I was born and raised in Texas. As far back as high school I wanted to work in finance, largely because I had mentors, including my father, who worked in the energy industry, which at the time was a bit more volatile and less prosperous than it is these days. In 1989, after graduating from the University of Texas, I was hired by Paine Webber in New York and worked in its mortgage-backed securities division.
Soon after, the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) started taking over bankrupt banks and selling their assets. I worked in a group that would bid on them. The RTC would send us big magnetic tapes of loan files and I'd go through them and often identify loans from assets near and around where I grew up in Texas.
I left to attend Columbia University for an MBA and then worked at Bankers Trust (BT) in the derivatives division. The field was just developing. About a year later my boss was transferring to Hong Kong and asked me if I wanted to join her. I jumped at it. The move helped advance my career, not to mention all of the amazing personal experiences it afforded. Perhaps most importantly, I met my wife there. We were set up on a blind date and married about a year later.
After Deutsche Bank bought BT, I was recruited to join Merrill Lynch by one of my former BT colleagues, Mitch Cox, who I worked with during most of my time at BT. I worked for Merrill for about 10 years in New York and in Asia, this time in Tokyo.
Soon after Bank of America purchased Merrill, Mitch and I, along with three colleagues, began thinking of ways to build a better business model for servicing the high-net-worth client segment. We built a comprehensive business plan and began having discussions with private equity firms to help fund our new endeavor. At the same time, Barclays approached us with an offer that allowed us to accelerate our plan. After having just acquired Lehman Brothers, Barclays was looking to expand its private client business in the Americas. The foundation it offered allowed us to carry out elements in our original business plan.
I joined in 2009. I'm responsible for our network of advisors and our regional office activity in the Americas. I'm also a member of our management committee. Our investment philosophy builds on an analysis of one's wealth structure. Trust and estate planning considerations are reviewed, as well as an analysis of one's attitude toward risk and reward. We then turn to investments. If one isn't considering wealth structure first, even the best designed investment portfolio can be derailed. Our philosophy is built on an open architecture platform with high conviction offerings.
My interests outside of work include sailing and generally anything on the water. It's a great way to decompress, and a difficult environment in which to manipulate a BlackBerry. I also love classic cars and recently restored a 1968 red convertible Camaro. [Wealth management products and services offered in the US through Barclays Capital Inc., member SIPC.]
As told to Pat Olsen
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