Market executive and portfolio manager, The Commerce Trust Company
Years lived in Columbia:
My wife and I are in the process of transitioning from Kansas City to Columbia.
My job involves creating and implementing investment strategies for our clients to help them realize their overall financial goals. I am also involved in developing new and existing relationships for Commerce Trust and work closely with our counterparts on the bank side regarding strategic planning for growth and development opportunities at Commerce.
I earned my bachelor’s degree from Benedictine College and my MBA from the University of Missouri–Kansas City, both with an emphasis in finance. I am also a certified financial planner.
I work with Benedictine College and its career development program in helping soon-to-be graduates prepare for their professional careers after graduation. This has allowed me to stay connected with my alma mater and also give back to the students. I have enjoyed working with the students, and Benedictine community, and would like to have the same involvement with the local schools and nonprofit organizations in Columbia.
Immediately after school I began working at Commerce as an assistant to our portfolio managers in the Trust department. I briefly left Commerce to join a smaller trust company to help develop their investment process and provide portfolio management. After two years I found myself back at Commerce, where I have enjoyed the benefits and resources of working for a larger trust company. Since my return, I have served on our alternative and investment policy committees and work with our private and institutional clients.
A favorite recent project:
I would have to list being a part of the continued growth and expansion for Commerce Trust in Columbia and central Missouri. Over the past year we have grown by 34 percent and our team has worked tremendously hard to achieve these results. Of course, it is rewarding anytime you exceed your goal, but I can definitely vouch for our team that we find it more fulfilling when our clients achieve their goals. Each situation is unique and different which makes the job exciting!
A Columbia businessperson I admire and why:
The people with whom I work and the people I’ve met in the community could easily be put on that list. Two who stick out are Mike Alden and Brent Beshore. Mike always carries himself in such a professional manner, and he is genuinely sincere when he talks with you. To me, he is a consummate professional. Brent definitely has that true entrepreneurial spirit and the creative ability to think outside the box, which I admire. Plus, his involvement in the community and what he did for Joplin is inspiring.
Why I’m passionate about my job:
I have always had an interest in the stock market, and this job allows me to be involved with the markets and also help develop plans for our clients. When I first started working with the trust company there were various career options within the company, but the client interaction is definitely what drew me to the portfolio management side.
If I weren’t doing this for a living:
I would be a ski bum in the winter and golf in the summer (assuming I won the Lotto). If the Lotto deal doesn’t happen, I would like to coach baseball and teach.
Biggest career obstacle I’ve overcome and how:
Age can definitely be an initial obstacle with some clients. An old boss of mine would tell me that to look older I either needed to put a wedding ring on my finger or get some gray hairs … fortunately I met my wife, Katy, instead of opting for the gray hairs (which I expect to come any time now). Also, the stock market in 2008 really tested a lot of investment professionals. Those were difficult times for everyone, but I feel that I grew a lot as a professional during that period.
What people should know about this profession:
Change happens all of the time in this profession. The stock market is constantly changing. No two clients are the same, so you always have to strategize and be creative in your solutions. That is what is great about this job — there is never a dull moment.
What I do for fun:
I love being outside, so anything outdoors: hiking, golfing, skiing, biking, etc.
Favorite place in Columbia:
In my limited time in Columbia I feel that I’ve only scratched the surface on all that Columbia has to offer, but I would have to say either somewhere on the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail or at any Mizzou sporting event.
My beautiful wife, Katy, and our dog, Bell.
Accomplishment I’m most proud of:
I would have to say I’m most proud of earning my certified financial planner accreditation. At the time, Katy and I were planning a wedding (mostly Katy) and buying a house, and I was taking MBA classes and studying for the certified financial planner accreditation after just changing jobs. Looking back, I wouldn’t want to do it again all at the same time, but I’m glad that I did it.
Most people don’t know that I:
Before the start of my sophomore year at Benedictine College, I rode my bike 536 miles from Denver to Atchison, Kan..