The son of Bertu Xuereb and Maria née Grech, Angelo – better known as Anġlu – was born in Naxxar. The eldest son of eleven children, he grew up in a family of limited means. He attended St Monica primary school in Mosta and continued his secondary education at Stella Maris College, Gżira.
Angelo Xuereb was no ordinary little boy; he spent his time planning and constructing rooms out of rubble, working tirelessly on his father’s farm, and dreaming of a time when he would be a successful businessman. Even at a young age there was no doubt in his mind that this trait would take him all the way to the top.
Angelo began his professional career as a helper in his father’s construction and property business. While his hard-working father Bertu was keen for his son not to follow in the family line, Angelo quickly realised he had found his calling in the construction industry. He set out to forge his own path, and after marrying his wife Josephine, he invested a modest sum of Lm200 received in wedding gifts into his own construction enterprise.
Launched in 1977, AX Construction fast became one of Malta’s leading building and civil engineering contractors with operations expanding into a hard rock quarry and the first state of the art pre-cast and pre-stressed concrete factory on the island. Over the years, AX Construction has gone on to complete a wide range of prestigious projects including luxury hotels, a private hospital, a retirement village, specialist restoration works on landmark sites, and many civil engineering structures which have strengthened Malta’s infrastructure.
In the ensuing decades, Angelo took steps to diversify his company, starting with a successful expansion into the hospitality sector. In 1983, he opened the four-star Sunny Coast holiday complex in Qawra, followed in 1988 by the four-star Suncrest Hotel, which was the largest hotel in Malta for over 20 years. Under the AX Hotels brand, Angelo has continued to launch many other award-winning hotel properties, including the five-star AX The Palace, the four-star AX The Victoria, as well as Palazzo Capua—a 200-year-old palazzo which Angelo meticulously restored to its former glory, inside and out.
Angelo has long harboured a vision to restore value to Malta’s capital city of Valletta. In this spirit, he has completed a number of noteworthy projects, including the superstructure of the new Parliament House in City Gate, the Old University campus, and the relaunched Is-Suq Tal-Belt (City Market).
An entrepreneur at heart, Angelo has continued to pursue many other business ventures, ranging from launching restaurants, private health care, and Malta’s first retirement village, to creating the success of the Valletta Cruise Port and the Valletta Waterfront, which received numerous plaudits for its high-quality regeneration.
In addition to being a highly successful businessman, Angelo has also enjoyed a very active civic life. In 1994, he won a landslide victory and was elected independent mayor for Naxxar Local Council for two terms. During his time as Mayor, Angelo achieved the award for Best Managed Local Council. Angelo has served as Vice President of several clubs and societies and was a council member of the Malta Federation of Industry, Chamber of Commerce and Building Industry Consultative Council. In 1982, he was bestowed an honorary knighthood by the Sovereign Order of St John of Jerusalem. Together with his wife, Angelo launched the AX Foundation in 2006, which continues to leave a positive impact on Maltese communities through raising funds and awareness in support of various charities, initiatives, and organisations.
In 2012, Angelo published his autobiography ANGELO, which chronicles his life story and the various challenges and obstacles he overcame during his career. Angelo wrote the book to inspire budding entrepreneurs to pursue their greatest ambitions with determination, creativity, and integrity.
In 2017, AX Hotels opened the Saint John Boutique Hotel in Valletta followed by the launch of the five-star Rosselli AX Privilege on Merchants Street. Housed in a beautifully restored 17th-century palazzo, this luxury boutique hotel is also home to the Michelin-starred Under Grain, one of the first fine dining restaurants in Malta to achieve this coveted, internationally recognised rating. Angelo continues to seek out valuable pieces of architecture in the capital to regenerate Valletta to its former glory.
Throughout his career, Angelo has won many prestigious awards, including Employer of the Year and the EY Entrepreneur of the Year in Malta. He was also nominated at the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards held in Monaco.
Angelo and his wife have a son, Richard, and two daughters, Claire and Denise, who are actively involved in the family business and continue to drive the company forward. In 2020, 45 years after he began his journey from a humble home office, AX Group relocated to the AX Business Centre in Mosta, a state-of-the-art office complex. Masterminded by Angelo himself, this flagship HQ building was designed to be a true reflection of the high level of quality AX Group is renowned for. Today, AX Group is a multi-million asset corporation comprising a diverse range of companies operating in construction, development, hospitality, and healthcare.