Banque Safra France
Banque privée / Gestion de patrimoine
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In the financial sector, the past has an unparalleled importance in determining the present and providing solid guarantees for the future.
It was in the 19th century and the memory of Napoleon's military campaigns was still fresh in the minds of Europeans. The world was becoming well aware of the effects of the Industrial Revolution as the economies of Europe, the Mediterranean and the North America flourished, all thanks to the major inventions - the steam engine and electricity - and the movement of ships, caravans and now railroads that transported and sold agricultural products and the most diverse merchandise.
Financing for this intense commercial movements came from bankers, who would one day become legends. Families like the Rothschilds in Europe, the Rockfellers later in America and the Safras in the Middle East began this lineage of financiers, laying the foundation for modern banking based on improved communication and the growing demand for trade between cities.
Particularly intense was the exchange of merchandise between the ports and cities of Europe, such as Paris, Nice, Marseille, Madrid, Barcelona, Naples, Trieste, Genoa and Venice with cities like Alexandria, Athens, Istanbul, Beirut, Damascus, Aleppo, Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. In this region of the Middle East, members of one Jewish family became known for a long tradition of dedication to financing in gold, earning them, in turn, the Arab name for the color of the precious metal: Safra.
One of the major centers of trade was Aleppo, a city in northwestern Syria. It was there that merchants and goods from the East and West converged. The city was also home to the Safra family, who with their cosmopolitan vocation financed trade and exchanged currencies from several different countries in Asia, Europe, and Africa, including the Ottoman Empire's "para", Venice's "zecchini" and Austrian Empress Maria Theresa's "thaler". In Aleppo, Jacob Safra, the patriarch, was known for his exceptional ability to mentally calculate the conversion of several currencies as well as the financial costs for each and every one of his clients.