10. STASINOPOULOS FAMILY $600 MILLION (TNHE) MANUFACTURING
Viohalco (Viomichania Chalkou kai Alouminiou Company), one of the world’s biggest metals mining and trading businesses, is run by brothers Nikolaos and Evangelos Stasinopoulos. Originally founded in 1937 as Hellenic Copper Industry, Viohalco engages in the metal processing of aluminum, copper, and steel. Its subsidiaries focus on technological advancement and R&D and specialize in the manufacture of cables and pipes product solutions.
The company employs more than 8,000 people worldwide and has seen its revenues rise in recent years. A few years ago, Viohalco decided to shift its headquarters and stock market list away from Athens to Brussels over concerns about the local economy.
Viohalco has heavily invested in Romania, Bulgaria, and the UK and achieved a major deal in steel manufacturing with a US-based company.
9. CANELLOPOULOS & PAPALEXOPOULOS FAMILIES $800 MILLION (TNHE) MANUFACTURING
The Canellopoulos and Papalexopoulos families have owned the Titan Cement Company, an international cement and building materials producer, since 1902. Together, they have run the company for almost 120 years and own 40% of the company. Titan has production facilities in 10 countries and a presence in more than 15 countries. With an annual capacity of 27 million metric tons of cement and cementitious materials, it employs about 5,500 people worldwide. The company’s activities include the production, transportation, and distribution of cement, concrete, aggregates, fly ash, mortars and other building materials.
Dimitrios Papalexopoulos is executive director of the Group Executive Committee of Titan. Born in Athens, Greece, Papalexopoulos started his career as a business consultant for McKinsey & Company Inc. in the United States and Germany. He then joined Titan in 1989. He is Vice Chairman of the Board of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV), and Vice-Chairman of the European Round Table for Industry (ERT), while he is a member of the Board of the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) and the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP). He holds a MSc in Electrical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ-1985) and an MBA from Harvard Business School (1987).
Also born in Athens, Greece, Takis Canellopoulos started his career as financial analyst in AIG and later in the Financing Division of EFG Eurobank. He was Investor Relations Director of the Titan Group from 2001 until May 2016. Before that (1995–2001) he had worked in various positions in the Finance Department of the Group.
Currently, he is a member of the Board of Directors of Canellopoulos Adamantiadis S.A. and he is a Founding Partner of 3K Investment Partners. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Union of Listed Companies (ENEISET). He studied Economics (BA) at Brown University and Business Administration (MBA) at New York University/Stern School of Business.
True to form, members of both families are linked to a host of other businesses in Greece through cross-holdings and directorships.
8. THEODORE & GIANNA ANGELOPOULOS $819 MILLION (Forbes) STEEL/SHIPPING Married, 3 children
Theodore Angelopoulos, is a Greek shipping and steel magnate. He lived in Switzerland for many years where he received his BSc in Business Administration from Zurich University.
Theodore’s family developed the steel industry in Greece and began dealing in the dry cargo sector of the shipping industry in the early 1950s. Angelopoulos evolved to become a shipping magnate, acquiring the Dutch shipbuilding company Oceanco and transforming it as a leading shipbuilder of custom-built luxury mega-yachts. He also has invested heavily in real estate and private equities, as well as other financial entities worldwide.
In 1996, Angelopoulos established Metrostar Management in Athens, and entered the oil tanker market in the same year, with his company going on to become one of the world’s leading oil tanker operators.
Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki is a Greek businesswoman. She is best known as being at the helm of organizing the 2004 Olympics in Athens. She was named one of the 50 most powerful women by Forbes.
Born to a middle-class family in Crete, she distinguished herself academically (she studied law at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) and politically (she was appointed Ambassador at Large by the Greek government).
Gianna has served at Harvard University, as vice-chairman of the Dean's Council of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government since 1994, and now also serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Business and Government. In 2011, she established the Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders Program at the HKS to bring distinguished leaders to Harvard in order to interact with students, share lessons learned, and reflect upon the next phase of their public service.
In October 2019, she established the Gianna Angelopoulos Programme for Science Technology and Innovation (GAPSTI) at Cambridge University, which nurtures exceptionally talented early-career scientists, from postgraduate study and research to the successful commercialization of their ideas, through a structured training and research program enhanced by industrial collaboration and entrepreneurial activities.
In 2019, Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, appointed her as President of the Greece 2021 committee for the celebrations of the bicentennial anniversary of the commencement of the Greek Revolution in 1821.
Gianna is the founder and sponsor of the Angelopoulos CGIU Fellowship Program, through which 100 young Greek entrepreneurs have benefited, and is also a leading philanthropist for projects in Greece and around the globe.
7. SOCRATES KOKKALIS $1.2 BILLION (BUSINESS INSIDER) TELECOMMUNICATIONS/SPORTS
Socrates Kokkalis is a Greek entrepreneur and businessman. His father, Petros Kokkalis, was a communist politician and Greek Resistance member, living in exile in East Germany after the end of the Greek Civil War.
Kokkalis is the founder and majority shareholder of Intracom Holdings, one of the largest multinational technology groups in Southern Europe. He is also the chairman, majority shareholder and chief executive officer of Intralot, a gaming technology supplier and licensed lottery operator. He is also chairman at Vodafone-Panafon Hellenic Telecommunications Co. SA. For many years Kokkalis was the president and major shareholder of Olympiacos FC, Greece’s leading football club. His tenure saw Piraeus club conquer 12 top division titles, five Greek Cups, and one Greek Super Cup.
In 1997 Kokkalis became a John Harvard Fellow after establishing the Kokkalis Program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He also established and presides over the Kokkalis Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes “education and training, culture and social welfare, medical research and information technology, and athletics,” both in Greece and abroad.
A fluent speaker of English, German and Russian, Kokkalis also speaks Romanian, Italian, Bulgarian and conversational Serbian and French.
Sokratis S. Kokkalis Jr., the son of Kokkalis, died unexpectedly during a business trip to Cleveland, OH from a drug overdose at the young age of 34. He was found dead in his hotel room in July 2018 after having ingested cocaine laced with heroin and fentanyl. The Ohio drug dealer who sold the young Kokkalis the drugs was sentenced in February of 2020 to 15 years in federal prison.
6. GEORGE ECONOMOU $1.5 BILLION (GCAPTAIN) SHIPPING/ART Massachusetts Institute of Technology; 5 children
George Economou, once known as the “Golden Greek” is a self-made Greek shipping magnate. Born in Athens, his father owned a small paper-products company.
Economou has over 40 years of experience in the maritime industry and has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dryships, Inc. since its incorporation in 2004. Economou took the company public in 2005 on NASDAQ. Dryships owns and operates a fleet of deep-water drilling units, dry bulk carriers and tankers.
The company subsequently invested and developed Ocean Rig UDW Inc., an owner of rigs and ships involved in ultra-deep water drilling. Economou was the chairman of Ocean Rig until December 2018 when it merged with Transocean.
After what Lloyds called “a tumultuous 14 years,” Economou decided to take the company private again. Already an 83% majority shareholder, Economou paid $5.25 per share to outside investors for the remainder of the company (about $75M total). This means that the 32 vessels of the former public company joined Economou’s private group fleet, bringing it to a total of 50 tankers, 57 bulk carriers, 1 containership and 6 offshore support vessels. In addition, TMS Cardiff Gas, helmed by Economou’s son Christos, manages an existing fleet of 5 liquefied natural gas carriers with 11 LNG new buildings on the way.
Economou is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and holds both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering as well as a Master of Science in Shipping and Shipbuilding Management.
Economou is a renowned art collector and in 2012, he opened a public exhibition space for his private collection in the suburbs of Athens. The collection has a focus on early 20th century European art but has expanded to include an important holding of postwar and contemporary pieces. His collecting activity began in the 1990s. Economou is a member of ABS Council, Intertanko Hellenic Shipping Forum, and Lloyds Register Hellenic Advisory Committees. He is also a non-executive trustee for the Tate Foundation, on the board of Trustees of the Dia Art Foundation, and a benefactor to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
5. PETER LIVANOS $1.7 BILLION (BLOOMBERG) SHIPPING Columbia University; Married
Peter Livanos is the son of George P. Livanos who built up Greece’s largest merchant fleet in the 1980s and 1990s. Hoping his son would follow his footsteps, George gave Peter the capital to buy his first ships. Instead, Peter used the money to buy luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin which Peter later called one of his early mistakes. Peter eventually inherited the privately held Ceres Shipping after his father passed away in 1997.
Today, Peter and three others (John Angelicoussis, George Prokopiou, and George Economou) are considered Greece’s largest shipowners by tonnage. He is also the chairman and the biggest shareholder of the publicly listed liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipping company GasLog Ltd. and tanker owner Euronav NV. Livanos reportedly operates over 80 vessels (including 35 GasLog vessels) and serves as chairman of several Ceres subsidiaries, including DryLog Ltd., a company engaged in dry bulk shipping investments. He also owns a smaller ferry line of Russian-made hydrofoils that serve the Greek Islands.
Livanos is one of the original backers of the Global Maritime Forum which is committed to realizing shipping’s potential to increase sustainable economic development and “human well-being.” According to Lloyds List, Livanos’ father is remembered as an innovator and an environmentalist before climate change was widely acknowledged.
Livanos lives between Switzerland, Greece, and England with his family. He is a graduate of The Buckley School in New York, Le Rosey in Switzerland, and Columbia University in New York.
4. VARDIS VARDINOYANNIS $1.7 BILLION (Forbes) OIL/SHIPPING Greek Naval Academy; Married, 5 children
Vardis Vardinoyannis was born in 1933 on the island of Crete – the son of poor farmers. The family had 8 children – six boys and two girls – who all helped out on the fields and farm. Following his graduation from the Greek Naval Academy, he served for a number of years in the Greek Naval Forces before being discharged with the rank of Vice-Admiral.
Vardis J. Vardinoyannis co-founded Motor Oil Hellas, a petroleum company based in Greece, with his late brother in 1970. The company refines crude oil as well as produces and offers petroleum products and lubricants through its network of gas stations. IT also sells fuel for airplanes. Vardinoyannis currently serves as chairman and managing director of the company which went public on the Athens stock exchange in August 2001. Saudi Arabia’s Aramco was a major investor before divesting in 2005.
Vardis’ oldest son, John, is vice chairman of Motor Oil, while his nephew, Nikos, also a major shareholder, is on the board.
Apart from Motor Oil, the family also invests in shipping, finance, media, soccer teams, and an array of other entrepreneurial endeavors in Greece and abroad. They also manage a ferry company that serves Crete among other islands in Greece. On November 20, 1990, the Greek terrorist group, 17 November, attempted to murder Vardinoyannis. He was saved thanks to his bullet-proof Mercedes which was armored according to the specifications of England and France.
Vardinoyannis and his wife, Marianna, are reportedly good friends with the Kennedys and are among the founding members of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Leadership Council along with Bill Clinton and other world leaders. According to the New York Post, the wedding of Rory Kennedy, daughter of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, with Mark Bailey was celebrated in the Vardinoyannis villa in the summer of 1999. Vardinoyannis was included in Lloyd’s List of Most Influential People in Shipping.
3. ARISTOTELIS MISTAKIDIS $2.1 BILLION (Forbes) COMMODITIES London School of Economics
Aristotelis Mistakidis, 57, was described by The Financial Times as one of the most powerful figures in the global copper market. He is known to everyone simply as ‘Telis’ or the “King of Copper.” Bloomberg news said that Mistakidis ruled the copper market; he bought and sold “enough of the red metal to supply every factory in the U.S. twice over.”
A native of Thessaloniki, Mistakidis spent his early childhood in Rome, where his marine biologist father worked for the United Nations. He eventually moved to England to attend a boarding school in Essex before studying at the London School of Economics.
Mistakidis got his start in commodities at Cargill where he traded non-ferrous metals and joined March Rich & Co. in 1993. Later, the firm was bought by management and renamed Glencore where he moved up to manage both copper trading and mining.
He first became a billionaire in 2011 when Glencore went public, and currently owns more than 3% of the company’s stock (one of Glencore’s largest stakeholders).
Mistakidis stepped down from his role as the director of Glencore’s copper business at the end of 2018 – after more than two decades at the company. In 2018, Canadian regulators fined and banned him from serving as a director due to compliance violations. He was replaced by another Greek, Nico Paraskevas. A few days ago it was announced that the “billionaire boys’ club” behind Glencore (which includes Mistakidis) would reap more than 400 million GBP in dividends. According to the Daily Mail former executive Mistakidis who owns 3.36% of the overall shares will get 67.5 million GBP.
In a Bloomberg News profile of Mistakidis in October of 2018, his current and former colleagues, clients, and competitors described him as energetic, cheerful and charming, but a sharp and ruthless negotiator. He speaks five languages and according to various reports, Mistakidis is still a workaholic with an endless appetite for information, whose first passion is for markets and the political and economic shifts that move them.
2. JOHN ANGELICOUSSIS FLEET VALUATION: $7.6 BILLION (VesselsValue) SHIPPING Married, 1 child
Although John Anthony Angelicoussis does not appear individually on an international wealth ranking, as Greece’s largest ship owner, TNH thought Angelicoussis is definitely worth mentioning.
Born in 1948, Angelicoussis is the owner of the Angelicoussis Shipping Group.
His father bought the family’s first ship in 1953 and in 1968 he and his partner, Dimitris Efthymiou, established the Agelef Shipping Company. John Angelicoussis joined his father’s company in 1973.
In 1987, Anangel-American Shipholdings was floated on the Luxembourg stock market. Two years later the company listed in Nasdaq, where it remained until it was delisted in 2001.
As of 2018, Angelicoussis’ companies own 126 active vessels with a capacity of more than 18 million deadweight tons (the industry’s measurement for how much ships carry, according to data compiled by maritime newspaper Shipping Finance). His family’s stake in the fleet is valued at $2.4 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. He remains Greece’s largest shipowner both in terms of value and tonnage of the fleet owned in 2019.
VesselsValue said that Greece remained the World’s largest shipowning nation by value with the fleet worth $99.82B, followed by China with a fleet valued at $91.7B and Japan at $89.27B.
Harry Fafalios, the chairman of the Greek Shipping Cooperation Committee said of Angelicoussis: “he’s one of the great men of our industry.”
Angelicoussis is married to Elizabeth Angelicoussis. Their only daughter, Dr. Maria Angelicoussis, has trained as a doctor and has worked for the Angelicoussis Group since 2009. She is involved in all major investment decision making and in the daily operations of the company. In December of 2015, she was awarded the Lloyd’s List Next Generation Greek Shipping Award for “successfully taking on the challenge of managing one of the world’s largest and most respected family-controlled shipping groups.” She graduated from Cambridge University and worked as a hospital doctor in the UK before joining the Angelicoussis Shipping Group in 2008.
1. SPIROS J. LATSIS $2.7 BILLION (Forbes) INVESTMENTS/SHIPPING London School of Economics; Married, 2 children
Spiros J. Latsis, 73, is a Greek billionaire and business magnate and the #838 wealthiest person in the world, according to Forbes. He is one of three siblings (Marianna and Margarita) and is the son of Erietta Tsoukala and John Latsis, who started building the family fortune in the 1930s as a trader and later, as a ship owner.
Born on New Year’s Day in 1946, Latsis spent much of his childhood in Athens before attending the London School of Economics where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics, his master’s degree in Logic and Scientific Method, and his doctorate in Philosophy.
He has been managing the family fortune since his father, Greek shipping tycoon John S. Latsis, passed away in 2003.
The Latsis family still has a foot in the shipping business through Latsco Shipping (which owns a fleet of more than a dozen oil tankers and liquefied petroleum gas carriers), though they are now also invested in banking, real estate, and oil.
The Latsis family owns stakes in oil company Hellenic Petroleum and Lambda Development (whose projects include The Mall Athens and Golden Hall Mall), a publicly traded real estate developer in southeastern Europe. They also have a stake in EFG International, a Zurich-based private banking group of which Latsis is a board director. EFG is reportedly the family’s largest holding. Latsis also started PrivateAir, a jet charter service with over 50 planes in its repertoire serving affluent European and American travelers, which he has since sold. He also owns a 300-passenger private cruise ship that is chartered through his yacht services company called PrivatSea.
In 2019 it was announced that Lambda Development, the company that is leading the international consortium planning the $8.85 billion development of the abandoned Hellenikon International Airport, would buy out its two partners. The consortium’s plans are to turn the former airport into a complex of luxury residences, hotels, yachting marina, and casino after the original plans to create the largest urban park in Europe were set aside during an economic crisis.
Latsis is a board trustee of Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study and has been a visiting professor at Harvard University Graduate School of Education and Boston University.