Baylor EMBA Alum, Jeremy Ransom, Breaking the Mold in Investment BankingNov. 29, 2017
Jeremy Ransom had approximately 36 hours from the time he received an honorable Marine Corps discharge to the morning he started classes at Texas Tech. In that time, he had to drive cross-country from San Diego (where he’d been stationed) to Lubbock, Texas, his truck loaded down with his and his soon-to-be wife’s every earthly possession.
Jeremy Ransom does nothing halfway. Hard work and adaptability characterize this entrepreneur’s work ethic, leading him to graduate in just two years with an undergraduate degree in Personal Financial Planning, and in two more years, his executive MBA.
In between, he worked as a Team Financial Advisor for Merrill Lynch and for a boutique wealth management firm in Austin.
What inspired his pivot? “I started to find that while wealth management was interesting, I didn’t want to spend the next 30 years of my life doing it. I wanted a more all-encompassing business perspective.”
After considering SMU’s program in Dallas and Baylor’s program in Austin—“both of which are great schools with great reputations”—he was sold by learning what other Baylor program alumni were then doing with their lives, and on what he calls the “Baylor ethos,” which emphasizes Christian values.
“I didn’t get the Christian component in my undergrad at a public school,” Jeremy explains, “and to be heading into what can be the muddy, unethical world of business, to base your business practices upon your faith is important.”
His faith is ultimately what got him through the program—all while working full-time and raising a young family. On a typical day, Jeremy would roll into the office by 9:00 a.m., work until class at 6:00 p.m., get home around 10:00 p.m., and crack open his laptop. While his wife and baby girl slept in the next room, he might read course assignments and work on writing the business plan that would eventually become CTX Capital until 2:00 a.m.
“The only way to make it through is to—as we said in the Marine Corps—‘embrace the suck.’ You work for a purpose, not just for the sake of working, but because there’s something bigger than yourself. Whether God is calling you to be there, or you’re doing it for your family, or you told yourself 10 years ago that you were going to go to grad school but never did, there’s no excuse anymore. It’s a matter of how badly you want to get where you want to go.”
Jeremy took inspiration from his classmates and faculty mentors, several of whom were also military vets. “Regardless of where we were in our careers or our backgrounds, we found a way to learn from one another, a way to take our experiences and bring them to the classroom in a way that was less theoretical and more applicable,” he says. “I learned from people who had ‘been there, done that’ for 10, 15, 30 years—that alone was well worth the price of admission.”
It was early in the program when Jeremy got the idea to form his own investment bank. “You know when you voice an idea and people look at you like How are you going to do that? that it’s an idea worth pursuing,” he laughs. “I asked my wife, ‘Are you okay if I do this?’” With her full support, he spent 2016 “putting all the regulatory pieces in place,” and launched later that year (100% self-funded, no less).
CTX Capital just opened a second office in New York, and expanded its staff. At time of writing, Jeremy is 29 years old, and hopes to “at least double the size of the business” by age 30.
“So far,” says Jeremy, “everything I’ve done has been about breaking molds. When people find out you’re an investment banker, they get this look on their face”—the result of the industry’s historically poor reputation. But Jeremy has built his business on the same Christian principles instilled in him at Baylor, and says he combines “old school methodologies with new school technologies” to provide “an unprecedented level of customer service.”
“When you can put God first in your decision, you’ll be successful at the end of the day.”
Jeremy and his wife fly a Baylor flag outside their home, and he always wears Baylor tees when he’s traveling on business.