ClearRock considers its success the sum of each of its parts. For that reason, we plan to periodically shed light on our team and introduce you to who makes ClearRock tick. In this edition of Meet the Team, we introduce you to Jack, ClearRock’s first employee and Director of Research.
Where are you from originally, and how did you end up in the Wood River Valley?
I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, the youngest of four children. After graduating from Colgate University, I first moved to Ketchum with a couple of my college friends completely sight unseen. It was the first of three times I would move here! The second move came after seven years living and working in Chicago. It included meeting my wife and working for a startup called ClearRock Capital. The last move came two years ago after three years in the Bay Area and the birth of our first child. Looking forward to this being our last move!
Before joining ClearRock, you had a bit of an eclectic career path. Is there an underlying factor you can take away from each of your stops that has helped shape your success with ClearRock?
Looking back, my various experiences greatly expanded my worldview of finance and the capital markets to give me a solid perspective on the world of managing money. I started my career working on project-level financing at a Chicago architecture firm, had a baptism by fire in five years working on the equities sales & trading desk at Goldman Sachs, dug deep into private enterprise working on acquisition due diligence and private equity capital raising for my brother’s oil company, and lastly, have landed at a place where that worldview can shape the investment advice and financial planning I provide for our ClearRock clients.
What is harder, the Level III CFA exam or running errands in Ketchum during the week of 4th of July?
I stick completely to two-wheeled transportation in Ketchum over the Fourth! And don’t even consider going to Atkinson’s for at least a week. I would have to give the sight edge to CFA Level III, only because the prep work begins six months ahead of time!
Favorite reason for coming to work at ClearRock each day?
We have put together a great team here at ClearRock. Our strengths and weaknesses compliment each other well and we have a great time working together. Most importantly though is the chance to work with people in a way that makes a positive, sometimes tremendous impact on their lives. Finance and investing can be confusing for people at best, and downright intimidating at worst. To lean on my twenty years of experience and education in this business and impart some of that knowledge to our clients while making an impact on their financial lives is incredibly rewarding.
When you have the opportunity to coach today’s youth about careers in the financial services industry, what do you say?
Keep your mind open. The world of finance is vast. There are so many niches that you may find enjoyable, but you wouldn’t know they existed if you don’t keep your mind open to new challenges and opportunities. Also, the institutional side of finance gets all of the hype and focus in the media, but it can be a tough, faceless place to spend your time every day. The side of finance with a human element can be exponentially more rewarding. Don’t miss out on something because you are chasing what’s popular!