The Richest Men in Greece

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Greece has been one of the countries hit hardest by the ongoing Eurozone crisis. Financial troubles forced its people to the streets and its fellow European nations to negotiations about bailing it out. However the elite of Greece economy appear to be little perturbed by the country’s financial crisis and if media reports1 are to be believed, continue with their usual luxurious lifestyle, albeit keeping a low profile in the uber rich resorts of Europe. Here are some men of Greek origin that you can expect to find on the luxury playing grounds of the world.

  1. Aristotelis Mistakidis

    With a net worth of $2.8 billion, Mistakidis is Greece’s richest man and figures at 418th position in Forbes2012 List of World Billionaires2. Unlike the erstwhile Greek shipping magnates, Mistakidis is a self-made billionaire who has made his fortune in another traditionally profitable Greek industry, mining. After graduating from the London School of Economics, Mistakidis took a position at private commodities giant Cargill where he worked in non-ferrous metals for six years. Mistakidis then joined Marc Rich & Co. In 1993 just before the firm was bought out by management and renamed Glencore. When Glencore went public in 2011, Mistakidis’s investments in the company paid out and he achieved millionaire status. Despite its shares losing nearly 20% of their value since their public debut, the future is bright for Glencore. In February 2012, the firm announced plans to merge with mining outfit Xstrata – a union that  would spawn a $90 billion mining and marketing behemoth on account of the proposed all-stock "merger of equals".

    Like many other wealthy Greek entrepreneurs, Mistakidis does not reside in the country. The 50 year old billionaire lives in Zug, Switzerland with his family which includes his wife and one child.

    TIP: Millionaire Match has many single millionaire men from Greece and other European countries looking for women to date and marry.
     
  2. Spiro Latsis

    Ever since the ancient times, shipping has been a key economic activity in Greece and even today, it continues to be one of the country's most important industries. According to a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development report in 2010, the Greek merchant navy is the largest in the world at 15.96% of the world's total capacity. The modern Greek shipping industry actually owes this pre-eminent position to the 1960s when the size of the Greek fleet nearly doubled, mainly through the investment undertaken by the shipping magnates like Aristotle Onassis and Stavros Niarchos – something that billionaires like Spiro Latsis and other shipping families are still benefiting from. Spiro Latsis is net worth $2.6 billion and figures on the 464th position among World’s billionaires according to Forbes. While originally the Latsis fortune was derived from shipping, in recent times, Spiros Latsis ensured the diversification of business interests in petroleum, finance and real estate. As a result, the family owns almost half the second largest bank in Greece – EFG Eurogbank Greece, and more than a third of Hellenic Petroleum. Apart from this, Spiro Latsis also owns jet operator Privatair, as well as Privatsea, an exclusive yacht club that promises members an exceptional experience onboard some of the world's most spectacular yachts. Spiro Latsis has a Ph.D in economic sciences from London School of Economics and resides in Geneva, Switzerland.

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  3. Philip Niarchos

    Son of Greek shipping tycoon Stavros Niarchos, Philip’s source of wealth is not so much the shipping empire as inheritance of one of the most lucrative private art collections in the world. This includes such masterpieces as Vincent van Gogh's "Self-Portrait with a Bandaged Ear" and Pablo Picasso's self-portrait "Yo, Picasso." however Philip has also expanded his collection by acquiring modern contemporary works as Jean-Michel Basquiat's "Self-Portrait" and Andy Warhol's "Shot Red Marilyn." Commissioned to do Philip's portrait in 1985, Warhol created a series based on CAT-scans of Philip's skull.

    Art experts estimate that the Niarchos art collection is one of the most expensive in private hands which puts his net worth at around $2.5 billion and makes him the 491st billionaire in the world, according to Forbes.
     
  4. Vardis Vardinogiannis

    Vardis is president of the company Motor Oil Hellas. The company has a network of gas stations and sells fuel for airplanes. Apart from petroleum, the Vardinogiannis family has also invested in publishing, television and radio industries, as well as a ferry company that serves the Crete Island among other. All these business interests have contributed to making Vardis one of the richest men in Greece with an estimated net worth of $711.2 million or 560 million Euro3. Born in 1933 in Episkopi, Rethymno husband of Marianna Vardinoyannis, an UNESCO advocate and an active personality in both regional and international level that fights for the rights of children and the family. The two have five children and live in Athens, Greece.
     
  5. Yannis Costopoulos

    With a net worth of $425.5 million or 335 million euros Yannis Costopoulos is one of the richest Greek men as well as the country’s foremost financiers. Yannis is chairman and executive director of one of the largest banks on the Balkan Peninsula – Alpha Bank, which was founded by his grandfather 160 years ago. The Alpha Bank was formed after the acquisition of the Ionian and Popular Bank - the oldest Bank operating in Greece - by Alpha Credit Bank.

    From 1973 to 1984 Yannis served as Managing Director and General Manager of Alpha Bank and he was Chairman of the Board of Directors and General Manager from 1984 to 1996. 1996 onwards till February 2005, Yannis served as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Managing Director of the Banks while since March 2005 Yannis has continued as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Apart from his assets in the Alpha Bank, he is also an owner of the Athens Hilton Hotel besides serving as the chairman of the Board of Directors of Ionian Hotel Enterprises and a Member of the Board of the Institute of International Finance4.

References:

  1. TheGuardian - Greece's super-rich maintain lavish lifestyles and low profile
     
  2. Forbes - The World's Billionaires – Greece
     
  3. Business Insider - 12 Ultra Rich Greeks That Should Have Bailed Out Greece Themselves
     
  4. Bank of Greence - Yannis S. Costopoulos [.PDF]