Banking executive Jonathan Homeyer ’90 shared with Mays Business Honors students stories about his career path in banking and tips for success in the professional world.
He had two pieces of advice for the group: get involved and learn as much as possible. “I encourage you all to find something you’re passionate about and get involved,” he said.
Homeyer is executive vice president for Wells Fargo Commercial Banking based in Houston. He began his banking career upon graduating from Mays in 1993 with First Interstate Bank of Texas, Wells Fargo’s predecessor in the Houston market.Â Â A Houston native, Homeyer received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in finance from Texas A&M.
He told the students that what he appreciates most about banking is its inherent variety. “I was attracted to banking because of the diversity of what we do and the variety it offers,” he explained. “No two deals are alike, and you are exposed to many different industries.” Homeyer also noted the significant career potential for someone in the banking industry. “Banking is a great launching pad for your career,” he said.
“His career seemed incredibly interesting,” reflected Courtney Kiolbassa ’18. “He told us that there is no typical day for him, and that he’s exposed to many new people and companies on a day-to-day basis.”
Homeyer attributes Wells Fargo’s continued success to the fact that it is the best at taking complicated processes and making them simple. “We don’t do things we don’t understand,” he said. “We start every credit decision with understanding who people are and what we know about them.”
He listed the four main questions Wells Fargo asks when making credit decisions:
- Who are they?
- What do we know about them?
- Can we build a relationship?
- Does it make sense?
Unlike its more aggressive competitors, Wells Fargo focuses on growing its business steadily over time, with a commitment to its underlying foundation. “We won’t compromise our structure in order to gain more business,” he said. According to Homeyer, Wells Fargo is the most valuable bank in the world by market capitalization.
Despite facing a growing number of regulatory issues in an economy that remains tepid, Homeyer remains confident that Wells Fargo will be able to navigate these challenges as it has done before. “Sometimes challenges seem like a nightmare, but you can turn those challenges into opportunities,” he said.
“Mr. Homeyer told stories of how he turned rough patches into opportunities and how he built a legacy for himself in his community through his employment at Wells Fargo,” said Ashley Kolar ’17. “He discussed how banking can be a challenging, yet rewarding career.”
Homeyer spoke about Wells Fargo’s firm belief in giving back. “We can’t be successful in communities that aren’t successful,” he said. Along with volunteering for organizations within Wells Fargo, Homeyer also serves on the boards for Houston’s Society for the Performing Arts and the United Way of Greater Houston, among others. He currently serves as chairman of the board for Panther Creek Inspiration Ranch, a horse therapy program for children with special needs.
He also noted the importance of curiosity and a desire to learn, which are two important qualities of bankers. “Learn a lot about a lot of different things,” he said. He said he looks for people who have demonstrated an aptitude to learn. “Be flexible, open-minded and able to change and adapt without compromising your core values,” he advised.
“My main takeaway from the event was Mr. Homeyer’s advice for a successful career, which involves a combination of hard work and effort, a willingness to learn new information and the fortitude to power through troublesome times,” said Matthew Baldree ’15.
ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL
Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.
Categories: Executive Speakers