Growing up in Lebanon during the country’s civil war, Fuad Sawaya, lived through a “nightmare”, sometimes attending school in a shelter and learned by candle light.
That did not stop him from eventually founding the consumer industry-focused investment bank, Sawaya Segalas.
In a recent interview with OneWire CEO Skiddy von Stade, Sawaya recounts his journey from the Middle East to the United States.
After he graduated college, the situation in Lebanon left Sawaya with little choice but to continue his education in the US. He attended Columbia Business School and fought his way onto Wall Street, landing a job at Paine Webber.
Sawaya and his partner Hercules Segalas then co-founded their firm in 2001 in New York City on the brink of September 11th. Then Sawaya’s wife, who had been an instrumental figure for the first few years at the firm, passed away.
Sawaya says that all these experiences informed how he does business and made his firm stronger.
“They taught me how to be resilient, [have a] survivor instinct, and always see through challenges and come out ahead on the other side,” he said.
The year following the passing of Sawaya’s wife was a record year for the firm. He recalls, “The firm rallied together and got closer…and decided that in the memory of [my wife], we’re going to make the firm that much better.”
Watch more interviews with Wall Street executives, entrepreneurs and more by subscribing to OneWire’s YouTube Channel.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.