By Donna Parker
It’s not every guy who gets the chance to live in London’s posh Notting Hill district and share the experience with the woman of his dreams, but then, Jeff Wilson ’97 is no ordinary guy. Then, he was starting the international division of Crown Castle Europe, searching for acquisitions. Now, he’s back in the States enjoying life in New York City as associate investment banker in emerging acquisitions for Houlihan, Lokey, Howard and Zukin, based in New York City.
“I concentrate on middle-market companies in the $50 million to $500 million range. I advise these companies, which are privately owned, on sell-side transactions.”
But as the president of the New York Alumni Chapter of the Trinity University Alumni Association, Jeff also works hard designing events that will pull in a large diversified group of graduates, living in the biggest city in the country. He and wife Jennifer ’99 will host Making Connections on Jan. 6 of this month. Last year, it pulled in their biggest crowd ever, but their Symphony in the Park (that would be Central Park) event also has met with great success. Jeff says selecting the right alumni event is always a challenge but one he tackles more than willingly.
“I enjoyed my time at Trinity. The education I received and the friends that I made are still close today. Being involved in the alumni chapter allows me to give back and stay in touch with those good memories. Having lived for several years outside of the region where Trinity is recognized and respected, it is my feeling that the school is undervalued, nationally. Thus, it is important for Trinity alumni to band together.”
When Jeff is not interacting with fellow alumni, such as the current editor of Men’s Journal magazine, he spends some of his free time learning about watches.
“When I was living in London, I decided I needed a ‘grown-up watch’,” he says laughingly. “I researched watches on the Internet for best value, but what mesmerized me were these tiny little machines that could tell you within a few seconds where the sun is located. I’m so interested in the craft of watchmaking and have even attended parties at boutiques in the city when a new watch debuts.”
“The truth is, though, most of my time – 12 hours a day or more – is spent at work. When I’m not working, I spend time with Jennifer and we cook together during the week and cycle in the park on the weekends. We have lots of friends and many are from Trinity.”
“My liberal arts Trinity background was great preparation for my life now, as I’m well-versed in topics such as philosophy and literature and not just my accounting major.
I do credit Petrea Sandlin in the department of business administration for not only teaching me accounting skills, but also serving as a mother figure for me. Being in Texas makes Trinity different. Having friends that had hunting leases and farms – heading out of town for a float down the Frio River or the Pedernales provided a real Texas experience. And, even though I live just a half-mile from Central Park, there’s nothing I miss more than Sunday mornings in San Antonio where my friends and I made taco runs to get fresh barbacoa!”