By David G. Barry
Investment adviser Fayez Sarofim, who for many years
managed the endowment of Rice University, has died. He was 93.
Sarofim founded Houston-based Fayez Sarofim & Co. with $100,000 in 1958 after earning degrees from the University of California and Harvard Business School. Known as the “The Sphinx,” the Egyptian native was known for investing in so-called blue-chip stocks. The investment firm today manages more than $30 billion and is led by his son, Christopher Sarofim.
Rice University was one of Sarofim’s first clients. When he first began managing it in the early 1960s, it had $63 million under management. As of June 30, 2021, the Rice endowment had $8.1 billion in assets. It is now managed by Rice Management Company, an in-house team led by President and Chief Investment Officer Allison K. Thacker.
In a prepared statement, Rice President David Leebron called Sarofim “a remarkable force in Houston, an important figure in the management of our endowment and a bold leader for the expansion of the arts at Rice.” He added that Houston and Rice “have lost a great leader who made both immeasurably better, and his impact will never be forgotten on our campus.”
who recently retired as Rice’s Centennial Historian, added in a statement that
Sarofim managed the Rice endowment “brilliantly.” She said that he “is one of
the most important and least known figures in Rice’s financial history.”