Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sammy Ofer

Sammy Ofer KBE (born Samuel Herskovich, 22 February 1922 – 3 June 2011) was a businessman, shipping tycoon and one of the wealthiest people in Israel, although most of his time he spent abroad, and managed his businesses from Monte Carlo in Monaco. A member of the Ofer family, the annual Forbes magazine's list of The World's Billionaires estimated in 2011 his fortune, together with his brother Yuli's, to be $10.3 billion, ranked him in 2011 as the 79th in wealthiest people in the world, and the wealthiest man in Israel.

Life and Career
Born in 1922 in Romania, in 1924 Ofer's family immigrated to Mandate Palestine. The family lived in Haifa. After Ofer finished elementary school, he started working as delivery boy for a shipping company.

With the start of the World War II he enlisted in the Royal Navy and during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War served in the Israeli Sea Corps. After finishing his army service, he became a shipping agent with the Eastern Conglomerate, and by 1950 had bought his first ship. Since then, he has expanded in the shipping business.

Ofer's assets, which are partly in his exclusive ownership and partly owned together with his brother Yuli, consist of one of the largest private shipping companies in the world, with total value of almost £2 billion. This includes the companies ZIM, Royal Caribbean International, Israel Corporation, Israel Chemicals, Oil Refineries Ltd, Bank Mizrahi-Tfahot, and Tower Semiconductor.

On 3 June 2011, Ofer died in his house in Tel Aviv at the age of 89. Alon Uziel, a Tel Aviv resident living across of the cemetery where Ofer was buried, was accused of dancing in his balcony during the wake, to protest against the state giving national property to the Ofer Brothers Group unlawfully.

Personal life
Ofer has two sons, Eyal and Idan, who manage different branches of the family businesses.

On 10 November 2008 he was made an Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in recognition of his involvement with maritime heritage in the United Kingdom.

On 27 March 2008, Ofer donated £20 million to London's National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, as part of a £35 million programme of expansion. Ofer donated £3.3 million to help complete the restoration of the Cutty Sark by 2010.

In 2007, Sammy Ofer donated $25 million to the Rambam Health Care Campus, in Haifa, Israel. This contribution was earmarked for two main purposes: $17,000,000 for the 2000-bed fortified underground hospital and $7,000,000 to renovate the existing departments of Surgery, Urology, and ENT.

On 10 June 2010, at the Rambam Summit, Prof. Rafi Beyar, Director of Rambam Health Care Campus, honored Sammy Ofer with the Rambam Award 2010.

From : www.wikipedia.org