Alexander Christodoulakis

Alexander’s Family History

Predominately focusing on Alexander Christodoulakis’ maternal grandfather’s side of the family, according to the Archives of the Hellenic Institute in Venice, Italy, which initiated the Institute of Byzantine and post-Byzantine studies, the farthest that the family can date itself is the 13th century AD. It is considered to be one of the most ancient documented Hellenic families. The family’s official Venetian documentation- ‘Hellenic Society of Venice- Summario Leggi Scuola Greca, Mariegola, Capitolare’- is in the beginning of the 15th century AD before the fall of Constantinople, 1453.

Due to the fact that one of the strong lines of the family was indelibly related to the Byzantine Empire, as Bankers, Financiers, Advisers to Emperors, Generals, Ship- owners and Diplomats; they were given titles of aristocracy, which are documented in the Archives of the Vatican and in Venice.

The family had moved assets, trading and endeavors to Italy, primarily Venice, Genoa and Spain. During the great Renaissance, which was derived from Byzantium, many Greeks had moved west. They brought with them all the tools necessary for the birth of the Renaissance: ancient papyri, know- how of executive and legislative governance of which Byzantium was the mecca, a great amount of wealth, banking skills in diplomacy, shipping skills, trading techniques, artisans, craftsmen, painters, sculptures, primarily wealth.

The family begins its official documentation in the registries and archives of Venice in 1498. The family was highly respected by the Doges and was given titles of aristocracy for their services, and because of this, the conclave of the Doges gave permission for the establishment of the Greek community.

Being one of the founding families of the Greek community in Venice, they assisted financially with respectful sums, along with other wealthy and powerful Greeks in Venice, to build the Greek church of St George and to acquire excellent real estate, creating the ‘Campo dei Greci.’ Shipping and trading were the primary endeavors of the Greek Community in Venice. His ancestor was the President of the Greek Community of Venice and presided during the years, 1709, 1728, 1757, 1765, 1769, 1776, 1779. He died at 100 years of age. He was not only a keen business man and ship-owner but also a successful writer.

The family is documented as a main shipping business with trade routes throughout the Mediterranean. Among Alexander’s ancestors were the great figureheads of the family; it is also historically documented that he also descends from one of the noblest and high ranking Athenian families (History of the Athenians: During the Ottoman Occupation: From 1458-1687, Book I, Dimitrios Kambouroglou, Historian).

The family also established one of the thriving publishing firms in Venice. It published rare papyri from the Monasteries of Byzantium (efforts were made to preserve as much as possible). Before and especially after the fall of Constantinople, it was of the utmost importance to insure for posterity priceless treasures from the ancient world, such as the ancient tragic poets and philosophers and more.

Mani from – 1453 – 15th C. 19th C. to 1821 – ‘War of Independence’, another branch of the family settled in the region of the Peloponnese, Mistras in Mani. Upon the fall of Constantinople, Mistras was chosen by the emperor as the imperial seat of the Empire. The family continued its endeavors but in the 18th and 19th centuries it started to build castles and fortresses in the region of Mani with the oncoming War of Independence. They are still known as the castles of the family. There are three major Castles that can still be admired for their masonry and craftsmanship even today. The family’s contribution to the War of Independence in blood and money was enormous and is registered in the archives as such.

20th Century

Plutarchos - Great Grandfather

Plutarchos – Great Grandfather

Apostolos – Grandfather

Alexander – Grandson

A branch of the family was also one of the leading families of the Greek Community in Smyrna the Ionian Western Side on the Aegean. The Greek Community played a vital role in this thriving trade capital, especially for ship owners, with a bustling harbor for tobacco, fig, apricot center and bulk produce, leather goods of fine quality, silk,. Alexander’s grandfather, Apostolos, was born in 1915 in Smyrna where the family owned large estates for hundreds of years. Wheat, fruits, tobacco, and other produce were all exported to Europe or the East on the family’s cargo ships.

Due to the onslaught of Smyrna and the outbreak later of WWII Alexander’s maternal grandfather Apostolos’ business was interrupted by the wars. He spent many years in the military and fought back-to- back wars at that time. He was a war hero.

Alexander’s paternal grandfather, George, was also a war hero as well and there were two national funerals in the city of Athens for the Christodoulakis’ side of the family. Presidents, prime ministers, ministers, armed forces, diplomats, social personalities and thousands of people attended.

Apostolos refused to fight in the Greek civil war of 1945 and continued his industrial works in North America, where his wife, Alexander’s grandmothers’ family, was already operating successful commercial businesses. His grandfather established industrial factories and Portland Shipping Co, and pioneered to make industrial production and trade with Taiwan at the time.

Thirty years later, Alexander Christodoulakis reopened Portland Shipping Co, which today is Portland Marine Group of Companies.

While growing up, Alexander was influenced by a highly creative family. His godfather and uncle, Alexis Minotis, is internationally acclaimed as the best classical Greek actor in modern history. He also played in famous Hollywood films. Minotis’ wife, Katina Paxinou also played in Hollywood, leading films, and earned an Oscar in 1943 as best supporting actress for her performance in Ernest Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bells Toll.” As a child, Alexander exercised his own creativity by playing music. At the age of 7 years old, he was playing classical music pieces while performing jazz improvisations. Despite his extremely busy schedule today, he is still a keen music lover.

As a young man, he attended private-International- British uniform school and later he joined and served a term in the armed forces. After his military service, he attended university where he studied shipping, economics, and maritime law. He began his entrepreneurial career by reopening Portland Shipping Co., in the early 1990s. He built it into an international company through challenges, ‘exceptionally hard work’ and entrepreneurial instinct.

While building the Portland Marine Group, Alexander applied himself rigorously to realizing a further successful career in the world of international finance and asset management. He was regarded one of the world’s youngest successful asset managers at the time also by size of the assets under management.

When he is not involved in group management and global finance, Alexander spends his time studying and staying up to date on political sciences. Since the mid-90’s until recently Alexander has assisted orphanages and supported elderly homes. Alexander is also involved in a number of organizations and a member of various societies. One of these organizations is the Piraeus Marine Club where he is a proud member.

Alexander’s current focus is on discretionary investments, asset management and corporate management via PBS SA Capital Group, which also covers a large range of major stock market and alternative market holdings across the globe. Alexander developed a maverick reputation for his swift market maneuvers, innovative and unorthodox, yet highly competitive financial solutions.

He implemented his own business code of conduct by “sticking by the side of co- investors” at a difficult time and made it possible for them to have minimum losses due to the market crash. Although a herculean task, he gained acclaim as a preferred partner with most banks and funds around the world. A large number of senior hedge funds and senior VP’s from banks said that they have never come across a man with such strong professional work ethics.

Highly skilled, with uncanny financial instincts, he is a sought-after board member and has acted as strategic advisor to heads of state and to state enterprises.

Over two decades he has successfully collaborated with top world banks, leading hedge funds and Fortune 500 companies of the world. Alexander is Toronto based, but also works internationally.

Alexander's Achievements

  • Was one of the world’s youngest successful asset managers at the time, for his age.
  • Maintains a successful track record of performance for more than two decades.
  • Managed one of the world’s largest ship-building portfolios.
  • Managed one of the largest clean-tech portfolios in the sector.
  • Has closed some of the most challenging and most complex transactions in the market.
  • Has acted as strategic advisor to heads of state and to state enterprises.
  • Was selected by the United Nations for his financial advice and contribution.
  • Has been selected by Fortune 500 Companies for collaborations.
  • Has been selected by world banks and leading hedge funds for collaborations.
  • CEO of PBS SA Capital Group and President of the Portland Marine Group of Companies.

Want to get more of Alexander Christodoulakis’ professional insights? View his finance blog or his marine/energy blog.