Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), previously known as The Instituto Tecnológico de México (ITM), was founded by Raúl Baillères on March 29, 1946. His love for Mexico, along with his desire to establish an academically excellent institute of higher education that would become the driving force for industrial and economic change in the country, led him to lead a group of renowned businessmen and bankers interested in education to establish the Asociación Mexicana de Cultura , A.C., [Mexican Cultural Association], ITAM's founding entity.
Until his death in 1967, Mr. Baillères was both the president of this association and an important promoter of our institution's growth, for twenty years. Thanks to his remarkable persistence, Mr. Baillères persuaded the President of Mexico, Adolfo López Mateos, to sign the decree that granted ITAM its autonomy on April 10th, 1962.
Despite lacking a formal education , Mr. Baillères, a self-educated businessman, forged an impressive career in the business world through hard work, perseverance, and a natural flair for business. He worked with many leading Mexican companies helping them to expand and train several generations of businessmen.
Born in 1895, in Silao, Guanajuato, Mr. Raúl Baillères learned about commerce and trade from his father Alberto Baillères. At the age of 20, he arrived in Mexico City and began to work at Casa Lacaud , at the Chase Manhattan Bank Office, and as a representative for the New York Equitable Trust Co.. During this initial period, he also founded a business to export silver, gold, and other precious metals.
Since his youth, Mr. Baillères had become a prominent figure in Mexico's banking and business sector by establishing several companies. In 1934, for example, he set up the first financial company for mining activities: Crédito Minero, S.A . He later went on to create Crédito Hipotecario, S.A . and Crédito Afianzador, S.A ., among other companies.
He consolidated his business leadership during the forties, by leading the acquisition of several firms and by holding the presidency of the Asociación de Banqueros de México [Mexican Association of Bankers] (1941-1942). In 1941, he headed a group of Mexican investors that managed to acquire the majority of Cervecería Moctezuma, S.A .'s shares, a company owned by foreigners at that time. During the same period, he directed the financial group that became the main shareholder of El Palacio de Hierro, S.A. and Manantiales Peñafiel, S.A ., and played a significant role in the nationalization of Metalúrgica Mexicana Peñoles, S.A. and Compañía Fresnillo, S.A..
For many years, Mr. Baillères was an integral member of Grupo BUDA , through which he developed several large-scale business projects. Salvador Ugarte, Mario Domínguez, and Ernesto J. Amezcua also participated in this group and went on to participate in the Asociación Mexicana de Cultura .
Mr. Raúl Baillères died in Mexico City on January 3, 1967. He was an erudite, whose knowledge of the world was acquired through his love of reading and travel. Tireless, dynamic, and enterprising, Mr. Baillères is still with us today through his priceless legacy.