There was no greater asset than your name.

Especially if you were a banker from the old world.

That’s how Edmond J. Safra did business.

He started Republic National Bank of New York when he was just 32 years old.

And Safra’s first and foremost concern was his customers.

He said: “No one will lose a penny in Republic before I lose everything I have.” In 1999, HSBC bought the bank from Safra for more than $10 billion.

He was called the “greatest banker of his generation.”

And Republic wasn’t the only bank he founded.

In fact, Safra built several banks from scratch and built a global financial empire.

Dan Gross’ most recent book is A Banker’s Journey: How Edmond J. Safra Built a Global Financial Empire.

Dan had access to Safra’s personal archive — and the story that unfolds is astounding.

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Charles Mizrahi

Charles Mizrahi

Founder, Real Talk