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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Milan Janković
Born (1950-11-23) 23 November 1950 (age 70)
Alma materUniversity of Belgrade
OccupationFounder of Zepter International
Spouse(s)Madlena Zepter
ChildrenEmma Zepter

Milan Janković (Serbian Cyrillic: Милан Јанковић, born 23 November 1950), mostly known as Philip Zepter (Serbian: Филип Цептер/Filip Cepter), is a businessman and entrepreneur of Serbian origin. As of 2009, Zepter lives in the Villa Trianon in Cap Martin.[1]

Early years and education

He completed primary school in Kozarska Dubica before graduating from the University of Belgrade Faculty of Economics. At the age of 29, he went to Salzburg, Austria, following his wife Madlena Zepter (then Madlena Janković) who got a temporary job there and to study German, and liked it so much there that he decided to stay.

After he moved to Linz, in 1986 he founded Zepter Handels-GmbH, a multi-level marketing firm for pots and pans, which has over time grown into the conglomerate Zepter International which provides "a wide range of products and services, including banking, insurance, telecommunications, and retail sales of consumer products."[2]

Political involvement

Zepter was an early, important and continuous supporter of democratic reforms in Serbia and of the leading Serbian politicians who worked for that reform, one of whom was Zoran Đinđić.

Zepter continued his active support for Đinđić' pro-reform, democratic agenda, once saying that Đinđić was "a glimpse of bright light in the general hopelessness."[3]

International Crisis Group accusation

During the early 2000s, Zepter was attacked and defamed by the U.S. "think tank" International Crisis Group, which Zepter sued for libel in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

In a unanimous, 29 January 2010 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals decided that International Crisis Group falsely stated (seeking an excuse for its false and unfounded claim that Zepter had supported Milošević) that a bank controlled by Zepter was listed on a frozen assets list put out by the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control because "International Crisis Group" failed to disclose that any and all financial companies in Serbia were put on that list, regardless of who they were or who they supported.[4]

International Crisis Group's report was written by James Lyon about whom that Court said: "The only evidence shows that Lyon's motive to extort was consistent with blackmailing individuals with reports he believed to be true" and that the "evidence of Lyon's attempted extortion shows poor judgment and is hardly admirable conduct for a reporter."[5]

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia also determined and confirmed that Zepter had been a "close personal friend" of Đinđić, and, when requested by Đinđić, had helped the Serbian reform government pay for and arrange the services of a U.S. political consultant who, in turn, arranged for Đinđić and other Serbian officials to meet with the President of the United States, the U.S. Secretary of State and several other American officials, to help establish better relations between the United States and the Đinđić' government administration.[5] That remarkable meeting resulted in Đinđić announcing that the United States agreed to write off two thirds of then-Yugoslavia's $12.2 billion debt and to reschedule the remainder.[5] That U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia held that Mr. Zepter declared his support for Đinđić numerous times, including in a 2001 open letter to the Serbian people in which Zepter stated that "for a number of years, on a daily basis I have lobbied for prosperity and well-being of my country and my people."[3]

The U.S. Court of Appeals also confirmed that for many years Zepter was an "outspoken supporter" and "financial backer" of pro-democratic Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić.[5] That Court of Appeals also decided that because of Zepter's extensive personal efforts to support and work for democratic reform in Serbia by, in that U.S. Court's words, "acting as an advisor and financier of the Serbian reform effort."[5] Zepter became a limited public figure which then diminished his ability to continue his lawsuit for libel.


In 2011 he has been awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.[6]


  1. ^ Hello! Magazine, No. 1074, 2 June 2009, pg. 6–16
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^$file/09-7044-1228215.pdf.
  5. ^ a b c d e$file/14-7171-1612396.pdf.
  6. ^ "Ellis Island Medal of Honor Database". Ellis Island Honors Society. Retrieved 20 May 2019.

External links

  • Affäre: Der König der Töpfe, 8 May 2004
  • International Crisis Group, Balkans Report 145, 17 July 2003
  • Seth Lubove: Balkan Battle, Forbes Global; 19 April 2004, Vol. 7 Issue 7, p. 29
Civic offices
Preceded by
Dragan Kićanović
President of the
Olympic Committee of Serbia and Montenegro

Succeeded by
Ivan Ćurković
This page was last edited on 24 February 2021, at 10:44
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