The Sassoon household saga: The Israeli section

2021-04-23 01:29:05

 J.Sassoon Group is at present launching its enterprise in Israel, it’s a continuation of one of many oldest investments and monetary homes on the planet, owned by one of many oldest households on the planet, a Jewish household with roots courting again to the traditional Kingdom of Israel. The documented fashionable historical past of the Sassoon household begins within the early eleventh century in Spain. The household’s identify was then generally known as “Ibn Shoshan,” and over time it advanced into the fashionable model “Sassoon.” Within the twelfth century, the Sassoon household established a buying and selling and banking establishment in Toledo, Spain. When the household was expelled in the course of the Inquisition, it rooted itself in Thessaloniki, Greece, and laid the foundations for its enterprise actions within the nation. In 1523, Moshe Sassoon based Sassoon Frères & Co., a buying and selling home in Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire. The corporate additionally served as a service provider financial institution and it established buying and selling posts within the Center East, India, China, Indonesia, South Africa and Brazil.

“The Rothschilds of the East”

The extra well-known department of the household is the Baghdad-Mumbai-British department, of which David Sassoon is taken into account the patriarch and also known as “the Rothschilds of the East,” reflecting the marital ties between the 2 households and, whose descendants can as we speak primarily be present in Britain. David’s youthful brother Joseph married into the Dayan household from Aleppo, Syria. While the Aleppo-Cairo-USA department is lesser recognized because the 18th century its wealth far exceeded that of their British cousins and surpassing the wealth of the Rothschilds. At the moment, descendants of the Aleppo branches of this Sephardic dynasty are unfold throughout six continents and run a protracted record of companies, and are concerned in varied fields resembling science, expertise, banking and even politics. 

In 1840, Joseph Sassoon took over Sassoon Frères & Co., and rebranded the corporate as The Sassoon Service provider Home, establishing a buying and selling enterprise in Aleppo. Joseph expanded commerce to Africa, South America, and the US, therefore establishing the muse for the American department of the Sassoon household. In 1858, Joseph Sassoon was one of many first traders to participate in financing the development of the Suez Canal. Joseph’s household department attributes their success to a stability between sustaining Jewish values and enterprise exercise, in accordance with the Sephardic-Jewish traditions on which the patriarch and his descendants had been all educated, emphasizing charity, social justice and Tikkun Olam.

In 1921, the corporate was consolidated and relaunched as Sassoon & Co and the top workplace moved from Aleppo to Cairo. In 1952, the agency was amongst one of many first traders and founders of Banque du Caire (Financial institution of Cairo), which was nationalized in 1959 by the federal government. In 1965, after the expulsion of the Jewish group from Egypt by Gamal Abdel Nasser, Sassoon & Co relocated to the US. In 2010, after the demise of the chairman, Eliyahu Nissim Sassoon the corporate ceased operations. In 2020, David E. Sassoon, Eliayhu’s grandson was appointed Chairman of the board and he reinvigorates the corporate along with his ardour and imaginative and prescient rebranding it as J. Sassoon Group, in honor and as a tribute to the patriarch of the Aleppo Sassoons.

The household’s philosophy remained resolute.

J. Sassoon Group has already invested in Israeli expertise companies and concepts, resembling 3D printing applied sciences and continues to discover different alternatives. In an interview with Menahalim journal, the group’s CEO, Bruce Fein, guarantees that the J. Sassoon Group has formidable funding plans in Israel.

“The enterprise setting adjustments, and with it the group’s enterprise targets and fashions, however the want and intention to do mitzvot, giving charity and buying knowledge, data and understanding will at all times stay steadfast within the Sassoon household,” says Fein. “On this sense, the household philosophy has not modified. Know-how has modified, however our rules haven’t. While you have a look at us as a enterprise that has existed in a single type or one other since 1495 to the current day – we now have developed numerous data and understanding that helps us navigate the world.”

Fein got here to the group from a really completed and extremely distinguished authorized profession. After graduating from Harvard Legislation Faculty, he traveled to Washington, the place he labored as a prosecutor within the Justice Division at a decisive time in US historical past. The Watergate scandal broke, and Fein was known as upon to assist. “It was loopy,” he remembers. “I used to be solely 25 and right here I used to be working in crucial place on the planet. I might typically go to the White Home the place a part of my job was to research allegations in opposition to the US president. That was my job, to discover and problem essentially the most highly effective man on the planet. It was a novel expertise that offered me with the understanding and talent to by no means be blinded by energy and authority.”

Later, Fein was promoted to Affiliate Deputy Legal professional Basic in the course of the Reagan administration. He continued to advance and was appointed Basic Counsel for the Federal Communications Fee. His experience in constitutional and worldwide regulation introduced him to function a constitutional regulation advisor to many nations together with Russia, South Africa and South Korea. “I taught constitutional regulation and ethics at college, I’m additionally the grasp trustee and basic counsel for the Sassoon Household Continuation Belief. For me this can be a nice honor. This implies serving a real dwelling legend that overcame the obstacles of historical past and has accomplished so inside the framework of Jewish values.” How was the connection made between you and the Sassoon household?

“I used to be first launched to the Sassoon Household Continuation Belief by a good friend of mine, and I grew to become the overall counsel for the Belief. That is once I met David E. Sassoon, earlier than he grew to become Chairman of the board and earlier than he took over after his grandfather’s passing. I used to be lucky to acknowledge his talents, integrity and dedication to his household’s values and beliefs. We developed mutual respect and friendship; David was raised with robust Jewish values which have performed a central function in growing his management qualities. He possesses spectacular analytical expertise that he developed as an intelligence operative, coupled along with his deep data of the political panorama, notably of the Center East, each of that are complimented and enhanced by his experiences of worldwide markets, discovered at his grandfather’s ft. These mixtures make him an astute financier and investor. Within the face of rising antisemitism and hatred on the planet, I used to be impressed by David’s place on many points, notably his uncompromising, unwavering and unapologetic stance in the direction of his Jewish heritage, religion and identification. For David these are the conditions for a model of integrity, stability and success which his ancestors constructed. 

David like a lot of his relations and ancestors, is a linguist, mastering seven languages. He’s additionally extremely educated, holds an undergraduate diploma in neurobiology, and two grasp’s levels in political science, and worldwide banking & finance. He has held intelligence and counter-terrorism roles inside the American intelligence group for greater than twenty years in lots of elements of the world. He brings with him data that may be a important a part of his enterprise choices and funding technique.”

Former intelligence and counter terrorism officer John Kiriakou, who served within the CIA for over fifteen years mentioned in an interview: “I’ve recognized David for greater than 20 years, he is without doubt one of the most principled individuals I labored with, we had been each employed with US intelligence and served collectively in Europe and the Center East. David and I labored collectively on counterterrorism points till I left the federal government’s make use of in 2004. David comes from a patriotic and well-regarded household in the US. Each of his mother and father had been killed by terrorists, and David has devoted a lot of his grownup life to combating terrorism. During the last a number of years, he has taken over management of his household’s agency, and in that place, he has centered on creating alternatives for entrepreneurs, start-ups and assist carry an power of creativity, innovation and a no-nonsense perspective.”Members of the Sassoon family from Cairo and Aleppo (Family Portrait), 1930s. (Photo credit: Sabah Studios in Cairo)Members of the Sassoon household from Cairo and Aleppo (Household Portrait), Thirties. (Photograph credit score: Sabah Studios in Cairo)

Searching for corporations which can be altering the principles of the sport.

The enterprise sectors by which the J. Sassoon Group operates don’t essentially have a standard denominator. The group sees itself as a conglomerate that’s concerned in every part, or as Bruce Fein places it: “By our historical knowledge we now have developed sure funding standards. For instance, the affect a enterprise creates and its anticipated lifespan. If a enterprise doesn’t meet these standards – we don’t spend money on it. One level we now have clarified over time is to mix the group’s monetary capabilities with its creativity. After we face a enterprise problem, it excites us. As soon as we perceive the foundation of the issue, we design the answer. Israel has human capital that may clear up issues, foresees the long run and realizes it rapidly and effectively. These items make Israel a promising funding in the long term.”

What are your corporation plans for Israel?Fein: “That is our Chairman, David E. Sassoon’s brainchild, we focus on start-ups, however not solely in typical technological areas. We’re searching for corporations which can be fully altering the principles of the sport, even small companies that problem the established order. We wish to accompany companies and make our collective community accessible to them, we do that underneath our Community as a Service (NaaS) program to assist such corporations, establish new alternatives and open new markets. “

Maintain the data in Israel.

Fein isn’t solely a businessman, but additionally a heat Jew. The phrases “Judaism,” “Israel” and “Tikkun Olam” are woven all through the interview with him. Concern for Israel is an integral a part of his worldview and shapes his administration of the enterprise in representing the household. “Now we have observed that within the final 20 years, Israeli corporations have been offered to international corporations and moved to different nations,” he says. “We consider that you will need to preserve the data in Israel. The depletion of human and mental capital within the nation (what you name ‘mind drain’) is harmful to the financial development of any nation and its financial and nationwide safety. Human capital is Israel’s strongest asset. With out it, Israel’s financial development might be in jeopardy – and it’s possible you’ll lose this synergy. Due to this fact, we now have taken on the duty of serving to companies at first of their path to proceed to develop right here in Israel.”

What are the challenges your corporation should cope with?

Fein: “Relating to massive corporations, stagnation, lack of creativity and organizational forms are Achilles’ heels. We don’t wish to be like Kodak, which rejected the digital digital camera due to billions that had already been invested in movie growth chemical substances. Steven Sassoon, a Kodak worker and inventor of the self-contained digital digital camera, provided the digital camera to Kodak. Following Kodak’s rejection, he resigned, however Kodak went bankrupt. In 2009, US president Barack Obama awarded Sassoon the Nationwide Medal of Know-how and Innovation. Searching for innovation answer pushed corporations is a cornerstone in our marketing strategy, it’s an integral a part of our company DNA. “

Inform us in regards to the Sassoon Israel – Hellenic fund?

Fein: “The fund was set as much as spend money on the Japanese Mediterranean, together with Greece, Cyprus and Israel. The Sassoon household has had a particular relationship with Greece for hundreds of years. Israeli-Greek relations have lately warmed, and we wish to assist them. One of many issues in Greece is that they’re lagging in expertise compared with Israel and different Western nations. Greece ought to look to Israel as a mannequin. A technologically superior however small nation that may simply and comfortably face larger and stronger rivals. This is a chance for Israel to share its technological benefit – construct a business bridge connecting the East to the West and it will serve each nations and create stability within the area.”

The J. Sassoon Group prides itself on being a solution-driven investor. The corporate has been collaborating with ASDERA, based by famend epidemiologist Dr. Knut Wittkowski, which developed a meals complement that strengthens the immune system and treats respiratory infections. The product has already acquired FDA and EU approval and now J. Sassoon Group is searching for potential companions and distributors.”

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