Nessim Gaon


May 20, 2022

Nessim Gaon (in Arabic: نسيم جاعون), born on February 22, 1922 in Khartoum in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and died on May 10, 2022 in Geneva, is a Swiss financier, founder of the company Noga SA. He has also been president of the World Sephardic Federation since 1971. He was also vice-president of the World Jewish Congress and chairman of the board of directors of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.


Nessim David Gaon was born in Khartoum to a Sephardic family from Turkey who emigrated to Egypt and then to Sudan. His father is a politician, governor of Port-Sudan on the shores of the Red Sea. The Sudan where he spent his childhood was then a colony of the British Empire until January 1, 1956. He graduated from the University of Khartoum before enlisting in the British Armed Forces during World War II with the rank of captain. After the war, he went into trading, made his fortune and married Renée Tamman, a first cousin, before settling in Geneva in Switzerland (the world capital of commodity trading) with his family in 1952, where he developed In the real estate. From this union were born his son David Gaon and his daughters Marguerite and Danielle. He trades with Sudan, Israel, China, Russia, the USSR, Argentina, Nigeria, oleaginous products then pesticides of which he becomes a specialist. His group joined forces with the Hilton group and built the Noga Hilton (Geneva), a five-star palace where he settled with his family, on the Quai du Mont-Blanc, the most prominent promenade in Geneva. He continued with the Noga Hilton in Cannes then that of Abuja in Nigeria. He became leader of the Jewish community in Khartoum and leader of the Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jewish diaspora in Geneva in 1966. In 1971, he became president of the World Sephardic Federation and vice-president of the World Jewish Congress and sat on the board of directors of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. He is also one of the founders and main members of the Hekhal Haness Synagogue, the most important Sephardic synagogue in Geneva, inaugurated in 1972. [ref. necessary] He befriended former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and helped bring the latter closer to Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat, who led the Israeli-Egyptian Peace Treaty in 1977 [ref. necessary]. Rumor lends him a potential candidacy for the presidency of the State of Israel [ref. necessary]. His eldest daughter, Marguerite Gaon married Joel Herzog, son of Chaim Herzog, President of the State of Israel from 1983 to 1993 [ref. necessary]. In 1991, Noga SA signed a 1.5 billion dollar import-export contract with Russia for everyday consumer goods in exchange for oil, heating oil and Russian gas. Russian leaders then took advantage of the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. of 1991 for not paying, denying their claims, and accusing Nessim Gaon of fabrication, putting the latter in a serious position of bank over-indebtedness and bankruptcy [ref. necessary]. At the age of 82, he persisted in trials, very publicized in Switzerland, to force Russia to honor its debts. The Noga Hiltons are seized and he tries for his part, in vain, to seize in a spectacular way with a lot of media: the bank accounts of the Russian Embassy in Paris; the Russian four-masted training ship Sedov while at the maritime festival in Brest; 54 Impressionist masterpieces of Russian heritage (Monet, Manet, Renoir, etc.) from the collection of the Pushkin Museum in Moscow exhibited in Switzerland at the Pierre Gianadda Foundation in Martigny; a Sukhoi Su-30 and a Mig from the Russian army during the air show in Le Bourget. He is also trying to block $250 million held by the semi-public Russian company Aer