In considering what features would be most suitable for this year’s edition, we drew upon our reflections of what The National Herald means not only in the Greek-American community of Astoria, which is adjacent to its home base of Long Island City, not only to the larger Greek-American community throughout the United States and not only even to the Greeks of Greece and Cyprus. The Herald is, in fact, an international resource of modern-day Hellenes throughout the world.
With that thought in mind, and recognizing and appreciating that the bulk of our focus is on the Greeks of America, we aimed to present information that Hellenes throughout the world diaspora might find interesting and useful – about wealthy Greeks in other countries.
As is the case with methodology for compiling the data for this overall Special Edition, these are not necessarily the wealthiest Greeks in their respective countries, but are certainly among the most wealthy, and, like their counterparts in the United States, have lived interesting lives worth writing about.
We hope that you, our readers, enjoy this segment.
HAJI-IOANNOU FAMILY– CYPRUS/ENGLAND
3.1 BILLION (FORBES)
Polys, Stelios, and Clelia Haji-Ioannou, children of Loucas and Nedi, are a London-based family of Cypriot origin that made their money in shipping but today are best known for the launching of the low-cost airline Easy Jet.
Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, 50 founded Easy Jet in 1995, and since then has created a number of Easy companies. As The National Herald reported in 2016, Haji-Ioannou started EasyFoodstore, which he described at the time to the Guardian as “another way the easy brand can serve the less well-off. Given my experience in distributing food for free in Greece and Cyprus, this is a more commercial attempt to sell basic food…to those unwaged or low waged living around [the West London neighborhood of] Park Royal.”
A renowned philanthropist, he also founded the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation, whose mission, TNH reported, is “to support philanthropic activities primarily in the places where the founder has lived and worked: the UK, Greece, Cyprus and Monaco. The Foundation gives support in four main ways :
“1. funding scholarships for young people to study at the academic institutions where Stelios himself was educated: London School of Economics and City University in London and the Doukas High School in Athens, Greece.
“2. supporting entrepreneurship with cash prizes to stimulate economic growth and job creation. In the UK awards are given, in conjunction with Leonard Cheshire (a UK charity) to entrepreneurs with a disability. In Cyprus the cash prizes are given to teams that include both a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot as a way of promoting bi-communal cooperation and hence helping establish lasting peace on the island. In Greece awards are given to young entrepreneurs.
“3. donating money to charities in the areas of focus such as supporting environmental projects with WWF and the Foundation of Prince Albert of Monaco and also other worthy local charities.
“4. operating a program in Greece and Cyprus called ‘Food from the heart’ that offers, each working day, without discrimination, snacks to people in need who register at the various points of distribution. This is a cost effective way to help a large number of people in extreme poverty by giving enough food to live another day, on a regular basis. So far approximately 16,000 people have registered to receive ‘Food from the heart’ and about 15,000 snacks are distributed per day.”
For his service to entrepreneurship, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2006.
- SPIRO LATSIS – GREECE
3.1 BILLION (FORBES)
The son of John Latsis, who made a fortune as a trader and shipowner, Dr. Spiro Latsis, 72, took over the Latsis Group family enterprise when his father died in 2003. Previously, he had been director at some of the companies in the Group. Continuing the family’s focus on philanthropy, he heads the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation and the International Latsis Foundation in Geneva.
He is an Honorary Fellow and a Member of the Court of Governors of the London School of Economics. Latsis obtained a PhD 1974, a master’s degree in Logic and Scientific Method in 1970 and bachelor’s degree in Economics in 1968, all from the London School of Economics.
Numerous publications he wrote or edited include:
- Situational Determinism in Economics The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 1972 23, pp. 207–45 (1972)
- A Research Programme in Economics (ed.), Method and Appraisal in Economics (Cambridge University Press) pp 1–41 (1976)
- The Limitations of Single-Exit Models: Reply to Machlup, The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 27, pp 51 – 60 (1976)
- Method and Appraisal in Economics (ed.) Cambridge University Press (1976)
- The Role and Status of the Rationality Principle in the Social Sciences, Epistemology, Methodology and the Social Sciences R.S.Cohen & M.W.Wartofsky (Eds) Dordrecht: Reidel (1983)
- Nafplion Revisited, D. Vaz and K. Velupillai (eds.), Inflation, Institutions and Information. Essays in Honour of Axel Leijonhufvud, London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 24–32 (1996)
- Faculty of Management and Economics, Chair of Economics and Philosophy, Witten/Herdeck University, pp 42–57 (2006).
PHILIP NIARCHOS – GREECE
2.5 BILLION (FORBES)
Athens-born Philip Niarchos, 63, is the oldest son of shipping tycoon Stavros Niarchos and Eugenia Livanos Niarchos. Along with his brother Spyros and their cousin Andreas Dracopoulos, they are co-Presidents of the world-renowned philanthropic organization the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).
Niarchos possesses an art collection he inherited from his father, which experts have deemed one of the most significant impressionist and modern art collections in the world, and among other pieces includes Pablo Picasso’s self portrait Yo, Picasso.
He is married to Victoria Christina Guinness of the famed brewery family.
In late December, Interview magazine featured his son Theo, 26, a gallerist whose work is revamping Hollywood. “I just wanted it to be this fresh project space that had no boundaries,” Theo said. “I found it right out of college and opened it pretty much immediately. I see it as my office, with a viewing room downstairs.”
Interview reported that “while many of the artists he’s shown have been his friends or are just starting out, Niarchos is also working with more established names such as Olivier Mosset.”
Beyond art and philanthropy, the family creates other types of betterments around the world. In October, the Telegraph dubbed Philip Niarchos the “Saviour of St. Moritz,” referring to the famed ski haven in Switzerland. Describing how Stavros Niarchos, an avid skier, first invested in the area, the Telegraph reported on Phlip’s current contributions. “First, the Hotel Kronenhof was purchased in 2004; another grande dame, it is similar to the Kulm in age, atmosphere and – after a £24 million investment – quality. Then, before the 2016/17 ski season, agreement was reached for a Niarchos-controlled company to acquire the cable cars at the Diavolezza and Lagalb ski areas, saving the latter from closure.”
TELIS MISTAKIDIS– GREECE/ENGLAND
2.1 BILLION (FORBES)
Born in Rome in 1962, Aristotelis “Telis” Mistakidis is of Greek and British descent. Educated at the London School of Economics, the 55-year-old got his start in the commodities business at Cargill and joined Marc Rich & Co. in 1993, according to Forbes.
He is Director and a 3 percent stakeholder in the commodities and copper mining giant Glencore. As Forbes wrote in early February, “he fell off in 2016 due to a weak commodities market, but is back this year thanks to company stocks rising 213 percent.”
As Success Story reported, Mistakidis “had a number of victories in his short span as a Director in Glencore. Though, the major feature was when Glencore got merged with the Xstrata and subsequently, bought all its shares. In 2011, he was finally acclaimed as a billionaire with the Glencore IPO.Moreover, he has also served as Non-Executive Director of Xstrata till its merger with Glencore and as an Executive Director of Recylex for 12 years, until 2014.”
Despite resigning from the Katanga mining board in November, as the London Evening Standard reported, due to lax financial controls of that mine, he was expected to remain at Glencore.
Success Story wrote that Mistakidis“has received wide acclaim due to his intense knowledge in his discipline and he also had the tactical proficiency in business marketing and strategic operations as well. He worked relentlessly by utilizing his inner strengths.”
CON MAKRIS – AUSTRALIA
800 MILLION (FORBES)
FOOD, REAL ESTATE
With a net worth estimate of $800 million, Kostas “Con” Makris is the richest Greek in Australia. Makris made his fortune, Forbes reports, primarily based on his affinity for shopping malls in Australia. According to Forbes, Makris, 71, “owns nine malls and two office towers and also has approval to develop a five-star hotel in his Adelaide hometown.”
According to his biography on the Makris Group website, Makris came from “humble beginnings in Greece and immigrated to Australia in the 1960s. Working seven days a week, he soon established his own fish ‘n chip shop, and over the coming years, developed a retail portfolio including a chain of chicken shops and several supermarkets.
“In the early 1980s, he sold his chain of chicken shops and acquired his first shopping center in Adelaide. The success of this business grew quickly based on his ability to identify properties and accurately read an area and its demographics.”
Makris bought properties “with good existing cash flow, but with redevelopment opportunities.” His goal was to develop centers that were “aesthetically pleasing but also encapsulated the underlying strategy to make it a successful shopping destination.
“By the early 2000s a number of smaller development projects…had been completed, however, his first major redevelopment project began in 2004 with the $25 million redevelopment of the City Cross Shopping Centre. City Cross provided unique, fresh, retail architecture to the Adelaide scene and established Adelaide’s finest international food court.
“Today, Makris Group is South Australia’s leading privately owned property group with an internal management team. The Group includes shopping centers in South Australia, Victoria, and Queensland. The business has become a major player in the Australian retail property market and continues to expand with a focus towards sub-regional centers and lifestyle retail precincts.”