Nassef Sawiris was little short of born earning and investing money. Sawiris, born in 1961, comes from one of the most influential Egyptian families of entrepreneurs.
In the seventies, his father Onsi founded Orascom, a business empire with companies in telecommunications, tourism and construction.
Nassef, the youngest of the founder’s three sons, initially studied economical sciences in Chicago after graduating from high school. In 1998, he joined the construction division of the family business as head of the cement and fertilizer manufacturer, OCI.
In 2007, OCI was bought out for nine billion euros by French competitor Lafarge, and in recent years Lafarge has merged with the Swiss company Holcim.
If we were to believe the Forbes rich list, then Sawiris can be named as the richest man in Egypt, with a converted fortune of 5.5 billion euros.
The 54-year-old not only holds shares in LafargeHolcim, he also sits on the supervisory board of multiple companies and owns his own investment firm, NNS Holding. It is NNS Holding which secured Sawiris the Adidas AG shares this fall.
The investments of NNS have been made far and wide; Sawiris has invested not only in the fields which he knows well – the construction industry and fertilizer production – but he has also put millions into the technology sector.
With his venture into the US-American technology company Texas Instruments almost 10 years ago, Sawiris made his name as an investor who is not afraid to share his opinion. At the time, he spoke out openly in favor of the company being sold.
Given his family ties, the fact that Sawiris is now investing in a German company is hardly surprising. Nassef and both of his older brothers attended the German school in Cairo and speak the language fluently.
His brother Samih once studied in Berlin, while Naguib is the president of the German-Arab Chamber of Commerce in Cairo.