How Blue Blazers Launched Steve Ford’s Investment Career and How He Gives Back
This story is the fourth in a series counting down to the Blue Blazers Investment Committee trip to New York on Feb. 19.
As a high schooler, Steve Ford, 01 ΔΤΔ, was a stock market fanatic with giant dreams in the tiny town of Bakersfield, MO. He knew he wanted a career in investments, and Westminster College — small in size but big on results — offered something no other college or university provided: the Blue Blazers Investment Committee (BBIC).
“BBIC was one of the main reasons I chose Westminster,” Ford explains, discussing his Westminster days and his decision to major in business administration. “It’s pretty rare to have a student-run investment club with real money to work with.”
Fast forward two decades, and today Ford is living the dream as managing director of the Business Development Department of GQG Partners in Fort Lauderdale, FL. He also is the mastermind behind the Blue Blazer’s semi-annual trip to New York.
“As the Blue Blazers president, I felt the BBIC had a good foundation in running our portfolio and in bringing students form all majors, but Wall Street and what firms where doing there felt like a world away,” he explains.
The New York experience and BBIC are now a blueprint for the experiential learning that has become the hallmark of a Westminster education. Ford says founding such a trip just takes an idea from a willing volunteer and a lot of support, which he aims to provide next week.
Ford will fly to New York to meet with the Westminster group during their Feb. 19-23 trip. He says he plans to encourage the students to pursue careers in investments.
“I plan to tell them my story of how I used Westminster and the BBIC to launch a career in the industry,” Ford says. “And most importantly, I’m going to discuss the lessons I learned, personally, along the way.”
Ford adds that the goal of the New York experience was both to educate Westminster students about the stock market but also to do something fun. As mentioned here, the students will witness an opening bell ceremony at NASDAQ and visit the New York Stock Exchange, JP Morgan Asset Management, Bloomberg Business News, Wells Fargo Securities and other Wall Street financial institutions. The group will attend an alumni gathering hosted by Greg Richard, ’88 ΔΤΔ, at the Orchard Townhouse. They also will dine at the famous Carmine’s Italian Restaurant in Times Square.*
“Many people have contributed to the success of the New York trip,” Ford reflects. “I look forward to connecting with the group this year and supporting them.”
To help sponsor a student for the New York trip, please visit our website here, select “Give to Westminster Online” and indicate that you would like to give to the Blue Blazers Investment Committee.
For more information, please contact Brock Ayers at Brock.Ayers@WellsFargoAdvisors.com.
*Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC.