Safra, family of Brazilian bankers with Sephardic Jewish roots. They began as merchant bankers in Syria and Lebanon, financing caravans throughout the Middle East. The Safras are also noted philanthropists, having funded numerous institutions, including schools, hospitals, universities, and synagogues.

Jacob E. Safra, 1891–1963, the Brazilian family's patriarch, worked at the family's bank in Aleppo; following the demise of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, he opened a bank in Beirut in the 1920s. After World War II, he moved his family to Brazil. There he established (1955) what became (1957) Banco Safra S.A.; it subsequently became one of the world's most successful private banks.

His second son, Edmond Jacob Safra, 1932–1999, left the family bank and opened (1956) the Trade Devlopment Bank in Geneva, Switzerland, which also became one of the most successful private banks in the world; he sold it to American Express in 1983. He also established the Republic National Bank of New York (1966) and later Safra Republic Holdings S.A. (1988), an affiliated European wealth management firm. He sold both companies to the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) in 1999. In 1996 Edmond cofounded Hermitage Capital Management, an investment fund focused on Russia. He died in a fire under suspicious circumstances in 1999.

Moise Y. Safra, 1935–2014, Jacob's third son, with his younger brother Joseph built Banco Safra into one of Brazil's largest banks. He also made significant investments in telecommunications, natural resources, and real estate. In 2006 he sold his holdings in Banco Safra, Safra National Bank of New York, and Banque Safra-Luxembourg to Joseph.

Joseph Yacoub Safra, 1938–2020, the youngest son, ran the Safra Group, which grew to control a network of international banks. It also had significant real estate holdings, including New York City's 660 Madison Avenue office complex and the Norman Foster–designed London skyscraper nicknamed “The Gherkin,” and investments in Chiquita Brands International and the pulp industry and cattle ranching in Brazil. When he died, he was the wealthiest banker in the world as well as the wealthiest person in Brazil.

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