BBC made a special tribute to the principal executive of Libra Group George Logothetis. The group which includes 30 subsidiaries spans 26 locations across four continents. Libra Group predominantly focuses on shipping, aviation, real estate, hospitality and renewable energy.
Logothetis first joined his family’s shipping company in 1993, becoming CEO a year later at the age of 19. In the ensuing years he presided over the company’s transformation from three vessels into a fleet of 55. He created the Libra Group as a means of diversifying the family’s business which was facilitated by the sale of 67 vessels between 2004 and 2007.
As he stressed, “The aim then was to build a respected and well-run shipping company, and to maintain and enhance the unity of my family into the next generation.”
The idea to diversify came to him while he was on a three-month sabbatical in New York in 2003.
“Ideas need space to be born. In today’s world of a thousand emails and constant information being pumped into you, there’s something very inspiring about being cut off for a certain amount of time,” he noted.
Today the group has a collection of 40 hotels and restaurants and a global real estate portfolio in prime locations such as Buenos Aires, New York, London, Athens and Singapore. Meanwhile, under his direction Libra’s shipping fleet has grown to almost 60 vessels and the group has acquired fixed wing aircrafts and helicopters valued at nearly $5 billion.
However, it is still very much a family company given that his three brothers are also involved in the business.
“We are more proud about how we’ve built [the company] as opposed to what we’ve built,” Logothetis said, “because we have built it on the basis of traditional Greek family values.”
“We’re big believers in Greece… We have started to see movement in Greece in our businesses there. Movement predicates growth,” he said, and pointed to the fact that advance bookings at Libra’s Grace hotels in Greece are 30% higher than they were this time last year.
He concluded by saying, “If we cannot preserve and protect the family feel of the group then I feel we will have failed.”