As Chairman and Founder of AX Group, Angelo Xuereb is synonymous with entrepreneurial success in Malta. As a child, Mr Xuereb dreamt of becoming a successful businessman while he worked tirelessly on his father’s farm, planning and constructing rooms out of rubble. Even at a young age, there was no doubt in his mind that his hard work and savvy business acumen would take him all the way to the top.
Mr Xuereb began his career in his father’s construction and property business, and 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 200 Maltese lira (about €500) they 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. Since then, AX Construction has completed many prestigious projects, including luxury hotels, a private hospital, a retirement village, specialist restoration works on landmark sites, and many civil engineering structures that have strengthened Malta’s infrastructure. Ever guided by his long-term vision, Mr Xuereb eventually diversified his company. He started by expanding into the hospitality sector with the opening of the four-star Sunny Coast Holiday Complex in Qawra in 1983, followed by the four-star Suncrest Hotel in 1988 – and the latter remained Malta’s largest hotel for 20 years. Under the AX Hotels brand, Mr Xuereb has launched many more award-winning hotels, including the five-star AX The Palace, the four-star AX The Victoria, as well as Palazzo Capua – a 200-year-old palazzo which Mr Xuereb meticulously restored to its former glory, inside and out.
Mr Xuereb has long harboured a vision to restore value to Malta’s capital city of Valletta. In keeping with this spirit, he has completed several noteworthy projects, including the superstructure of the new Parliament House at City Gate, the Old University campus, and the relaunched Is-Suq tal-Belt (City Market). An entrepreneur at heart, Mr Xuereb has continued to pursue many other business ventures, ranging from restaurants, private healthcare and Malta’s first retirement village to creating the Valletta Cruise Port and the total regeneration of the Valletta Waterfront. Mr Xuereb 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, even winning the award for Best Managed Local Council. He has also 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. And, together with his wife, Mr Xuereb also launched the AX Foundation in 2006, which continues to leave a positive impact on Maltese communities by raising funds and awareness in support of various charities, community initiatives, and organisations. In 2012, Mr Xuereb published his autobiography ANGELO, which chronicles his life story and the challenges he overcame in his career. He wrote the book to inspire budding entrepreneurs to pursue their greatest ambitions with determination, creativity and integrity.
Then, in 2017, AX Hotels opened the Saint John Boutique Hotel in Valletta, followed by the five-star Rosselli – AX Privilege on Merchants’ Street. Housed in a beautifully restored 17th-century palazzo, this luxury boutique hotel is the home to the Michelin-starred Under Grain, one of Malta’s first fine dining restaurants to achieve this coveted, internationally recognised rating. And to this day, Mr Xuereb continues to keep his eyes peeled for valuable pieces of architecture that will regenerate Valletta to its former glory. Throughout his career, Mr Xuereb 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.
Mr Xuereb 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 Mr Xuereb 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 Mr Xuereb 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.