Next Women List

Esther Koplowitz Romero de Juseu

Nationality: Spanish
Location: Madrid, Spain

Company details

1962-current FCC

Esther Koplowitz is one of Europe’s leading businesswomen and philanthropists. She is the principal shareholder of FCC - the global environmental services and infrastructure Group, a company whose origins date back over 100 years.

She is the daughter of Ernest Koplowitz Sternberg, the founder of family business empire, and Esther Romero de Juseu y Armenteros, a Cuban aristocrat.

Esther and her sister Alicia inherited the company Construcciones y Contratas, S.A. upon their father's death in 1962. In 1992 they oversaw the pioneering merger of the company with Fomento de Obras y Construcciones, S.A. to create FCC. Esther acquired her sister's stake in 1998, thus ending a period of joint control and has led the Company ever since.

Ms Koplowitz’ daughter, Esther Alcocer Koplowitz,  was appointed FCC´s Chairwoman in January 2013.

In recent years FCC has reinvented itself from a mainly Spain-based construction company to a diversified multinational focusing on environmental and urban services such as waste and water management, infrastructure and renewable energy. The company has activities spanning over 50 countries worldwide, employing more than 70,000 people and generating global revenues of £9 billion.

Ms Koplowitz is the Founder and Chairwoman of the Foundation that bears her name - the Esther Koplowitz Foundation. She funds her Foundation in its entirety, personally sets the Foundation's strategy and oversees each project to ensure the Foundation’s goals are constantly met. To date the Foundation has contributed more than $100 million to philanthropic causes. 

Esther Koplowitz has received many awards for her business acumen, among them: the “Business Leader of the Year” award by the Spain - U.S. Chamber of Commerce in New York in 2007 and the “Executive of the Year award”  by Montblanc in 2005. FCC was recently recognized as one of Europe’s 10 leaders in Corporate Social Responsibility.

In May 2013, Esther was awarded the Grand Cross of the Civil Order of Environmental Merit from the Spanish Government, one of Spain’s highest civil decorations for environmental sustainability and corporate responsibility. The featured image of Esther, which has not been published previously, is of her at the award ceremony with the Spanish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, Miguel Arias Cañete.