Stelios is best known for creating the easy family of brands starting with easyJet in 1994 when he was just 27. Six years later he floated the airline on the www.londonstockexchange.com in order to fund growth but he and his family remain the largest shareholders holding about 26% of the shares. The stock market currently values easyJet PLC at about £4.7 billion. When the COVID Pandemic struck the airline was carrying about 100 million passengers per year but the numbers are now substantially reduced.
The easy family of brands
www.easy.com and easyHistory.info During the IPO process Stelios made the strategic decision to retain ownership of the easy brand, (including easyJet) in his private investment vehicle, easyGroup, based in Monaco and London. As a result, easyGroup now enjoys a steadier income from licensing the easy brand to many other businesses, including the airline. Every time a ticket is bought on easyJet, easyGroup collects 0.25% of its transaction value as a royalty, which is a more resilient income stream than dividend payments. Since 1994 the easy family of brands has been extended to many other activities – all offering consumers “more value for less”. Other brands include: easyHotel.com, easyBus.com, easyCar.com, easyFly.travel, easyHub.com, easyMoney.com, easyProperty.com, easyGym.com, easyStorage.com and many others. Stelios is always looking for carefully selected business partners and entrepreneurs with whom to work to jointly extend the easy family of brands.
Stelios started giving back to society when he turned 40 years old and has since formalised his charitable giving by creating the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation (www.stelios.org) , which now takes up about a third of his time. Its mission statement is to support a diverse range of charitable activities principally in the countries where he has lived and worked: UK, Greece, Cyprus and Monaco. The most notable program is “Food from the heart” that in normal times (pre-COVID) feeds 200,000 people with a snack each month in Greece and Cyprus since 2013. https://steliosfoundation.gr/faghto-apo-kardias. In addition since 2008 the Foundation’s bi-communal awards programme in Cyprus gives €500,000 annually to Greek and Turkish Cypriots, who work together for a lasting peace on the island https://steliosfoundation.com.cy/peace-cyprus-bicommunal-awards/. Sadly, this program is paused because of COVID but the Foundation has given to many pandemic related causes that include thank you gifts in the form of shop vouchers to front line nurses and carers. Other good causes are supported with regular donations. Environmental charity wwf.org is a major beneficiary in partnership with HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco’s own foundation. (fpa2.org). In May 2017 Stelios signed the Giving Pledge (https://givingpledge.org/Pledger.aspx?id=334 ) committing to endow his Foundation with half his estate in order to become the perpetual vehicle for his legacy. This initiative was started in 2010 by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet.
Family business background
Stelios, was born in Athens, Greece on 14 February 1967, the son of the late Loucas Haji-Ioannou, a self-made Greek-Cypriot shipping magnate. Stelios started his business career working for his father at Troodos Shipping in Piraeus, Greece until aged 25 when he founded his own shipping firm, Stelmar tankers with financial help from his father. Stelmar floated on the NYSE.com in 2001 and was sold to a competitor in 2005 for about US$1.3bn.
In 2006, at the age of 39, Stelios received a knighthood from HM Queen Elizabeth II. Since 2009 he has been the Honorary General Consul for the Republic of Cyprus in the Principality of Monaco – where he lives. He graduated from the www.doukas.gr High School in Athens in 1984, the London School of Economics ( lse.ac.uk ) in 1987 and in 1988 obtained a MSc from the City University (www.cass.city.ac.uk) . All three academic institutions currently benefit from Stelios Philanthropic Foundation donations via scholarships – the individual recipients are known as Stelios Scholars! These number more than 260 to date. Since 2018 he has acted as Chair of the enterprise fellows of the Prince’s Trust in the UK, a charity set up by HRH The Prince of Wales. https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/support-our-work/major-gifts/enterprise-fellowship/members. In 2016 he founded the www.Gustaviayachtclub.org where he is Commodore.