|Born||Warren Amerine Stephens
(1957-02-18) February 18, 1957
Little Rock, Arkansas, US
|Residence||Little Rock, Arkansas|
|Education||Trinity Presbyterian High School|
|Alma mater||Washington and Lee University
Wake Forest University
|Occupation||Chairman, president and CEO, Stephens Inc.|
|Net worth||US$2.4 billion (Forbes 2016)|
|Parent(s)||Jackson T. Stephens
Mary Amerine Stephens
Owning equities is an essential part of anyone’s portfolio. You just can’t ignore it over time. It’s going to add the real pop to anyone’s overall performance.
In our experience, what we have found is the rare commodity is a good management team. And good management teams manage through good and bad cycles and manage to grow their business over a long period of time.
We don’t think of ourselves as a regional investment bank. We think of ourselves as merchant bankers with clients all over the country.
One of the industries we follow very closely is the trucking industry. They would love if today there was an option for them to run their fleets on natural gas, because of the price disparity between oil and refined diesel – which they almost exclusively run on now – and natural gas.
It’s difficult to make your clients understand that there are certain days that the market will go up or down 2%, and it’s basically driven by algorithms talking to algorithms. There’s no real rhyme or reason for that. So it’s difficult. We just try to preach long-term investing and staying the course.
We’ve always been modestly leveraged, and we’ve never believed in a great deal of leverage on either our private equity business or on our investment banking business. And I think it really goes back to my uncle and dad growing up in the Depression and just seeing what happened to people who were overly levered.
We’re certainly interested in maximizing our return and doing it – we’re interested in maximizing our return, but we’re also interested in doing it over a long period of time and in doing it in a way that never endangers the firm from a survivability standpoint.
What we prefer to do is operate our investment bank in a way that is like what investment banks used to be, which is a middle man – someone who is here to match people who need capital with people who have capital – and not position ourselves at the center of that by taking big positions on a trading stance.