Oligarchopedia: Sándor Demján

Sándor Demján is a “retro-oligarch” because his high-profile businessman activities have been running over the past three decades of Hungarian history. He appeared next to communist leaders before 1989; after the transition he also found grand projects to support. He maintained good relations with both big parties dominating the Hungarian political scene. His entrepreneurial career started at the age of ten in the 1950s with breeding rabbits, and investing his profit into running a sort of shooting gallery. In his 20s he was managing socialist style shopping centers; during the time of Hungary’s transition into democracy, he founded a bank and owned a diverse portfolio consisting of media outlets. By the end of the 1990s he turned to real-estate investments, building shopping malls, stadiums and office towers. He always makes sure to maintain good relations with politicians but in many interviews he talked about regretting the struggles of his homeland. To flatter his public image a bit, he and Sándor Csányi founded the Prima Primissima Awards which are handed out each year to Hungarians who care about their country, who have achieved something remarkable or are possessing special talents.

Read the full article in Hungarian here. Browse the list of Hungarian oligarchs here.