Moise Safra, the wealthy Brazilian banker whose family paid $1.4 billion last summer for a 40 percent stake in the General Motors building along with Chinese real estate developer Zhang Xin, died Sunday at age 79.
Safra was born into a Syrian Jewish banking family in Aleppo in 1935. He sold half of Brazilian bank Banco Safra and holdings in other Safra-owned banks in New York and elsewhere to his brother Joseph Safra in 2006 for an estimated $2 billion.
Dubbed the second-richest family in Brazil by Forbes — with a combined net worth of $20.1 billion — the family most recently picked up a mixed-use building in Soho for $26 million in March.
A Syrian Jewish center currently under construction on the Upper East Side is slated for completion this year and will be named after him, Forbes reported.
Safra is survived by his wife and five children. [Forbes] — Julie Strickland