Joseph Safra, Owner, Banco Safra, Brazil
Author: José Fucs
For many international analysts, Joseph Safra, 61, now the only member of the Safra family remaining in the banking business, has only been a shadow of his older brother Edmond, who died at the age of 68 in a fire in his apartment in Monte Carlo last December. But this may be due to a lack of understanding of the actual role that Joseph has played in the family business. Although Joseph, who runs Banco Safra, the fifth largest privately-owned bank in Brazil, might not have the same international profile that Edmond did, he is a talented banker just as his older brother was.
Joseph has been the captain of the family bank in Brazil and ultimately of every other big business the family has been involved in in that country. His other brother Moise, who is four years older than him, has never played an active role in management, although he is said to own the same large stake as Joseph in Banco Safra, of about 49.5%. He usually attends only the board meetings of the bank.