Joseph Hackmey

Joseph D. Hackmey is an Israeli businessman, insurance company executive, actuary, investor, and an art and stamp collector. Art News listed Hackmey as one of the 200 biggest art collectors in the world.[1] He was the Chairman of Israel Phoenix. [2] Chairman of the Israeli Insurance Association and Chairman of the Israeli Life Offices Association. [3]

Joseph D. Hackmey
Joseph Hackmey.JPG
OccupationChairman, hackmey group


Joseph Hackmey is a fifth-generation Israeli.[2] His paternal grandfather, Joseph Hackmey Shvili, directed Barclays bank when it was the largest bank in Mandatory Palestine; his maternal grandfather, Moshe Carasso, was a prominent businessman in Palestine. Hackmey's father, David, established an assurance agency in 1943, when he was 24 years old; in 1949, he turned his assurance agency into an assurance company; at the time, his partners were the English Phoenix Assurance Company and the Israel Discount Bank.[2]

Hackmey was born in Tel Aviv,[4] to a Sepharadi-Jerusalemite family on his father's side and a Sepharadi-Greek-Italian family on his mother's.[5] His sister, Nitza Kanfer,[6] is 12 years younger than he.

Hackmey attended boarding schools in Switzerland.[5] He earned a baccalaureate in mathematics at M.I.T. in 1964, then continued his studies at the same institution and earned a master's degree in electrical engineering in 1965, at the age of 20.[4] In 1967, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem awarded him an honorary postgraduate diploma in actuarial science and business administration.[7] Hackmey received a second master's degree, in Judaic Studies from New York University, in 2013.

Hackmey knows seven languages.[8]

Business careerEdit

Hackmey commenced his insurance career in 1968 with the Israel Phoenix Assurance company. After seven years he was appointed by the board of directors as chief executive officer of the Phoenix. Four years after he appointed as CEO the Phoenix profits multiplied by five times.[8] He was elected chairman of the Israeli Insurance Association twice and Chairman of the Israeli Life Offices Association twice.[3] When his father died in 1991, Hackmey succeeded him as the Chairman of Israel Phoenix.[2] In 2002 Hackmey and his sister sold their stake of 56.8% in the Israel Phoenix Assurance company, for 314 million US$.[6] At the time, it was the third largest insurance company in Israel. It was sold to the brothers in law, Ya'akov Shahar and Israel Kez, the importers of Volvo cars to Israel and the owners of Maccabi Haifa football team.[9]

Art collectionEdit

In 1994, a London-based art news magazine named Hackmey "Art Collector of the year".[5] The Israel Phoenix corporate collection, consisting of 2,200 items, most of them paintings and a small quantity of sculptures, was estimated in 2002 to be worth 216 million shekels.[9] The international collection included Picasso, Matisse, Robert Rauschenberg, Barnett Newman, Jasper Johns, Jean Dubuffet, Mark Rothko.[9][10] The Israeli collection included Reuven Rubin, Yehezkel Streichman, Arie Aroch, Joseph Zaritsky, Yitzhak Danziger, Marcel Janco, Mordecai Ardon, Aviva Uri, Raffi Lavie, Avigdor Stematsky.[8][11]

Professor Mordechai Omer, director of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, studied the collection and published a selection of it in a 600-page book. In 1998 Tel Aviv Museum of Art organized an exhibition which included 300 items from the collection.[9]

Hackmey also possesses a large personal collection of international art and Israeli art, including a special collection of young Israeli artists.[5]


Hackmey is an enthusiastic philatelist. His collections[10] of Ceylon and New Zealand Commonwealth stamps considered to be the finest ever assembled for those countries, and Hackmey was presented with an International Award in recognition for his record. Hackmey's most remarkable purchase, is a 11 November 1858 issue of Romanian newspaper Zimbrul și Vulturul. The item bears eight rare Romanian cap de bour ("Bull's Head") stamps, issued by the principality of Moldova in 1858. He won the Grand Prix National and a Large Gold Medal at the Efiro 2008 in Bucharest for his exhibit Classical Romania. He also owned a May 1851 cover widely considered to be the greatest USA Classic cover in existence. Hackmey also owns a collection of Switzerlands classic issues which is, together with the Schaefer and Senn collections, considered to be one of the best still-complete modern day collections in its field.

He also won Grand Prix medals at the World Philatelic Exhibitions, Istanbul 1996, Israel 1998, Israel 2008, and was a candidate for the Grand Prix in Washington, 2006.[12]

Hackmey is a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society, London and a member of the Collectors Club of New York. In 2010 he was elected an associate foreign member of the Académie de philatélie, Paris.[4]


The Bnai Brith International organization awarded Hackmey the "Bnai Brith International Humanitarian award". In 2009 he received an honorary doctorate degree from the Tel Aviv University in recognition of his various contributions to Israeli society, including art, music and culture.[7]

Hackmey is a member of the board of governors of the Weizmann Institute of Science,[13] the Israel Museum, the Tel Aviv Museum,[14] the Tel Aviv University,[15] the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,[5] the Israeli Opera,[16] the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, and is a member of the International Council of the Tate Gallery of London. He served as the Chairman of the Israeli Chess Association, and during his chairmanship, the number of Israeli international chess grandmasters had increased from 5 to 29.[3]

He established Hackmey Hebrew Classical Library, joined its two world-famous predecessors at Harvard University Press – the Loeb Classical Library. it will offer classical texts – in the case of the Hackmey Library, Hebrew and Aramaic in facing-page translation.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The 2008 Artnews 200 top collectors. ARTnews.
  2. ^ a b c d Peretz, Sami. (27 December 2002). "Life Work in return to cash", The Marker
  3. ^ a b c d Profile: "An Important Contribution to Western Civilization", at Tau Insider 2009, p. 16.
  4. ^ a b c Biography in academie de philatelite site Archived 25 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b c d e Karpel, Dalia. (2 November 1995). "If it's beautiful, I want it to be mine", Musaf Haaretz.
  6. ^ a b Sheffer, Shlomi (1 January 2003). "Hackmey sells the family firm". Haaretz
  7. ^ a b Honorary doctorate for Hackmey in Tel Aviv University site
  8. ^ a b c Nachshon, Ilan. (30 October 1998). "Love, passion and obsession". 7 days Yedioth Ahronoth. P. 56.
  9. ^ a b c d Ronen, Moshe. (4 September 2002). "Painting in the eye of the storm". 24 hours, Yedioth Ahronot. pp. 14–15.
  10. ^ a b (26 June 2015). "The stamp and art collections of Joseph Hackmey". in
  11. ^ Sheffi, Smadar (24 November 1998). "Like a clock". Haaretz
  12. ^ World Philatelic Exhibition: Washington 2006 – Palmares
  13. ^ List of international board members, Weizmann institute of science
  14. ^ International Board of Governors, Tel Aviv Museum of art
  15. ^ Members of the Board of Governors, Tel Aviv University
  16. ^ Friends of the Israeli Opera Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit