A BANKER’S JOURNEY:
HOW EDMOND J. SAFRA BUILT A GLOBAL FINANCIAL EMPIRE
By DANIEL GROSS
Published on 13th October 2022
By Radius Book Group
Hardback | £24.99 | ISBN 978-1635767858
“Anyone who knew my treasured friend Edmond Safra was keenly aware that he was a remarkable person: thoughtful, welcoming, intelligent. With this definitive account of his life, a broader audience can marvel at his accomplishments, remember his enduring contributions, and carry forward the lessons of a life lived with purpose and humility.”
— Elton John
“Daniel Gross’ vibrant account will make them aware of Safra’s open-handed humanitarian instinct that stood in equal measure to his financial genius — an instinct that continues “repairing the world” to this day…. Absorbing, highly recommended reading.” — Michael J. Fox
Who was Edmond J. Safra? “The greatest banker of his generation,” in the estimation of a former World Bank President. The founder of four massive financial institutions on three continents, and a proud child of Beirut’s Jewish quarter. An innovative avatar of financial globalization, and a faithful heir to a tradition of old-world banking. The leading champion and protector of the Sephardic diaspora.
In A Banker’s Journey, financial journalist and historian Daniel Gross, who, like Safra, traces his heritage to Aleppo, Syria, reconstructs the public life of an intensely private man. With exclusive access to Safra’s personal archives, Gross tracks the banker’s remarkable journey from Beirut to Milan, São Paulo, Geneva, and New York—to the pinnacle of global finance.
Edmond Safra was fifteen in 1947, when his father sent him to establish a presence in Milan, Italy. Fluent in six languages, and with an eye for value, managing risk, and personal potential, Safra was in perpetual motion until his tragic death in 1999. The modern, global financial empire he built was based on timeless principles: a banker must protect his depositors and avoid excessive leverage and risk. In an age of busts and bailouts, Safra posted remarkable returns while rarely suffering a credit loss.
From a young age, Safra assumed the mantle of leadership in the Syrian-Lebanese Jewish community, providing personal aid, supporting the communities that formed in exile, and championing Sephardic religious and educational efforts in Israel and around the world. Edmond J. Safra’s life of achievement in the twentieth century offers enduring lessons for those seeking to make their way in the twenty-first century. He inspired generations to make the world a better place.
About The Author
Daniel Gross is one of the most widely read writers on finance, economics, and business history. Over the past three decades, he has reported from more than thirty countries, covering everything from the dotcom boom to the global financial crisis and the Great Recession of 2008–2009.
Gross worked as a reporter at The New Republic and Bloomberg News, wrote the “Economic View” column in The New York Times, and served as Slate’s “Moneybox” columnist. At Newsweek, where he was a columnist and correspondent, he authored seven cover stories. He is a bestselling author of eight books, including Forbes Greatest Business Stories of All Time; Generations of Corning; Dumb Money: How America’s Greatest Financial Minds Bankrupted the Nation; and Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Decline and the Rise of a New Economy.
Gross was educated at Cornell University and holds an M.A. in American history from Harvard University. His great-grandparents immigrated to the United States from Aleppo and Damascus.
#ABankersJourney | @grossdm
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Further praise for A Banker’s Journey:
“Edmond used his exceptional talents to create and build banking businesses which spanned more than thirty countries across the globe; in addition, he inherited from his parents a sense of duty and obligation to the Jewish community who were to him an extended family… It is timely that a book is now being published to describe the achievements of this brilliant man whose personality and character touched all of us who were fortunate enough to have known and admired him. Edmond’s remarkable life will now be recorded and celebrated by future generations. It is a remarkable story which will be an example to us all.”
– Lord Rothschild (Jacob)
“This is an extraordinary book about a remarkable man. Edmond J. Safra may be best known as an immensely successful global financier, but he was a person of many significant qualities: devoted to his family, his faith, and to the deep value of education for individuals from many backgrounds. He gave generously to several universities, and the story of his life is now told in an exceptional way, with fine scholarly detail that makes vivid all the humane aspects of this exceptional human being.”
– Neil L. Rudenstine, President Emeritus, Harvard University
“Upon meeting Edmond Safra for the first time fifty years ago I was immediately struck by his complete and total dedication to the safety and security of his bank’s depositors and also by his deep and sincere admiration of America as a land of opportunity. Although many consider him to have been the greatest banker of the 20th century, he never lost his sense of modesty nor his belief that success must be built upon trustworthiness and compassion. This is a book that must be read.”
– Arthur Levitt Jr., Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (1993-2001)