas,[7] Vegas Oil and Gas and involved in numerous other shipping and business interests.[8] Vardinogiannis was included in Lloyd's List's Most Influential People in Shipping.

Early life, family[edit]

Vardis Vardinogiannis was born in 1933 in Episkopi, Rethymno, Crete, the son of poor farmers. They had eight children, six boys and two girls. Everyone helped in the fields from an early age. Vardinoyannis took elementary school during the Second World War, when Crete was occupied by the Germans. In the postwar years he moved to Athens. Vardinoyannis attended a military school, and in 1951 he obtained the diploma.

Business interests[edit]

Unlike the other more or less patriarchal Greek dynasties, the Vardinogiannis clan has spread its net worldwide and operates as a tight-knit group of relatives controlling numerous successful companies in a variety of sectors. Today their interests range from petroleum and shipping, to banking and media, to real estate and hotels, to publishing and charity work. As of 2015, the Vardinogiannis family have stakes in 98 companies in total in Greece and abroad.[9]

Personal life[edit]

He married Marianna Mpournaki, destined later to become one of the most prominent women of Greece. From the marriage five children were born. He is also the brother of shipping tycoon Yiorgos Vardinogiannis, known for being many years president of Panathinaikos F.C., husband of Marianna Vardinoyannis and father of Giannis Vardinogiannis.

Shipping, embargo in Rhodesia[edit]

In subsequent years the four brothers continued to extend the group, staying away from publicity. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the group expanded in the new independent states of the former communist bloc, obtaining contracts for the opening of new highways in Ukraine and Georgia. The Vardinoyannis brothers owned the merchant ship Ioanna V which, in 1966, broke the UN-imposed and British-enforced embargo on the Rhodesia regime and brought in oil to the Portuguese Mozambique port of Beira, which was connected with landlocked Rhodesia by a pipeline. This move yielded huge profits to the Group.[citation needed]

17 November[edit]

On 20 November 1990, the Greek terrorist group Revolutionary Organization 17 November attempted to murder him.[10] He was saved thanks to his high-armored Mercedes which was armored according to the specifications of England and France counter groups.[citation needed]

Friendship with the Kennedy family[edit]

Vardis Vardinogiannis and his wife Marianna are among the founders of the Robert Kennedy leadership council along with Bill Clinton and other world leaders. The wedding of Rory Kennedy, daughter of Robert and Ethel Kennedy with Mark Bailey was celebrated in Greek mansion of Vardinogiannis in upscale Ekali Athens.[11] Even the wedding of her older sister Rory, Courtney Kennedy with the Irishman Paul Hill in 1993 was celebrated on the luxury yacht Varmar owned by Vardinoyannis.[citation needed]