Courtesy of subject
The devastation left by late-summers Hurricane Harvey didnt stop Nestor Vicknair from making it to work at his Merrill Lynch advisory in downtown Houston. After maneuvering through the citys flooded backstreets in his Jeep, Vicknair was let into his shuttered office building by security to provide clients with crisis-related financial assistance.
We stayed on top of the markets while checking in with our clients, Vicknair, 54, says. Some had evacuated and needed emergency funds, and others even had transactions based elsewhere in the country that still needed to close.
Its Louisiana-born Vicknairs 25th year at VMT Wealth Management, where he and three partners lead a team of 25 that manages $4.9 billion. His firm has witnessed bull markets collapse and rage on again, but Vicknair says theres always uncertainty akin to the political noise of today, which has been dampening prospects in an otherwise strong economy with low inflation, strong earnings and solid GDP growth.
Wealth management has allowed Vicknair, who received a degree in mechanical engineering from Louisiana State University, to remain in a competitive field while interacting with people to solve problems, which arent necessarily always rooted in financials.
Seven years ago, Vicknair met with a client whod been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The client said he had six months to live. While working through estate planning with Vicknair and discussing his life and the future, the client expressed a wish to talk to his estranged son one last time after a falling out led to 30 years of no communication.
We talked about it at the office and actually ended up finding his son in Oregon after three weeks of searching, Vicknair said. They both talked on a conference call and ended up staying in touch through the rest of the fathers life, and its been one of the most rewarding things weve done.