Ed Hajim, the son of a Syrian immigrant, is a seasoned Wall Street executive with more than fifty years of investment experience. On the Road Less Traveled is Hajim’s inspirational story of rising from dire childhood circumstances to achieve professional success and personal fulfillment as an American financier and philanthropist.
At age three, Hajim was kidnapped by his father, driven from St. Louis to Los Angeles, and told that his mother was dead. His father soon abandoned him in order to seek employment—mostly in vain—leaving his son behind in a string of foster homes and orphanages. This established a pattern of neglect and desertion that continued for Hajim’s entire childhood, forever leaving its mark. From one home to another, the lonely boy learned the value of self-reliance and perseverance despite his financial deprivation and the trauma of being an orphan.
As time passed, Hajim displayed a powerful instinct for survival and a burning drive to excel. A highly motivated student and athlete, he earned an NROTC college scholarship to the University of Rochester; served in the United States Navy; worked as an application research engineer; then attended Harvard Business School, where he found that the financial industry was his calling. So began his rapid ascent in the corporate world, which included senior executive positions at E. F. Hutton, Lehman Brothers, and fourteen years as CEO of Furman Selz, growing the company more than tenfold. Hajim created a happy and abundant family life, though he never forgot what it means to struggle. At age sixty, he was reminded of his painful past when a family secret emerged that brought the story full circle.
Through the Hajim Family Foundation, Ed Hajim has made generous donations to organizations that promote education, health care, arts, culture, and conservation. In 2015, he received the Horatio Alger Award, given to Americans who exemplify the values of initiative, leadership, and commitment to excellence and who have succeeded despite personal adversities.
This event will be held online on Zoom.