BIOGRAPHY

Flavio Briatore - Biography

Briatore was born in Verzuolo near Cuneo, Italy, to a family of elementary school teachers. After a high school diploma in surveying, Briatore started to work as a RAS insurance agent.
In 1974 he moved to Cuneo where he worked as an Executive for CONAFI, a prominent subsidiary of the Italian Stock Exchange. At the same time he took up a real estate project in Sardinia: ‘Isola Rossa’ a holiday resort complex which he sold a year later to an entrepreneur from Cuneo. In 1975 Briatore is partner founder of Cuneo Leasing, which became the biggest leasing Company in Italy (later acquired by the De Benedetti Group). In 1977 Briatore is appointed Managing Director of paints/coatings leader Paramatti, becoming the youngest MD of an Italian Company not family-owned and on the Stock Exchange. In 1979 Briatore moved to Milan, where he worked in financial group Finanziaria Generale Italia. In the Milan years Briatore also met entrepreneur Luciano Benetton, who would later play a key role in Briatore’s career.
In the mid 80s Briatore moved to the US, where he opened in franchising several Benetton stores, and working closely with Luciano Benetton, he contributed actively to the brand’s expansion in the US markets.
Briatore attended his first-ever Formula One race at the Australian Grand Prix, in 1988. A year later, Luciano Benetton appointed him Commercial Director of his Formula One team, Benetton Formula Ltd. (formerly Toleman), based in England. Shortly after Briatore was promoted to managing director and set about turning Benetton Formula into a competitive team. Briatore brought into Formula One a unique and innovative management style: he believed that Formula One was not only a sport but also and foremost, a spectacle and a business, hence he concentrated on marketing and communication as the key elements to attract and secure wealthy sponsors and prestigious partners to the Team. He fired engineer John Barnard and with his successor, Tom Walkinshaw, he started to re-structure the team. In 1991, with a quick and visionary move, Briatore snatched young driver Michael Schumacher from the Jordan team and built up the team around the talented German. In 1994, Schumacher won the driver's Championship and then Briatore was able to forge a strategic alliance with Renault, which gave Benetton Formula the extra competitiveness of a very powerful engine for the following season. In fact, in 1995 the Team reached double success, with Schumacher claiming the World Drivers' Championship and Benetton Formula winning the World Constructors’ Championship.
In 1993 Briatore also created FB Management, a scouting and managing agency for motorsport drivers, which over the years included talented drivers like Giancarlo Fisichella, Jarno Trulli, Robert Kubica and Max Webber. World-champion Fernando Alonso, whom Briatore discovered and secured to his agency in 1999, was just 18 when he was enrolled in FB management.
At the end of 1994, Briatore acquired the French team Ligier, restructured it completely and two years later, the team drove to victory at the Monte Carlo GP with Panis.
In 1997 Briatore sold Ligier to Alan Prost who renamed it Prost Grand Prix (the team folded in 2002). In 1996 Briatore bought also the Minardi Team and sold it a year later to Gabriele Rumi. In the same year, Michael Schumacher left Benetton Formula for Ferrari. In 1997 Briatore decided to leave the team in agreement with the Benetton family, sold his shares to them in order to finance and lead his new project, still related to Formula One. He created SUPERTEC, a 200-workforce company which became the leading supplier of engines to Formula One Teams. From 1998 to 2000, Supertec supplied engines to four teams in the paddock: Benetton, Williams, British American Racing and Arrows.
In the mid 90s Briatore started to diversify his interests. In 1995 he acquired children shoe company Kickers, reselling it shortly after. Then in 1998 he acquired Pierrel, a small Italian pharmaceutical company that had been bought by a US group. With a dynamic and innovative business plan led by Briatore and entrepreneur Canio Mazzaro, Pierrel was restructured and in 2006, it was floated successfully on the Italian Stock market.
In 1998 Briatore opened a nightclub in Costa Smeralda, Billionaire, soon hailed as the favourite nightspot of the International Jet Set. Throughout the years, Billionaire became a renowned International brand, synonymous with glamour and quality entertainment and today Billionairelifestyle is today a 'luxury services' holding, which includes night-clubs, restaurants, beach clubs, hotels and resorts.
In 2000, Briatore orchestrated the purchase of the Benetton Team by Renault and the French Company appointed Briatore as Renault F1 Team Managing Director. Two years later he also became Managing Director of Renault Sport. Briatore restructured the Team, which counted over 1,100 people between France and UK factories, with his trademark management style of moderate budgets, optimization of internal human resources, aggressive marketing and communication strategy. In spite of relying on the 5th budget amongst the Teams in F1, Renault F1 progressed rapidly and in 2005 the team achieved a double victory: Alonso won the World Driver's title and the team snatched the World Constructors' title. The same impressive result was repeated in 2006, with Renault F1 fetching both Championships' titles.
In 2005 Briatore conceived and created the GP2 Series, a young drivers Championship to compete next to Formula One, a sort of training ground and a showcase for talented drivers and engineers. In a short time, GP2 became the most popular and reputable series after Formula One. The series discovered and brought into Formula One excellent drivers amongst whom future F1 world champions Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
In 2010, Briatore sold the very successful GP2 series to CVC, the Group who had already bought Formula One.
In 2006 Briatore acquired with Bernie Ecclestone the English soccer team Queens Park Rangers. With a four-year plan, QPR was brought up from Champions League to Premiere league. In 2011, after the first 3 matches in Premier League, Briatore and Ecclestone sold QPR to Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandez.
In July 2008 the Formula One Teams gathered to form FOTA. Briatore took up the role of Commercial Director of FOTA (appointed by President Luca di Montezemolo) and led discussions with the FIA on the future of Formula 1. FOTA asked for costs reductions in view of the economic world crisis and for the introduction of new regulations aimed at delivering a more spectacular show and make the sport more exciting. The FIA presented its own plan for the 2010 Championship and the two parties came to a clash. Following a meeting organized by Briatore at Renault F1 headquarters on June 18 2009, the eight FOTA teams rejected FIA's proposals for the Championship 2010 and decided to break away and launch their own F1 Championship. At the very end, the parts came to an agreement and at the FIA World Council of June 29th, Max Mosley announced his resignation as FIA President and stated that the FIA would not implement any changes for 2010.
Not surprisingly, a month later, FIA launched an investigation concerning one of the races of the previous year, the Singapore GP 2008. FIA accused Briatore, as Renault F1 Team Principal, to have instigated driver Nelson Piquet Jr to stage an accident during the race to favour team mate Fernando Alonso's victory. On September 21st 2009, the FIA World Motor Sport Council (despite confirming Alonso's and Renault's victory), radiated Flavio Briatore from Formula One and conditionally disqualified the Renault Team. Briatore sued the FIA in the French Court to clear his name and won. In fact, on January 5th 2010 the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris annulled Briatore's radiation, declaring illegal FIA's procedure. The Tribunal also ordered FIA the payment of 15,000 euros in damages to Briatore, stating also that he could return to Formula One starting from the 2013 Championship season.
From 2011 onwards Briatore concentrated his interests and activities on the luxury services company Billionairelifestyle. He forged a partnership with the Percassi group for the development of Billionaire Couture, the menswear luxury line he had launched in 2005. The successful niche-market brand caught the eye of Philipp Plein who in 2016 bought a majority stake from Briatore and Percassi and launched a global development of the line.
In 2012 Briatore opened the prestigious Cipriani Monte Carlo and in 2013 he completed an ambitious project, Billionaire Resort, a luxury apartment complex in Malindi, on the Kenyan Coast. Modern and eco-friendly, the stunning resort lies next to the charming Relais and Thalaspa Lion in the Sun, once Briatore’s private residence. Today Billionaire Life employs about 1,200 persons in Europe and Africa. In April 2013, Briatore took Billionairelifestyle to a new direction by selling the majority of the divisions "leisure and entertainment" to the prestigious investment fund based in Singapore, Bay Capital. The strong alliance has the objective to strenghten the brands, acquire new ones and expand in Asia and the rest of the world.
In September 2012 Briatore starred for the first time in the Italian version of the famous TV show THE APPRENTICE, in the role of the BOSS. The show became a cult program and the series had a second season in 2014.
Briatore is also the author of SULLA RICCHEZZA, a current affair book co‐written with Carmelo Abbate in 2017, an essay and expression of his entrepreneurial vision of today’s Italy.

FORMULA 1

Flavio Briatore - Formula 1

Flavio Briatore entered Formula One in 1989. He did not have a knowledge of the sport but the incredible career and the mark he left in Formula One sport stem from a strong business background and his unconventional managerial approach to the sport.  His hard-work ethic combined with a vibrant social life brought glamour and a new way of communicating in Formula One, for which he is recognized as being one of F1’s most successful team managers.
Briatore headed two Teams, Benetton and Renault, steering them to seven world championship titles. He also hired and brought to become world champions two of Formula One’s biggest stars, Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso
Briatore attended his first-ever Formula One race at the Australian Grand Prix, in 1988. A year later, Luciano Benetton appointed him Commercial Director of his Formula One team, Benetton Formula, (formerly Toleman), based in England. Shortly after Briatore was promoted to managing director and set about turning Benetton Formula into a competitive team. Briatore brought into Formula One a unique and innovative management style: he believed that Formula One was not only a sport but also and foremost, a spectacle and a business, hence he concentrated on marketing and communication as the key elements to attract and secure wealthy sponsors and prestigious partners to the Team. He fired engineer John Barnard and with his successor, Tom Walkinshaw , he started to re-structure the team. In 1991, with a quick and visionary move, Briatore snatched young driver Michael Schumacher from the Jordan team and built up the team around the talented German. In 1994, Schumacher won the driver's Championship and then Briatore was able to forge a strategic alliance with Renault, which gave Benetton Formula the extra competitiveness of a very powerful engine for the following season. In fact, in 1995 the Team reached double success, with Schumacher claiming the World Drivers' Championship and Benetton Formula winning the World Constructors’ Championship.
In 1993 Briatore created FB Management, a scouting and managing agency for motorsport drivers, which over the years included talented drivers like Giancarlo Fisichella, Jarno Trulli, Robert Kubica and Max Webber. World-champion Fernando Alonso, whom Briatore discovered and secured to his agency in 1999, was just 18 when he was enrolled in FB management.
At the end of 1994, Briatore acquired the French team Ligier , restructured it completely and two years later, the team drove to victory at the Monte Carlo GP with Panis. In 1997 Briatore sold Ligier to Alan Prost who renamed it Prost Grand Prix (the team folded in 2002). In 1996 Briatore bought also the Minardi Team and sold it a year later to Gabriele Rumi. In the same year, Michael Schumacher left Benetton Formula for Ferrari.
In 1997 Briatore decided to leave the team in agreement with the Benetton family, sold his shares to them in order to finance and lead his new project, still related to Formula One. He created Supertec, a 200-workforce company which became the leading supplier of engines to Formula One Teams. From 1998 to 2000, Supertec supplied engines to four teams in the paddock: Benetton, Williams, British American Racing and Arrows.
In 2000, Briatore orchestrated the purchase of the Benetton Team by Renault and the French Company appointed Briatore as Renault F1 Team Managing Director. Two years later he also became Managing Director of Renault Sport. Briatore restructured the Team, which counted over 1,100 people between France and UK factories, with his trademark management style of moderate budgets, optimization of internal human resources, aggressive marketing and communication strategy. In spite of relying on the 5th budget amongst the Teams in F1, Renault F1 progressed rapidly and in 2005 the team achieved a double victory: Alonso won the World Driver's title and the team snatched the World Constructors' title. The same impressive result was repeated in 2006, with Renault F1 fetching both Championship’s titles.
In 2005 Briatore conceived and created the GP2 Series, a young drivers Championship to compete next to Formula One, a sort of training ground and a showcase for talented drivers and engineers. In a short time, GP2 became the most popular and reputable series after Formula One. The series discovered and brought into Formula One excellent drivers amongst whom future F1 world champions Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.In 2010, Briatore sold the very successful GP2 series to CVC, the Group who had already bought Formula One.
In July 2008 the Formula One Teams gathered to form FOTA. Briatore took up the role of Commercial Director of FOTA (appointed by President Luca di Montezemolo) and led discussions with the FIA on the future of Formula 1. FOTA asked for costs reductions in view of the economic world crisis and for the introduction of new regulations aimed at delivering a more spectacular show and make the sport more exciting. The FIA presented its own plan for the 2010 Championship and the two parties came to a clash. Following a meeting organized by Briatore at Renault F1 headquarters on June 18 2009, the eight FOTA teams rejected FIA's proposals for the Championship 2010 and decided to break away and launch their own F1 Championship. At the very end, the parts came to an agreement and at the FIA World Council of June 29th, Max Mosley announced his resignation as FIA President and stated that the FIA would not implement any changes for 2010.
Not surprisingly, a month later, FIA launched an investigation concerning one of the races of the previous year, the Singapore GP 2008. FIA accused Briatore, as Renault F1 Team Principal, to have instigated driver Nelson Piquet Jr to stage an accident during the race to favour team mate Fernando Alonso's victory. On September 21st 2009, the FIA World Motor Sport Council (despite confirming Alonso's and Renault's victory), radiated Flavio Briatore from Formula One and conditionally disqualified the Renault Team. Briatore sued the FIA in the French Court to clear his name and won. In fact, on January 5th 2010 the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris annulled Briatore's radiation, declaring illegal FIA's procedure. The Tribunal also ordered FIA the payment of 15,000 euros in damages to Briatore, stating also that he could return to Formula One starting from the 2013 Championship season.

BILLIONAIRE LIFE

OWNED BRANDS

Billionaire
Billionaire Porto Cervo
Billionaire Dubai
Billionaire Resort & Lion in the Sun
Twiga
Twiga Montecarlo
Twiga Beach Club Versilia
Sumosan Twiga
Crazy Fish
Crazy Fish Montecarlo
Crazy Fish Porto Cervo
Crazy Fish Dubai
Crazy Pizza
Crazy Pizza Montecarlo
Crazy Pizza Porto Cervo
Crazy Pizza Dubai
Crazy Pizza London
Maya Italian Brasserie
ITALY
  • Twiga Beach Club Versilia
  • Crazy Fish Porto Cervo
  • Crazy Pizza Porto Cervo
  • Billionaire Porto Cervo
MONTE CARLO
  • Sumosan
  • Caviar Kaspia
  • Cova Monte Napoleone
  • Cipriani
  • Crazy Pizza
  • Crazy Fish
DUBAI
  • Sumosan
  • Crazy Pizza
  • Beef Bar
  • Billionaire Mansion
LONDON
  • Twiga Sumosan
  • Crazy Pizza
  • Maya Italian Brasserie
Billionaire Life - Map
Billionaire Life - Map
1 ITALY
  • Twiga Beach Club Versilia
  • Crazy Fish Porto Cervo
  • Crazy Pizza Porto Cervo
  • Billionaire Porto Cervo
2 MONTE CARLO
  • Sumosan
  • Caviar Kaspia
  • Cova Monte Napoleone
  • Cipriani
  • Crazy Pizza
  • Crazy Fish
3 DUBAI
  • Sumosan
  • Crazy Pizza
  • Beef Bar
  • Billionaire Mansion
4 LONDON
  • Twiga Sumosan
  • Crazy Pizza
  • Maya Italian Brasserie

BRANDS UNDER LICENSING

 
Cipriani
OYA MONTENAPOLEONE 1817
Beefbar
Caviar Kaspia
Sumosan
 

TEMPORARY VENUES

 
Billionaire Montecarlo GP
Billionaire Baku GP
 

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