In the 1970s and 80s, investment giant E.F. Hutton & Co. became well known for its television commercials. Most ads were based on the phrase, "When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen," and they often featured people in various social situations while discussing the stock market. When one actor would mention that his broker was E.F. Hutton, everyone within earshot would immediately stop what he or she was doing and listen intently, hoping to gain some valuable, potentially lucrative financial insight.
David Norcom, Class of 1973 and a former E.F. Hutton employee, has a similar impact on people these days. When Norcom talks, people around him tend to listen.
And for good reason.
Norcom's varied career has placed him in front of thousands of worshippers in religious settings as well as at the head table with CEOs, decision makers and industry leaders.
After graduating from Texas A&M, Norcom attended seminary school and earned a theology degree. That led him to First Presbyterian Church of Belton, where he served as pastor for several years. In 1980, he changed careers and moved into the investment business. Within three years he had become one of the top five producers at E.F. Hutton.
In 2004, Norcom founded NorCap Advisors, LLC and now manages three hedge funds. His success in the boardroom has allowed David and his wife, Sharee, to give generously to Texas A&M.
"I attribute a lot of my success professionally to being able to stand up in front of a board of businessmen anywhere and give a presentation," Norcom said recently from his home in Bryan. "I'm not one that has to be in the limelight, but I'm not shy when it comes to being in front of a group."
The Norcoms recently made a major gift to the 12th Man Foundation's Next Step campaign to support a new outdoor track and field stadium. The couple also purchased a legacy suite in redeveloped Kyle Field.
Supporting A&M athletics has been a passion of Norcom's since his days as an undergraduate. Norcom spent part of his time as a student volunteering as a manager for the Aggie football team.
"When I graduated from high school, it was the year A&M won the Cotton Bowl, and there was a lot of buzz on campus," recalled Norcom. "Being a manager never got me any money or free jerseys, but it was something you did because you loved it."
Norcom was even on the sideline in Baton Rouge in 1970 when the Aggies stunned LSU, 20-18, on the back of a 79-yard catch-and-run by Hugh McElroy with just seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
A longtime season ticket holder at Kyle Field, Norcom has made it a point to support other sports, too.
"I am personally of the opinion that (A&M track and field coach) Pat Henry deserves it," Norcom said of his support of track and field. "If anybody deserves great facilities, it's him because of his history of hard work. And his program competes for (national titles) every year."
It should come as no surprise that Norcom is drawn to Henry's work ethic, as Norcom has used a similar drive to build his remarkably successful career.
"There is no real strong secret to success. It's just hard work, putting in your time and being honest with people," Norcom said. "I used to have younger brokers ask me what my key to success was. I would say, 'let me ask you a question...what time do you get to work?' They would say that the markets open at 8:30, so they usually get in around 8:15. Well, I generally get there no later than 7. It's just hard work. If you're honest, work hard and do good work, anybody can succeed at anything."
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It's a real pleasure for us to do this, because I think back about all the support Aggies have given me. No one accomplishes everything in life by themselves, and A&M and the Aggie network have definitely been there for me throughout my life."