Joseph Safra, Brazil’s wealthiest man and one of the world’s richest bankers, died of natural causes on Thursday, age 82.
The descendant of a banking family from Syria, Safra moved to Brazil from Lebanon in 1962 and founded Safra Bank, which is now the Latin American country’s eighth largest bank.
At the time of his death, he was the chairman of Safra Group, a network of banking, financial and industrial companies.
His fortune was estimated at close to $23bn. Considered conservative and discreet, the banker maintained a walled 100-room mansion in São Paulo’s upmarket Morumbi neighbourhood. But he lived in Switzerland for the final years of his life.