Our Founder

Our firm was founded in August 1958 by FAYEZ SAROFIM, who served as Chairman and Co-Chief Investment Officer until his passing in May of 2022.

Known as “the Sphinx,” Fayez’s resonant nickname was less a comment on his Egyptian origins than his intentionally inscrutable public demeanor and innate modesty. That reserve cloaked a deep intelligence, wisdom, and foresight that made him a legend in the world of investing. Fayez was, at his core, a fervent patriot of his adopted country with a profound respect for the American entrepreneurial spirit.

Fayez was born in Cairo in 1928 and was the middle of three children who were all raised in Heliopolis, where his father was a prominent businessman and farmer. His family was distinguished in the Egyptian Coptic community; his grandfather, Marcus Simaika Pasha, was the founder of the Coptic Museum in Cairo in 1908. After attending Victoria College and the English School in Cairo, in 1946, Fayez came to study in the United States, where he earned an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.

After earning his MBA, Fayez joined the Houston-based firm of Anderson Clayton where he worked in all aspects of the business including management of the company’s pension fund. Through that experience, he soon decided that trading shares of great American companies was more interesting than trading commodities. With the entrepreneurial, bold spirit that would carry him through life, and with his faithful assistant, Mrs. Raye G. White, at his side, Fayez founded Fayez Sarofim Co. in 1958. Fayez often remarked that he would never have achieved the success he did without Mrs. White, and he recognized her contributions by appointing her as one of the first female senior executives in the investment management industry.

Fayez Sarofim & Co. grew to be the largest investment advisory firm in the Southwest. Early clients included the Rice University Endowment, The Brown Foundation, Inc., Texas Children’s Hospital, the Cullen Foundation, and Ford Motor Company, along with numerous other pension plans, endowments, foundations, and individuals. Fayez led a dedicated team of investment professionals with a quiet voice, a consistent vision anchored in his belief in America and America’s businesses, and an unwavering patience and conviction in his firm’s abilities to create wealth for its clients. His patience was girded by a strict ethical code and a deep obligation to help others. Fayez invested in companies whose management teams shared his own management ethos to treat shareholder and client money more dearly than their own.