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.
The 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.