Joseph Safra who is reported to be the richest man in Brazil, and world’s richest banker, has died at the age of 82.
Joseph Safra, who is a Lebanese-Brazilian financier helped run and expand his family’s private-banking and wealth management empire, catering to an affluent clientele from São Paulo to New York and Monte Carlo. He died of natural causes, according to a statement issued by Banco Safra.
As a member of Brazil’s most prominent Jewish business clan, Joseshp Safra was credited with making Banco Safra one of Brazil’s soundest banks. He was deeply involved in Jewish community affairs in Brazil, spending a great deal of his time and fortune funding health, education and charity projects and paying for the construction of synagogues and community centres.
The Safras stood out among a number of Brazilian families whose businesses grew transnational, yet remained loyal to their ethnic roots. While banking was the axis of his activities, Safra also sought to diversify his wealth by investing in paper and pulp, global real estate, telecoms and cattle ranching.
Safra, who arrived in Brazil as a teenager more than five decades ago, ranks as the world’s wealthiest banker, with an estimated fortune of $19.9 billion, according to Forbes Magazine.