Joseph Escobar ’22 stays busy between being a student managing partner for The Reveille Fund, starting his own small business, leading the Aggie Investment Club, and recently appearing on Mays Mastercast.
Growing up in El Paso, Escobar turned his attention to investing when his high school economics teacher decided to take some liberties with his curriculum. After running through the basics of macroeconomics for a month, Escobar’s teacher switched to financial literacy.
“My teacher said: I’m going to teach you how to file a tax return, how to make a stock portfolio, how to balance a budget with an annual income, and how to figure out what the cost of college is going to be,” said Escobar. “That gave me a whole lot of insight.”
As his interest in investing grew and high school came to a close, a meeting with a Mays Business School recruiter turned into a visit to campus, and through the contributions of donors and the support of scholarships, Escobar soon found himself at Mays Business School.
“When someone comes over here from El Paso, it’s mesmerizing how many more opportunities there are,” said Escobar. “I was able to get hands-on experience from very successful alumni and faculty so soon.”
A few years down the road, Escobar is a stand-out student in the Adam C. Sinn ’00 Department of Finance, already differentiating himself from his peers through involvement in several clubs and his passion for the “fast-paced, highly competitive” elements of investment banking. Through stock-pitch competitions organized by the Aggie Investment Club and a trip through Aggies on Wall Street, Escobar would connect with Britt Harris ’80, chief investment officer of the University of Texas/Texas A&M Investment Management Company (UTIMCO). When The Aggie Investment Club was struggling to set up a student-run investment fund on their own, they reached out to Harris.
“He’s been one of the most influential people I’ve listened to and learned from,” said Escobar. “He just has an extremely deep amount of knowledge to share.”
Harris expanded the vision for what would become The Reveille Fund, interlocking it with a class at Mays Business School, allowing more students to have hands-on investing experience. While Escobar and the other officers of the Aggie Investment Club originally aimed for $100,000 to be set aside for the fund, Harris and UTIMCO allotted $7.5 million in January 2021.
“It was definitely an amalgamation of anxiety, of wanting to know what the future held during the first month. I still have anxiety, you know, how the fund will do week to week, month to month and that’s I think that’s a good thing,” said Escobar. “When I got to the moment where I’d had that first class, I just felt I had this big duty and responsibility on my shoulders.”
As the fund finishes its first year, Escobar and many other students have found the growth they experienced extremely rewarding. By the fall of 2021, The Reveille Fund had passed 9 million in assets under management.
“It’s like when you see NFL athletes crying when they win the Super Bowl,” said Escobar. “All that hard work, all that dedication, all of it was worth it in the end.”
Investing in his education and his future
Escobar attributes his success in his role within the fund and the Aggie Investment Club to the valuable mentorship he has received from Harris, as well as Mays Business School faculty members Dr. Sorin Sorescu, Dr. Christa Bouwman, Brent Adams, and William Jene Tebeaux and the support of Former Students, particularly Bryan Farney ’06.
“They’re so loyal to Texas A&M and so dedicated to educating students on real investing and how real investment managers make money in the market,” said Escobar. “They’re very helpful in going from all this theoretical talk and debate to action items.”
Although he felt the pull to go to New York City, Escobar turned down multiple offers in Manhattan and will be working for the Jefferies group in their energy investment banking practice in Houston.
“I wanted to be working with good people and I got the impression I would be when I interviewed with Jefferies. I’ve seen it myself that Aggies end up in New York or end up in San Francisco,” said Escobar. “But I’ve lived in Texas my whole life and I’m happy I chose to stay.”
Escobar will graduate in May but is excited to keep in touch with Mays and give back when he can.
“I just say to myself: How could I raise or help contribute to the prestige of Mays? Mays Business School, in terms of its national rankings, is so appealing to undergrad students that want a competitive, exciting career. Hopefully, one day I can be in a place where I can donate back and hopefully mentor as many students as I can.”