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From Orphanage to Boardroom ‘On The Road Less Traveled’ with Ed Hajim; Moderated by Mark E. Klein, MD

March 18, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


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A powerful story touched with family trauma, deprivation, and adversity balanced by a life of hard work and philanthropy!

At the age of three, Ed Hajim is kidnapped by his father, driven cross-country, and told his mother had died. He presses his face against the car window, watches the miles pass and wonders where life will take him.

Where you’d least expect.

In a memoir filled with human drama, wisdom and timeless life lessons, Ed Hajim tells his improbable story of how he bounced from foster homes to orphanages, in a daily struggle to survive, to living the American dream as an accomplished Wall Street executive and model family man with great moral fiber and the means to give back to a world that seemed intent on rejecting him.

“Ed Hajim’s On the Road Less Traveled is truly inspirational, a moving, personal history that demonstrates the importance of being faithful to one’s core values.  His determination and conviction that ‘education is the passport to a better future,’ combined with his genuine care for others, offer a road map for a life well-lived.”   —Renée Fleming

“The Ed Hajim story should be a ‘must-read’ in every school in the US! This is the touching American dream story of a young boy raised in orphanages who, through natural ability and determination, achieved great success in business and in life and then gave back. A very inspirational read.”
Barbara Hackman Franklin, 29th US Secretary of Commerce


On the Road Less Traveled is the inspirational story of Edmund A. Hajim, an American financier and philanthropist who rises from dire childhood circumstances to achieve professional success and personal fulfillment. At age three, Hajim is kidnapped by his father, driven from St. Louis to Los Angeles, and told that his mother is dead. His father soon abandons him in order to seek employment—mostly in vain—leaving his son behind in a string of foster homes and orphanages. This establishes a pattern of neglect and desertion that continues for Hajim’s entire childhood, forever leaving its mark. From one home to another, the lonely boy learns the value of self-reliance and perseverance despite his financial deprivation and the trauma of being an orphan.

As time passes, Hajim displays a powerful instinct for survival and a burning drive to excel. A highly motivated student and athlete, he earns an NROTC college scholarship to the University of Rochester; serves in the United States Navy; works as an application research engineer; then attends Harvard Business School, where he finds that the financial industry is his true calling. So begins his rapid ascent in the corporate world, which includes senior executive positions at E. F. Hutton, Lehman Brothers, and fourteen years as CEO of Furman Selz, growing the company more than tenfold. He also creates a happy and abundant family life, though he never forgets what it means to struggle. At age sixty, he is reminded of his painful past when a family secret emerges that brings the story full circle.


Ed Hajim, the son of a Syrian immigrant, is a seasoned Wall Street executive with more than 50 years of investment experience. He has held senior management positions with the Capital Group, E.F. Hutton, and Lehman Brothers before becoming chairman and CEO of Furman Selz. Hajim has been the co-chairman of ING Barings, Americas Region; chairman and CEO of ING Aeltus Group and ING Furman Selz Asset Management; and chairman and CEO of MLH Capital. He is now chairman of High Vista, a Boston-based money management company.


Mark E. Klein is a physician and author. His career has been centered on caring for others, whether they be patients, colleagues, or strangers. He is always a teacher, sometimes of new medical technologies to other physicians from around the nation and the world, other times of those even more important issues of life that none of us can avoid.

He continues to practice medicine in Washington, DC. Franklin Rock is his third book and his first novel. He has four children, four grandchildren, and lives with his wife in the Washington, DC area.


March 18, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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