Angelo Xuereb

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.

Claire Zammit Xuereb

Claire Zammit Xuereb is an influential entrepreneurial leader with a history of significant accomplishments in the hospitality industry. Through her vision, passion, and determination, Claire
remains committed to seeking untapped opportunities within the market to create a diverse range of forward-thinking and successful hospitality businesses.

Claire is the director for two of AX Group’s divisions: hospitality and care. In her role as Hospitality Director, she manages a highly regarded portfolio of seven hotels and 14 restaurants, which has become synonymous with exacting standards and stellar guest service throughout. Highlight properties under the AX Hotels brand include the five-star Rosselli AX Privilege boutique hotel in Valletta, the five-star AX The Palace in Sliema, and Grain – Malta’s only brand to house two MICHELIN-awarded restaurants under one roof. Having led AX Hotels from strength to strength over the past years, Ms Zammit Xuereb was also appointed Director of AX Care in 2022. Ms Zammit Xuereb brings in a wealth of leadership experience and passion for positive change to the company’s established and highly successful healthcare brands, namely Malta’s only luxury retirement village Hilltop Gardens and Simblija Care Home in the heart of Naxxar. She believes that building a sense of community is essential to quality and genuine healthcare.

Claire holds a BSc in International Hospitality Management from the University of Wales and has read for a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from the Centre International de Glion. Claire’s ambition to broaden her business acumen has seen her take on roles in the global tourism industry. Her experience abroad continues to inspire her to develop new products and hospitality offerings that add quality and value to the local sector.

In addition to her directorship duties with AX Hotels, Claire also sits on the Executive Board of AX Group and has held various positions within the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association and the ITS Board of Governors. As Chairperson of the AX Foundation, Claire continues her tireless work to assist persons living with invisible disabilities, primarily those on the autism spectrum. Under her auspices, the Foundation has made strides in contributing to national policy-making to drive positive social change that will create a more inclusive future for all.

Chris Paris

Christopher Paris born in Floriana aged 68, married to Rose nee Camilleri, they have a daughter and two sons. Educated at the Floriana primary school, Naxxar Technical School for his secondary education and at Bath University UK for his tertiary education. He holds a Masters’ of Science degree in Construction Management.
Chris Paris involvement in construction dates back by some forty years, he started as a draughtsperson with MaltConsult international and promoted to Architectural Design leader, engaged on a number of foreign prestigious projects. Since then he was engaged with other international architectural establishments including Richard England and Partners Ltd. His involvement in the local scene varies from concept design work to site management, particularly in the hospitality industry on various hotel projects.
In 2001 he joined VISET plc, as the manager responsible engaged for the development of the cruise port and assigned to organise the port operations management team. He succeeded the first GM after his resignation from the post and remained heading the organisation for a number of years. It is recognised that this opportunity not only fulfilled his youth aspirations but also contributed towards the successful building of a healthy cruise industry for Malta.
In 2009 he joined the Grand Harbour Rehabilitation Corporation as the CEO of this Government owned entity. GHRC is engaged on the rehabilitation and development of a number of prestigious projects related to the rehabilitation of Valletta and its immediate environment. One of the projects entrusted to GHRC was the construction and development of the Parliament building deigned by Renzo Piano, this also incorporated a number of satellite sites being the City Gate and the associated ditch works, and reconstruction of the Barrakka Lift. Under the GHRC list of projects there was the successful completion of restoration and rehabilitation of the former St Elmo into a Malta’s Military History Museum and the Dock One Waterfront project at Cottonera. He served for 4 years as Deputy Chairman of Malta Industrial Parks besides attending to the board duties he served as the chairperson of the Tenders Adjudication committee for MIP and ME.
Since January 2015 he has reengaged with the private sector; since then he was nominated to sit as a board member of AX Group of companies and AXRE.

Denise Xuereb

Denise Xuereb is the Director of Construction and Development at AX Group. As one of the few women operating in the top-flight of the local construction industry, Denise has accomplished many significant milestones and breakthroughs in the sector over the course of her career.   

Daughter of entrepreneur Angelo Xuereb and Josephine née Abela, Denise was born in Pieta and attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart during her primary and secondary school years. It wasn’t until her teens that Denise found a fascination with buildings and design, whereby she sought to follow in her father’s footsteps and forge her own path within the construction industry. After completing a B.Com Hons in Management at the University of Malta, Denise was entrusted with her first major project—overseeing the finishing stages of the five-star AX The Palace hotel in Sliema, which was completed in 2008.  

Capitalising on her passion and propensity for project management, Denise continued to build upon her first-hand experience in the field by embarking on an MSc in Project and Programme Management at the prestigious Ecole Superieure de Commerce, Paris. On her return to Malta, she was quick to put her newfound knowledge into practice through one of the most extensive construction projects carried out in Valletta in recent years. The construction of the New Parliament Buildings and the reimagined Opera House, saw Denise take responsibility for managing the Joint Venture and works on site.  

Taking on the mantle of Director of AX Construction in 2010, Denise set about spearheading the restoration division within the firm by building a strong team of talented individuals who were capable of carrying out high-quality restoration works on Malta’s stone heritage. Under Denise’s directorship, AX Construction continued to strengthen its estimable reputation. In recent years, the firm has been entrusted with many landmark construction and restoration projects, including the building of the new visitor centre and restoration works at St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta, the AX Business Centre in Mosta, the conversion of Farsons Brewhouse in Mrieħel, the rehabilitation of the Maritime Museum in Vittoriosa, the restoration and construction of a Visitor Centre at St. Paul’s Catacombs in Rabat, and countless other buildings of note. 

In addition to her directorship duties with AX Construction, Denise has served as an executive director on the AX Group board for the past 10 years. She is also council member in the Malta Developers Association, a member within the Chamber of Commerce, and an active participant in the Building Industry Consultative Council where she continues to champion sustainable development and eco-friendly innovations within the sector. Through her participation in various forums and conferences, she remains at the forefront of innovative ideas within the international scene and seeks to develop projects where quality design meets practical functionality that will serve well into the future. 

She has spearheaded a number of landmark projects such as the new Parliament Building, Hilltop retirement village, the restoration of various land-front fortifications, rehabilitation of the Valletta Old Market, the New visitor Centre at St. Paul’s Catacombs, and many more. She also sits on the Executive Board of AX Group.

John Soler

John Soler has more than 45 years’ experience in retail banking after holding several senior positions with Bank of Valletta p.l.c. He led the bank’s operations for over a decade before being appointed to the senior management team as Chief Credit Officer, with responsibility for Bank of Valletta’s lending portfolio comprising corporate, business and consumer lending as well as home loans, trade finance and card business. Mr. Soler presently sits on the board of various regulated entities, including a local retail bank.

Josef Formosa Gauci

Josef Formosa Gauci was educated at De La Salle College Malta and Stonyhurst College in the UK. and graduated in economics from Nottingham University in 1989. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a fellow of the Malta Institute of Accountants.

He worked with Price Waterhouse in London and in Malta and was subsequently General Manager of the Galaxy Hotel and of Trident Developments Ltd. Between 2008 and 2014 he was CEO of the Malta Tourism Authority. He has also served as President of MHRA and was a member of MCESD and is presently the Chairman of the Malta Airport Foundation. He is also a member of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

Michael Warrington

Michael Warrington is a highly experienced executive who has worked across several industries over the course of his 40+ year career. Michael is a Certified Public Accountant, a Fellow of the Malta Institute of Accountants, and an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in the United Kingdom. He currently serves as CEO for AX Group, one of Malta’s leading diversified corporations operating chiefly in construction, development, healthcare, and hospitality.

An alumnus of St. Aloysius’ College in Birkirkara, Michael went on to complete a BA Hons in Accountancy followed by an MA in Financial Services at the University of Malta. His varied career began at Bank of Valletta in 1979 at a very formative time for the local financial services industry. During his time with BOV, the bank went through an IPO on the Malta Stock Exchange.  Michael was involved in the formation of two subsidiary banks: BOV International Ltd and Valletta Investment Bank Ltd.

After qualifying as an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Michael served for four years as CFO of Air Malta, during a time when the airline achieved unprecedented profitability. The following years saw Michael set up his own firm, join the team that opened the Westin Hotel in St. Julian’s. Michael’s long-standing journey with AX Group began over two decades ago. Originally approached to provide the company with financial advice, Michael was offered the role of CFO of the Group, which he took up in February 2000. It was a position he retained until 2016, when AX Group chairman and founder Angelo Xuereb appointed him as the Group’s new CEO. Right from the early days with AX Group, Michael has continued to draw from his extensive background in banking and finance to lead with a forward-thinking but measured approach which has driven the company towards steady year-on- year growth.

Michael was instrumental in establishing FCM Bank Ltd in 2011 and also in the restructuring of Novum Bank Limited in 2013 – 2016 Michael serves as a director on the board of a number of private and public listed companies both in Malta and internationally. He has held board positions with GO PLC and Malta Properties Company PLC and a number of family owned businesses. He is currently director of AX Group PLC, AX Investments PLC, Cablenet Communications Systems Plc, Together Gaming Solutions Plc, Novum Bank Limited, Nissan International Insurance Ltd, and Valletta Cruise Port PLC.

Dr. Edmond Zammit Laferla

Edmond is a partner in the Corporate department of Mamo TCV Advocates, a leading Maltese law firm. His areas of specialisation include all aspects of corporate, insurance, data protection, civil and commercial law. He is also visiting lecturer at the University of Malta in the insurance course (BA). Edmond joined Mamo TCV Advocates as a senior associate in 2011 and has been appointed partner with effect from the 1st July 2015. He started his legal practice as a trainee with the in-house legal department of a local financial services provider. After four years, he joined a local composite insurance company and acted for eight years as in-house counsel, company secretary, and Divisional Head – Corporate Services.

Edmond provides advice to local and foreign clients on various corporate matters. He has also been involved in privatisation procedures and in the negotiation and drafting of major contracts. He is also regarded as one of the leading lawyers in the insurance practice area and provides legal support to a number of local and foreign insurance players by providing advice on insurance related matters including litigation, regulatory and compliance issues. He assists various local entities in matters related to compliance with the local legal framework governing regulated business and regularly provides training to such entities and their staff compliment.

Edmond graduated as a Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) from the University of Malta in 2002 after graduating as a Bachelor of Arts in Legal and Humanistic Studies in 1998. He was admitted to the Maltese Bar in January 2002.He also holds a Certificate in Trust Law and Administration awarded by the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners in 2005.