Loutfy Mansour is an Egyptian landmark. Aside from starting the Mansour empire, he is also much celebrated for his extraordinary character, his integrity and desire to help the underprivileged and give everyone an equal chance to grow, regardless of position. Those who had the chance to work with him knew that he was a man who respected his word and held its importance above any contract.
He was a devoted family man who always applied his family-based concepts to how he managed his own businesses.
Loutfy Mansour was born in 1909, and received his BA from Saint John’s University in Cambridge, England in 1933. He returned to Egypt and pursued the passion he inherited from his father and grandfather: cotton trading. Naturally he excelled at it and by 1945, was appointed as part of a special governmental committee assigned to cotton handling, with headquarters in Alexandria. His own views revolutionized cotton laws and exporting systems – causing the beginning of the export of Egyptian cotton and gradually introducing it to the global market.
This lead to his appointment as the youngest ever head of the cotton sector in 1946. However, in 1950, he decided to be more hands on in the market and worked as an advisor for a local cotton company, within no time succeeding in making the company the second highest grossing cotton company in Egypt. In 1952 he was appointed as the Secretary General for the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce and became a member of the Board of Directors of the local Financial and Commercial Company.
After the 1952 revolution and armed only with his experience, perseverance and patience he started his own company: Loutfy Mansour & Sons Cotton Trading Company. This was a bold move, since these were troubled times where the market was monopolized by internationally managed companies. Yet, he managed to become the second largest cotton supplier in the country. After Egypt’s policy of nationalization in 1955, Mansour’s company was nationalized and Egypt’s government at the time took all his assets.
In 1968 he was appointed as the economic advisor for the Sudanese government, and it was also in Sudan where he established his second cotton trading company in 1969. It quickly multiplied its profits and became known on the international scene.
Back in Egypt, the guardianship on Mansour’s assets was removed and he was invited to return in 1971. However he chose to move to Switzerland and to work independently from a small office in Geneva. In 1973, he decided to focus on service-oriented businesses, sought out General Motors, and succeeded in becoming their agent in Egypt.
He died in 1976, leaving a huge legacy behind him in his four sons: Ismail, Youssef, Mohamed, Yasseen, and his daughter. Rawya.