Iskandar Safa is the co-owner, with his brother, of Privinvest, the international shipping construction group. Separately, he and his brother have a controlling interest in a French company which develops and manages property projects in Southern France.
Iskandar Safa was born in 1955, in Beirut; his family were Marronite Christians. He qualified as an engineer, graduating from the American University and he soon made his way to America, where he became a civil engineer.
From the US, he relocated to France and while continuing to work he also returned to study, this time focusing on business. In 1982 he graduated with a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the prestigious INSEAD business school in Fontainebleu.
By this stage, Iskandar Safa had already managed major projects, including the building of a military airbase in Saudi Arabia. In 1986 he became President of Triacorp International, only stepping down in 2005. But during this time he and his brother were busy establishing Privinvest, as a major shipbuilding enterprise with a focus on commercial vessels, naval shipping and mega yachts.
In 1992 he was selected to deliver a major industrial reconstruction project in Cherbourg. This involved buying a failing naval shipyard and bringing it back into economic operation. This he achieved in a very short time, turning it round in two years.
More major projects followed, including a partnership with Al Aïn International to set up the Abu Dhabi Mar naval ship building facility. Recently, as CEO of Abu Dhabi MAR, he has been delivering an Israeli navy commission to build four corvette warships.
Colleagues comment that he is extremely hard working, very intelligent, somewhat quiet and a formidable business achiever.