Jeannie Wyatt, ground-breaking San Antonio money manager, dies at 65
San Antonio-based South Texas Money Management founder and Chairman Jeanie Wyatt died from a rare form of cancer Tuesday. She was 65.
Wyatt, who founded the firm in 2000, was diagnosed with cancer of the appendix about a year ago.
She started South Texas Money Management with $10 million in assets under management, a figure that climbed to $3.7 billion assets as of Jan. 31. The firm has more than 60 employees in six offices in Texas.
“Jeanie made a real impression on the investment community in Texas, and she’s going to be sorely missed,” said Teri Grubb, the firm’s co-chief executive.
Wyatt named Grubb and Christina Markell-Balleza co-CEOs earlier this year.
Grubb has been with South Texas Money Management for eight years, but had watched Wyatt since she left Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc. to start the firm.
Grubb said she was “just overly impressed with (Wyatt) and really impressed with here’s a woman coming out of a bank, blazing a trail for women like myself to really get into the financial business and serve in a leadership position with a very unique investment style.
“I’m devastated — everyone here at the firm is devastated by this news,” Grubb added. “But she’s built an incredible organization.”
Wyatt regularly appeared on Barron’s annual list of the top financial advisers in Texas and its list of top women financial advisers.
Wyatt, in 2017, credited her place in the rankings to the rise in the firm’s assets under management. Her firm also had no “red flags,” she added.
With Donald Trump having just taken office as president, and with comprehensive tax reform and changes to the Affordable Care Act in the offing, Wyatt recognized it was interesting times for financial advisers.
“It’s something we’re having to re-emphasize (to clients) everyday — not to react to the headlines,” Wyatt said. “The worse thing you can do is react to the headlines and change your strategy.”
Not long after she launched South Texas Money Management, Wyatt began writing a regular column for the San Antonio Express-News called “More than Money” The column was intended to demystify the complicated and jargon-filled world of money and investments. The column appeared for almost eight years.
Her first column offered advice to her stepson, Richard, and by extension, newspaper readers. She recommended putting money in an Individual Retirement Account before an approaching deadline.
“IRAs are a good deal and I’m hoping at the end of this, you and your other 30-year-old friends will get on the phone with your broker or investment company and just do it,” Wyatt wrote. “Yes, it’s your mom speaking. I’m talking about dollar cost averaging and why it’s such a good deal, particularly now when the markets are low.”
She described dollar cost averaging as a fancy term for investing on a regular basis.
Wyatt appeared as a guest on Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser and other national financial news programs.
While at Frost Investment Services, Wyatt was responsible for nine trust departments around the state with $13 billion in assets. She also managed the Trust Department’s largest commingled equity funds for 15 years.
A nonprofit program at South Texas Money Management has made more than $6 million in charitable contributions, a reflection of Wyatt’s philanthropic nature, the firm said in a statement.
Wyatt also served on numerous boards.
South Texas Money Management will continue to be governed by Grubb, Markell-Balleza and four others.
Wyatt is survived by her husband, William “Bill” Wyatt, son Trey Rabke and stepsons John and Richard Wyatt. Plans for a memorial service will be announced on the firm’s website at stmmltd.com.
Patrick Danner is a San Antonio-based staff writer covering banking and civil courts. Read him on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @AlamoPD