A Banker's Journey: How Edmond J. Safra Built a Global Financial Empire

21,000+ Reviews
Bookshop.org has the highest-rated customer service of any bookstore in the world
Product Details
$34.99  $32.54
Radius Book Group
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.1 X 1.1 inches | 1.45 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate
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.

"Edmond Safra's extraordinary life is one of the most fascinating
stories in modern finance, but the story runs much deeper than his legendary
success. A Banker's Journey captures the fullness of a man whose mind
for business and appetite for adventure was matched only by his heart for
giving and sense of responsibility to others. His impact continues to be felt,
and now the inspiring lessons from his life will reach an even wider audience."

--Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg
Philanthropies and Mayor of New York City, 2002-2013

"Edmond J. Safra's remarkable story comes alive through the
extensive research of Daniel Gross. Safra's banking success made him a public
figure, but his generosity, dignity, and integrity are what A Banker's
masterfully showcases as the qualities by which he will be

--Bryan Burrough, co-author of Barbarians at the Gate and
author of Vendetta: American Express and the Smearing of Edmond Safra

"Edmond Safra was a remarkable
leader, builder, dreamer, philanthropist, and financial services
executive. I was honored to know him and work closely with
him for two decades. From the moment I picked up Daniel Gross's book, I
literally, and I say literally, could not put it down. It was a
fantastic journey through an incredible life. Edmond always put his
company, employees, and depositors first. He cared deeply
about this 'extended family, ' and he always had their backs. Edmond was
also very philanthropic, as he supported a number of religious
organizations. For any aspiring business or community leader, this book
is a must read. Edmond was one of the most talented
leaders I have ever been around, and our world is a much better place
because of him."

--Sandy Weill, Former Chairman and CEO of Citigroup

"Daniel Gross's graceful and factual recounting of the life of the great banker and philanthropist Edmond Safra is a joy to read, and inspiring."--Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal

"Most readers will know Edmond J. Safra as a towering banker who
helped define the modern economic era. Daniel Gross's 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. His legacy of a deep and boundless commitment to family,
faith and generosity holds timeless lessons for us all, no matter what journey
we find ourselves on. Absorbing, highly-recommended reading."

--Michael J. Fox

"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

"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

"Commercial banking was Edmond's heritage and his consuming passion. At an age when most of us were thinking about what college we'd like to enter, he was sent out pretty much on his own to explore business opportunities in both Europe and America. He built his banks, made his money, and, not so incidentally, established his name the old-fashioned way. But when it came to a decision, Edmond could match any modern entrepreneur. Through it all, Edmond was strongly motivated by a more personal responsibility that couldn't be counted in numbers."
--Paul Volcker, Chair of the Federal Reserve (1979-1987)

"The lessons to be learned from following Edmond Safra's career
are remarkable. He shaped a generation of young, serious, and brilliant
bankers, and this book is a can't-miss for those who are entering the banking

--Leonard A. Lauder, Chairman Emeritus of The Estée Lauder
Companies Inc.

"Edmond Safra's life and career were unique in many ways. A daring
entrepreneur and successful banker, he created an innovative, prosperous, and
respected financial network around the world. An aesthete, collector, and great
patron of the arts, he had an inexhaustible curiosity that embraced many areas.
As a philanthropist, he left his mark on the 20th century by actively
committing himself to numerous causes with faith, attention, and discipline. I
am delighted that Daniel Gross's biography goes through the different stages of
Edmond's rich life and pays tribute to an extraordinary man."

--Francois Pinault, founder of Kering and Artemis

"Edmond Safra was a giant in the world of international finance.
He was a true financial pioneer, and learning from him helped guide me as I was
building my career. There is a lot to learn from reading his biography for
anyone interested in finance, whether you are just starting out, or steeped in
the profession."

--Henry Kravis, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman, KKR

"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)

"In the life of Edmond Safra, we see
the brilliance, the creativity, and most of all, the resilience of the Jewish
people throughout time. Faced with obstacle after obstacle including
displacement, prejudice, and more, my friend Edmond not only survived but
excelled--beyond the dreams of most people. This is an extraordinary book about
an extraordinary man. Now, future generations will learn about Edmond,
especially at a time when his form of integrity seems to be in short supply."

--Ronald S. Lauder, President, World
Jewish Congress

"Edmond Safra was truly unique, founding four banks on three
continents--all of them successful. To start Republic National Bank of New York
and grow it into a thriving institution in one of the world's most competitive
markets was an extraordinary achievement, and he repeated this success again
and again around the world. He was the rare combination of conservative banker
and brilliant, thoughtful risk-taker. Edmond cared deeply for his staff and his
clients, and, perhaps above all, he changed the lives of millions of people
through the help he gave to schools, hospitals, and other causes. He was
inspirational and an example to us all, and I am delighted that his story is
finally being told."

--Sir John Bond, Group Chairman HSBC Holdings (1998-2006)

"He is like a tree planted beside the streams of water which
yields its fruit in season whose leaves shall not fade. in all that he does he
These words from Psalm 1:3, carved in stone at Somerset House,
are displayed in honor of Edmond. His philanthropy to many institutions and
good causes across the world were achieved by this modest, sensitive and
extraordinary man, primus inter pares in the generation of Sephardic
Jews who left the Middle East after the Second World War, to establish themselves
with immense success in the wider world as men of business.

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. The range of support he
gave to his people and the wide range of institutions is beyond belief--and at
the same time, in addition to his commercial success and his prodigious generosity,
he was able, helped at all times by his wife Lily, to become a connoisseur and
collector of fine arts of extraordinary quality.

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. The
sadness is of a life tragically lost to us at too young an age, but this book
will enable us to make the life of Edmond imperishable in our memory. It is a
remarkable story which will be an example to us all."

--Lord Jacob Rothschild

"Extensively researched, and engagingly written...Gross's biography is an important contribution to the study of the Lebanese Jewish diaspora, one that is sure to find many readers among its descendants throughout the Americas, Europe, and Israel, and among others interested in economic and financial history."--Sephardic Horizons