HSBC Bank Endows Safra Fellowsips

A million-dollar gift from HSBC Bank USA will endow a new set of fellowships in ethics at Harvard's Center for Ethics and Professions, the bank's parent company, HSBC Holdings, announced yesterday.

The fellowships, named for international banker Edmond J. Safra, will provide money for up to four graduate fellowships annually.

"The creation of the fellowships is an appropriate way for HSBC to honor Edmond Safra's memory," HSBC Chair Sir John Bond said in a press release.


During his life, Safra also endowed two professorships at Harvard: the Jacob E. Safra Professor of Jewish History and Sephardic Civilization, and the Robert F. Kennedy Professor of American Studies.

"Safra will be remembered as a man whose achievements as a banker are recognized throughout the world, and whose commitment to education was equally great," President Neil L. Rudenstine said in the press release. "It is fitting that HSBC Bank USA has chosen to recognize [him]."

Born in Beirut in 1932, Safra joined his family's banking business as a young man. Eventually, Safra founded the Republic Bank of New York in 1966, which merged with HSBC Bank USA after Safra's death.

Safra died on Dec. 3 in an incident of arson at his Monaco luxury apartment. Police have charged Ted Maher, an American who had been recruited five months before to help care for Safra, with setting the fire.

Maher was questioned three times as a witness before admitting he set the fire. He originally told police he was stabbed by two hooded assailants who had broken into Safra's apartment.

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