Luca Longobardi is a dreamer. He dreamt of success, riches and love.
From humble beginnings in southern Italy, at the age of 21 and with just 500 dollars in his pocket he left his home to follow his dreams in the US. Living hand to mouth and sleeping in train stations he worked hard and became one of Wall Street’s most successful financiers. By 1999 he had personally built a prominent investment bank with offices in New York, London, Miami, Milan and notably Brazil.
Luca had it all; a booming business, a luxury home, flash cars, a Brazilian beauty queen wife and 2 children, life could not be any better – all that changed in 24 hours.
In 2010, he found himself an easy target, Luca was falsely accused and arrested in Brazil as part of a crackdown on international banks. Luca found himself on the Interpol list as one of the most wanted men in the world. He spent 30 days in one of South America’s most notorious prisons where he found himself sharing space with some of the world’s most infamous criminals.
He was freed and cleared of all charges but Luca found himself the face of a global press story, run by a Brazilian Police Chief in search of fame. The Police Chief released false information, stating that Luca was “The Mafia’s Banker”, a title that stuck with him.
Not only had Luca lost his career, it caused the break up of his family. After 14 years of marriage, his wife filed for divorce. Many would have given up at this point but not Luca.
In 2015 he self-published his autobiography, “Branded The Mafia’s Banker”, on Amazon. It became a best-seller in the US, UK, Italy and Canada. When launched, the book trailer had more than 1 million views on social media and won 3 international awards. He has subsequently signed the movie rights for his story.
Leaving the world of Wall Street (and Brazil) behind him his focus and ambition have shifted to bring his undeniable energy, commitment and innovation to the world of food, drink and lifestyle, creating the Luca Longobardi Hospitality Group, based in the UK and the USA. Luca is still a dreamer and he is still dreaming big, but now his dreams are not negotiable.
With the success of 108 Garage, one of London’s most acclaimed restaurant and Tatler’s 2018 restaurant of the year, Luca recently opened Southam Street, a three storey Victorian pub taking in a grill, raw bar and champagne bar too.
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