The work of Spiro Latsis and the John S Latsis Public Benefit Foundation

Greek shipping tycoon John S. Latsis was well known for his philanthropy and his family is continuing the tradition. In fact, his wife and all three of his children, including son Spiro Latsis, make up the Supervisory Board of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, which manages the various charitable initiatives that the Latsis family is involved in.

Spiro LatsisThe Foundation designs and implements its own programmes and finances programmes in partnership with others. Most of these programmes are in the fields of education, social welfare, scientific research and culture and while the majority of activities are focused on Greece, there are some programmes in other countries too that benefit from the Foundation.

Among the Foundation’s educational programmes are the series of international summer schools it funds. For example, the Pallas Athena Building, where the Foundation’s headquarters is located, serves as the venue each year for a summer school organised by universities and research centres in Greece. The Foundation also provides funding for an annual summer school programme at the University of Trento in Italy, where the focus is on economics and the solving of financial crises.

The issue of financial crises is of course close to the hearts of many Greeks who have lost their homes and businesses due to the crisis in that country. The Foundation started ‘It is Our Duty’, a social solidarity programme that aims to provide relief to those suffering most from the impact of the crisis, including children, the homeless, the unemployed and the newly poor.

Research is another area important to Spiro John Latsis and his family. Every year, the Foundation funds academic research projects in fields such as life sciences, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, earth sciences and social sciences. In addition, the European Science Foundation awards the prestigious European Latsis Prize every year on behalf of the Latsis family in recognition of outstanding contributions to scientific research in Europe.

Culture isn’t left behind either. In addition to sponsoring concerts and theatrical performances, the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation is also the driving force behind the creation of a series of books focusing on archaeological museums. These are available in open access digital format and are free of charge.

With such a diverse range of activities, it is clear that the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation is doing more than its bit to help benefit humanity and create a better world for everyone. However, allocating its time and energy doesn’t happen in a haphazard way. The Foundation carefully considers each possible project first to determine those that will make the greatest impact in the long run.

Spiro Latsis | John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation Launches Little Musicians Programme

Nikos Tsouchlos, the president of the Athens conservatory, notes how the economic crisis hit Greece hard. Children have been forced to grow up in a harsh economy, and art is often the last thing on a parent’s minds. However, due to the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, it doesn’t have to remain that way.

Spiro LatsisThe Little Musicians initiative was launched officially at the Athens Conservatory, in the concert hall, in July 2013. Spiro Latsis, a member of the supervisory board of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, helped to oversee the launch for his clients. The objective is to improve musical education throughout Greece, and the foundation has managed to contribute to the effort by providing a scholarship programme for exceptionally talented students. The foundation, set up in memory of John S. Latsis, the father of Spiro Latsis, is dedicated to enhance public good throughout the world, but especially in Greece, from where the Latsis family originated.

Spiro John LatsisThe scholarship is targeted toward children residing in the Greek state of Attica, and is intended for anyone from the beginner to experienced musicians. Months into the launch of the programme the first scholarships have already been awarded. Every student who participated in the programme had between half and all of their tuition costs paid, depending on the economic situation of the parents. Auditions took place throughout September of 2013, and a concert was performed at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. This performance was made up of alumni of the conservatory as well and current students.

Dimitris Afendoulis, the secretary of the executive board, notes that this scholarship would help children of the future indulge in the culture and art of Greece, despite its current economic woes. And Nikos Tsouchlos, agrees, saying this is the kind of cultural pursuit that will prepare Greece for its future.

While Dimitris Afendoulis agrees that this partnership is vital in supporting one of the oldest musical facilities in the country, he also praised the financial model because it adapts to incoming contributions from outside donors, a funding source he intends to encourage. The foundation intends to continue awarding scholarships as well as bringing in new methods to finance the programme.

The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation has been historically generous and desires to continue this tradition. If awards act as the motivation for researchers and scientists to put more effort into science and culture, the benefits are a good investment and are in keeping with the foundation’s moral and ethical principles.

Spiro John Latsis | The John S. Latsis Ileians Scholarships Foundation

John S. Latsis dedicated much of his time to worthwhile initiatives that would benefit people in Greece. The Greek businessman and entrepreneur established the John S. Latsis Ileians Scholarships Foundation. The foundation was officially formed in 1967 and operated for almost 45 years. The issue of scholarships and more specifically the provision of scholarships was something that was very important to John S. Latsis. The excellent work carried out by the foundation is now the responsibility of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation. His family play prominent roles on the supervisory board of the current foundation with Henrietta Latsis, Spiro John Latsis, Marianna Latsis and Margarita Latsis all maintaining a keen interest in its work.

Spiro John LatsisThe John S. Latsis Ileians Scholarships Foundation was established in order to assist students from his place of birth in Ileia. Many students were keen to continue their education, but in tough financial times were finding it increasingly difficult to finance their further education needs. The foundation offered students who had the drive and desire to continue their studies an opportunity to do so in the form of a scholarship. Any student from the county of Ileia was eligible to apply for one of the scholarships with almost 2000 of them benefitting from the scheme to date. Scholarships were available at all Greek universities together with some carefully selected universities outside of Greece.

The scholarships scheme assists students in the form of ongoing financial support, grants, funding and prizes for commitment and dedication to studies in the form of money. The responsibility of the scheme now falls to the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation. The supervisory board which consists of Henrietta Latsis, Spiro John Latsis, Marianna Latsis and Margarita Latsis ensures that opportunities are still available for students from Ileia, as well as for students from all over Greece.

In 2007, the John S. Latsis Ileians Scholarships Foundation provided huge financial support in the wake of the fires that broke out in Ileia. The foundation provided approximately four million Euros in order to help students from the area, the families of whom had been decimated by the breakout of the fires.

The John S Latsis Public Benefit foundation | Spiro Latsis

Founded in by its namesake, the John S Latsis Public Benefit Foundation is a charitable concern based in Geneva. The foundation helps and supports programmes in the areas of scientific research, culture, social welfare and education. The majority of the help is based in Greece with much of the work done abroad. However, funding mainly goes towards Greek projects.

Spiro LatsisOne of the more recent ventures which was funded by the John S Latsis Foundation was to help the country of Greece to find a way in which the government could reduce spends, deficit and the debt. This funded project will have many long term benefits and will make good consolidation plans with the aim of turning around the country’s recent economic failings.

John S Latsis was from a poor background and had to work when he was a child to help the family to stay afloat. He went on to education and graduated from the Pyrgos School of Commerce. He began a family of his own and had three children, one of whom is Spiro Latsis. John S Latsis worked to become a very successful man worth $3.1 billion. He traded petroleum products and set up Petorola Hellas, the first export refinery in Greece.

Spiro Latsis is currently a member of the board that manages the foundation.

The foundation supports a number of diverse studies and projects every year. It also sets up and runs its own programmes. The foundation regards the third parties as partners which allow them to have a set amount of funding. The foundation also provides support to enable them to put their plans in place and ensure that they get the most from the money that they are given.

The range of research and study initiatives supported is diverse and eclectic but are not just research for research sake. Projects applying for funding are expected to have a benefit – whether that is a move forward in medicine or aiding science do things better in the future, or having an economic benefit.

There is also an altruistic side to the funding. The John S. Latsis Foundation supports the Ileians Scholarships Foundation. This programme also operates in Greece and provides scholarships to students who are keen to carry on with their education and wish to go on to study for a PhD or a Masters. The programme encourages students to learn in Greece however, they will also fund students who want to go abroad to study.

Spiro Latsis | The man behind the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation

Established in 2005, the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation was formed to continue the sterling work of Greek businessman and entrepreneur John S. Latsis. The foundation has assisted many groups and organisations for almost a decade and continues to attempt to identify and implement new initiatives for the benefit of the Greek people. 

Born in 1910, in Katakolo in the Peloponnese, John S. Latsis spent his formative years helping his family and spending time completing his studies. He was a dedicated student who graduated from the Pyrgos School of Commerce. In addition to his studies, John S. Latsis spent much of his time working to help his large family who were by no means wealthy.

Spiro LatsisAt the age of thirty, John S. Latsis met and married his wife, Henrietta Tsoukala. The couple would have three children named Spiro Latsis, Marianna Latsis and Margarita Latsis. The entrepreneur’s first foray into the business world centred around currant and other agricultural produce trade. During the mid 1940s,  John S. Latsis purchased his first small passenger vessel, which was followed by several other in the following year. The 1950s signalled his entry into the world of shipping, with the acquirement of cargo vessels and his first tanker, while passenger shipping activity continued and expanded overseas, with the transportation of thousands of pilgrims from Libya and other Muslim countries to Jeddah, for their annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

Due to his involvement in oil transportation and trade, by the early 1970s John S. Latsis had identified the potential in the oil and gas industry and proceeded to the construction of anoil refinery close to Athens in Greece, oriented mainly towards export services. John S. Latsis constructed another refinery later in his life when, in the 1980s, he built a refinery in Rabigh.

His business interests would diversify later in his life and in 1980 he began ventures in the financial sector. His first main project revolved around credit and finance when he bought the Banque de Depots in Geneva. This initial foray into the financial sector would prove to be extremely significant and would lead to a prolonged period of success for John S. Latsis and his family.

Despite his multitude of business interest, John S. Latsis was also dedicated to assisting charities and organisations. He established a number of foundations to assist people in Greece. Indicatively, he has supported Greek citizens after a series of earthquakes hit the country and provided equipment and facilities to many Greek authorities in order to improve their services. The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation still has a strong Latsis family influence with Henrietta Latsis, Spiro Latsis, Marianna Latsis and Margarita Latsis all members of the supervisory board.

Spiro John Latsis | Funding research you didn’t even know existed

The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation was set up to continue the good work of John S. Latsis. It operates, helps and funds various initiatives that mainly originate in Greece, though they work abroad too. They fund programmes that help us grow as communities instead of powering a commercial machine. That is why they help and fund initiatives related to culture and social welfare. They also help and fund scientific research and education. There are numerous projects working worldwide that would not exist without the help of Spiro John Latsis and the Latsis family.

Spiro John LatsisSome of the work they fund in the world of science is truly fascinating, and yet it is easy to see why such projects may struggle to find help and funding elsewhere. The support of the foundation enables life sciences projects do things such as research worms and bacteria for clues to a cure for Alzheimer’s, research into anti-HCV drugs, and the biodiversity of Aegean dry-stone walls. They have also funded a project that is researching nano-fibres to be used as a slow release mechanism for antibiotics.

One of their projects is studying the new counter-urbanism feeling that is taking root in Greece and other countries. They are working to find out why more and more people appear to be moving to rural areas.

Under the current leadership of Spiro Latsis, the Latsis Foundation fund one-year research projects. The aim is to introduce a wider range of scientific research to Greece. They basically consider all applicants, with a set of terms and conditions that the project must live up to in order to qualify. They fund an average of seventeen projects per year, and try to spread the focus equally between three main scientific fields.

Some of the projects are incredibly exciting, such as the work the Latsis Foundation has funded into researching minimal invasive tissue engineering using Nanogels. This work will help regenerative medicine in the future. Not all projects they support relate to futuristic healing, and is quite wide ranging; such as in 2013, when they funded work to monitor how calcified structures of benthic organisms are affected by ocean acidification. They also support a project that is going to help archaeologists piece together fragmented pieces of their archaeological finds. This will mean we may learn more about our past, and means that future finds that are not near perfect will still be of significant historical importance. This is especially true the older the find is.

Benefitting from Spiro Latsis’ Help

The John S. Latsis Foundation was created in order to provide funding to scientific, educational and creative projects in both Greece and in foreign countries. This NPO was set up in memory of John Latsis who was a Greek entrepreneur whose vast fortune went hand in hand with many beneficial services throughout his lifetime. Following his  Spiro Latsisdeath in 2003, relatives of the tycoon set up the foundation in his name and they now make up the supervisory board, assisting the executives in making decisions regarding where the Latsis wealth will go to next.

Dr Spiro Latsis is a member of the supervisory board and it is part of his duty to recommend which applicants are most deserving of the money from his father’s legacy. As the family is Greek, it comes as no surprise that the foundation aims to help projects in their home nation first; however, the foundation does accept applications from across the globe.

Each year is marked by an open call event whereby the current year’s applicants will be presented with the criteria required to be successful. A great focus of the foundation’s funding is placed in culture, the arts and sciences as well as public welfare.

There are two primary ways in which the Latsis Foundation will offer aid to its applicants, the first of which is through direct financial assistance and second, the beneficiary will be working alongside one of the Foundation’s third party investments. Although the money alone would often be enough from a Foundation such as this, the organisation is keen to point out that not only will they provide financial aid, but each recipient is regarded as a partner as well. This symbiotic relationship then ensures that the money that has been awarded is spent wisely, but also it further strengthens the foundation’s involvement in projects that it values.

With the number of applicants growing year on year, and the number of projects actually being granted money, the Latsis Foundation spends a considerable amount of time assessing which project would benefit the most from its aid. Not only this, but the organisation looks at the future for maximising their investment potential.

Spiro Latsis | Business interests of John S. Latsis

The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation came into existence in 2005, in recognition of the public service work carried out by Greek businessman and entrepreneur John S. Latsis. With its main headquarters situated in Athens, Greece and a second office in Liechtenstein, the foundation possesses a presence across Europe and assists organisations and groups with funding and support. The majority of the funding and support is concentrated within Greece, however the foundation has also provided assistance to worthwhile causes outside of Greece. The foundation has a strong Latsis family presence with Henrietta Latsis, Spiro Latsis, Marianna Latsis and Margarita Latsis all members of the supervisory board.

Spiro LatsisThe foundation was established in 2005 and was named after John S. Latsis who devoted much of his time to supporting groups and organisations within fields of study such as education, cultures, welfare and scientific study. John S. Latsis was born in Katakolo in the Peloponnese and came from a large yet relatively poor family that relied on each person in the family contributing to the household costs. This resulted in John S. Latsis securing employment at a very early age, when he began working to help support his family. In addition to his commitment to work and helping his family, John S. Latsis was also a dedicated student and successfully graduated from Pyrgos School of Commerce; this early foundation of study was soon to play a big part in his future.

In 1940, John S. Latsis married Henrietta Tsoukala. Three children followed, namely Spiro Latsis, Marianna Latsis and Margarita Latsis. Away from the family life, John S. Latsis continued to expand his business interests with his focus specifically concerning trade and commerce activities. After a successful period of time spent within the trade and commerce sectors, John S. Latsis turned his attention to shipping and transportation and enjoyed significant success in relation to both transporting religious individuals to Mecca and providing commercial shipping solutions to those that were in need of them, particularly petroleum companies. This initial foray into the petroleum industry would lead to the entrepreneur officially opening the first ever oil refinery, in terms of export, in Greece.

John S. Latsis then began to take an interest in the situation in the Middle East and carried out much needed infrastructure work in Saudi Arabia in the 1970′s, before opening another export refinery in the early 1980′s in Rabigh. He entered the world of finance and credit for the very first time in the same decade when he purchased a bank in Geneva, Switzerland. This first purchase would signal the commencement of yet another successful business venture for the Greek businessman.

The Provision of Scholarships

Officially formed in 2005, the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation is a charitable organisation based in Greece, now overseen by Spiro Latsis and other members of the family. The foundation itself was established as a tribute to John S. Latsis, a successful businessman who dedicated much of his time and energy to public service work. The foundation aims to continue the fine work of John S. Latsis in future projects and initiatives. The Latsis Foundation is governed by two boards, namely the supervisory board and the executive board. The supervisory board is made up of Latsis family members and plays a prominent role in deciding the future direction of the organisation together with making decisions on current funding and support strategies. The Latsis family members currently performing roles on the supervisory board are Spiro John Latsis, Marianna Latsis, Henrietta Latsis and Margarita Latsis. The family provides an important sense of continuity between the work of John S. Latsis and the work currently undertaken by the foundation.

Spiro LatsisThe foundation supports a number of groups and organisations in the form of funding and support. The majority of the initiatives supported by the Latsis Foundation take place in Greece although they have also supported worthwhile causes across Europe. The foundation itself concentrates its efforts on a number of fields, many of which played an important role in the life of John S. Latsis, and include education, social welfare, scientific research and culture. The foundation creates and implements their own initiatives for which they provide help for the groups and organisations involved whilst they also provide funding and support for initiatives implemented by third-party organisations.

An important area that has been identified by the Latsis Foundation concerns the provision of scholarships. The foundation is committed to providing support to students wishing to continue their education. The provision of scholarships by the foundation continues the work of John S. Latsis who set up the Ileians’ Scholarships Foundation in 1967 and assisted students from the region of Ileia that wished to continue their education. The foundation now provides scholarships for students from all over Greece to continue their education both in Greece and abroad and see this as an important part of their work.

Spiro John Latsis International Summer School project aids scientific research

The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation is a charitable organisation that is based in Athens, Greece. The foundation was established in 2005 with the main objective of continuing the sterling public service work carried out by John S. Latsis. The foundation still retains members of the Latsis family such as Spiro John Latsis, Marianna Latsis, Henrietta Latsis and Margarita Latsis who each play prominent roles on the supervisory board of the foundation. The majority of the organisations and initiatives supported by the foundation are based in Greece, although there have also been numerous instances in the past where the foundation, which is overseen by Spiro Latsis and the other members of the Latsis family, has supported worthwhile causes outside of Greece.

The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation focuses on a number of specific fields and aims to provide funding and support for organisations to take part in initiatives within those fields. The fields of interest concern education, social welfare, scientific research and culture. In addition to supporting and funding third-party initiatives, the foundation also plans and implements a number of programmes and encourages organisations to take part in them. One such initiative that has proved to be extremely popular is the International Summer School project.

Spiro John LatsisThe International Summer School Project began in 2008 and was held annually for three years at the Pallas Athena building, home of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation amongst others. The main objective of the project was to encourage a total of thirty students from various universities and education centres across Greece to converge at Pallas Athena and spend a period of time studying and listening to guest speakers. Each annual project had a specific area of study attached with the initial project in 2008 concerning the topic of climate change. The projects have proved to be extremely popular and successful with all concerned.

The Latsis Foundation has also reached an agreement with a university in Italy to hold a series of annual summer schools relating to Adaptive Economic Dynamics. The summer schools will run until 2018 and will be based at Trento University in Italy with all funding and support provided by the foundation itself.