When Jeanie Wyatt founded South Texas Money Management in 2001, it was the culmination of a professional plan she had put in motion years before.
“I just always assumed I’d do this,” Wyatt says. That is, after an early phone call came from the University of Texas at Austin. Someone there saw the aspiring theater student’s SAT math score and recruited her to the school’s actuarial science program.
“Somebody had to tell me I was good at math and could be in a math-related career,” Wyatt said.
Soon after graduating she took a job at Frost Bank, working her way up to head of the firm’s investment services division. The bank had $400 million assets under management when she started and $15 billion by the time she left 20 years later.
A 20-year stint would be considered a career for many male counterparts, she admits. “I probably stayed in that corporate culture longer than many, but I learned so many lessons.”
Presumably one of those lessons was learning to grow an investment management business. With a handful of employees and $125 million in AUM, she started South Texas Money Management in San Antonio. Today, with 58 employees and offices in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas and Austin, the firm advises approximately 1300 clients and with almost $1.85 billion.
While Wyatt still works with individual clients, she spends a majority of her time overseeing the firm’s asset review and managerial structure. She put in place a seven-person management team to run the day-to-day operations.
That let’s her take more time for family—including seven grandchildren—and weekend getaways with her husband. “I tend to throw myself into things, so it could’ve been skewed without him,” Wyatt says. As long as you are able to maintain a work-life balance, “investment is a great profession for women and for women with families,” Wyatt says.