His first entrepreneurial ventures centred on trade. Soon afterwards, he also became involved in shipping. Through a series of swift and astute moves, the scope of his activities quickly expanded to include such diverse undertakings as the transportation of pilgrims from Libya to Mecca and ocean-going commercial shipping. The latter, along with the trade in petroleum products, inspired him to establish, in the beginning of the 1970΄s, Petrola Hellas at Elefsis near Athens, the first export refinery in Greece.
Amongst the most important milestones in John S. Latsis΄ career were his activities in Saudi Arabia in the mid-1970΄s, where he initially undertook infrastructure projects and later, in the early 1980΄s, built and operated an export refinery in Rabigh.
He first turned his attention to the finance and credit sector in 1980, when he purchased the Banque de Dépôts, based in Geneva, Switzerland, an event that signalled the beginning of yet another successful venture, this time in the banking sector.
John S. Latsis passed away on 17 April 2003.