Born in 1972, Sarkis Izmirlian is the heir to the billionaire fortune and peanut business of the famous Armenian Izmirlian family from Geneva (Switzerland). The grandfather of billionaire Sarkis Izmirlian ended up in Switzerland at the beginning of the 20th century, fleeing the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire. The founder of the family business was Sarkis’s father, Tigran Izmirlian, whom the European press called the “peanut king” half a century ago. Already at the end of the 1960s, Izmirlian senior managed to take control of almost the entire world export of Gambian peanuts and create his own peanut empire – the Swiss company “Alimenta”.
Sarkis himself began working in the family business from a young age, and after studying at the university, in parallel with the peanut business, he began to engage in large construction projects in Switzerland, Great Britain and other countries of the world. In 2005, one of the Izmirlian family companies acquired a 13-acre (5.26 hectare) plot of land that houses the London City Hall. Members of the Izmirlian family have been major patrons of art in Armenia since 1988.
In 1994, the Izmirlian Foundation was founded in Yerevan, which is engaged in the development of business and education, and in 2013 the medical center of the same name was opened. Sarkis Izmirlian himself is also the founder of the fund in support of Armenian organizations in Switzerland: the fund financed the construction and restoration of Armenian churches, schools and cultural centers in different parts of Europe and Armenia. The Swiss Armenian annually allocates large funds for the activities of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund and the All-Armenian Benevolent Union (AGBU).