Born in 1955 in Beirut, Lebanon, Iskandar Safa is the CEO of Privinvest Group, a world leader of the naval construction sector founded by Safa along with his brother, Akram Safa. Iskandar Safa attended the American University of Beirut during the 1970s, and obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering in 1978. At this time, he moved to the United States to embark on his career in the public works sector employed as a junior civil engineer before spending a few years in Saudi Arabia.
After devoting some time to living and working in the U.S. and Saudi Arabia managing construction operations, Iskandar Safa moved to France to advance his educational pursuits and in 1982, graduated from INSEAD in Fontainebleau with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. It was during the 1980s that he began to develop an interest in naval construction, a passion that Safa believes is connected to his Lebanese heritage.
In the early 1990s, Iskandar Safa was elected by the Comité Interministériel de Restructuration Industrielle to purchase a shipyard based in Cherbourg, France by the name of Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie which was facing a difficult downturn. Safa managed to turn the company around and relaunch their activities in the region. Today, the CMN is a thriving company employing around 400 people with Safa as its primary shareholder. Moving forward from the momentum of this success, Safa set his sights on investing in the naval construction industry of the Middle East and Europe.
In 2007, working with Al Aïn International, Iskandar Safa created the Abu Dhabi naval construction site, or ADM, which was fully purchased by Privinvest in 2011. Today, Privinvest is one of the world’s premier privately-owned shipbuilding groups with state of the art facilities in France, Germany, the Mediterranean, U.K., and the Middle East.