Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2012 - (Page 12)

Advisor Profile Taking the Lead By Kate Stalter Down in San Antonio, Jeanie Wyatt is making advances on both the investing and customer-services sides of her practice. Jeanie Wyatt has been an investor for her entire career, but she has always considered herself more than just a stock-picker. Since the 1980s, she has focused on combining sound investment practices with a commitment to customer service. “Helping people with their money is such an interesting profession. I’m not sure I could have ever worked in a mutual fund company, where you are managing portfolios, but you don’t have the direct client interface,” she says. Her San Antonio-based firm, South Texas Money Management, which has nearly $1.9 billion under management and offices in Houston, Dallas, and Austin, boasts not only stock analysts and investment advisors but also client-relationship-management specialists and financial planners. The Eventful Beginning She was introduced to investments while still a student, working in the trust department at American Bank in Austin. She then got her MBA at the University of Texas, San Antonio, and became a Chartered Financial Analyst— all while she was married with a small child. After completing her MBA, she hoped to land a job with an East Coast company and applied for a portfolio-management position advertised in The Wall Street Journal. “I knew it was with a bank, and the way it was worded, it sounded like it was in a big financial market,” she says. “So I applied, and to my surprise and disappointment, it was Frost Bank in San Antonio. That was not at all what I expected, and it was not my goal to stay in Texas.” She went on the interview, got the job, and began a 23-year career at Frost. She quickly developed an appreciation for the bank’s culture and the opportunities she was given. “In less than one year, I started managing their largest common-stock fund,” she says. “I got to manage that with sole discretion, I got to hire people, buy software, and start some new initiatives, like their first hedging program, which was highly unusual for a bank.” Branching Out “This is a very competitive business, and there’s a kind of acceptance that you’ll compete with your former employer. But I worked very hard to make the transition a good one, for the bank and for myself,” she says. She made it a strict policy never to call on any of Frost’s clients. The bank was supportive of Wyatt’s new firm, and she is its largest custodial client. At South Texas Money Management, the functions of portfolio manager and client-relationship manager are separated. That results in investment performance numbers that are more consistent across the client base, she says. “That’s how the firm was organized: the investment side, the relationship side, then, of course, the operations area. We don’t cross over. Our director of equity research, our fixed-income people, and our traders— they’re not doing anything other than working on the portfolio,” she says. She also instituted standards for performance reporting, having been on the CFA Institute’s international board during development of the Global Investment Performance Standards. “When I started this firm, I wanted it to be CFA-compliant for performance numbers,” she Wyatt almost had an altogether different career. She began her studies at the University of Texas, Austin, with a full scholarship as a drama major. Her sights were set on directing children’s theater. That changed when she was recruited into a new actuarial sciences program at the university. Wyatt ended up switching majors and forfeiting her full scholarship, but she has no regrets about making that switch. She enjoyed the work at Frost, but Wyatt always knew that she would someday go solo. That day arrived in 2000, after her son had graduated from college. 12 Morningstar Advisor April/May 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2012

Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2012
Letter From the Editor
We’re Too Smart
How Do You Use Alternatives?
Taking the Lead
How to Find Economic Moats
The Beauty of Currencies
No Clarity on Bonds
Four Picks for the Present
Investment Briefs
Performance Chasing, Evaluated
Technology’s Slim Pickings
How Much Is Enough?
The Fear Bubble
Three Traits of a Successful Long-Short Equity Manager
Why Absolute-Return Funds Fail to Deliver
An Economist’s Response to Crises
Undiscovered in Plain Sight
Untangling ETF Tax- Efficiency Myths
Central Banks Driving the Gold Rush
U.S. Industrials Could Add Some Magic to Europe-Weary Portfolios
No-Hesitation Allocation Funds
Our Favorite Mutual Funds
50 Most Popular ETFs
Undervalued Stocks With Wide Moats
The Greatest Story Ever Told

Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2012