Finance/Marketing Grad Brian Lopera Making a Name at Amegy Bank
Just two years ago, Brian Lopera was a fixture in Melcher Hall, pursing a bachelor of business administration and wondering where his career would one day take him.
Now, as he’s begun to climb the corporate ladder, Lopera finds himself in a different setting — as a banking associate for the Private Banking Group at Amegy Bank in The Woodlands, he was part of a small private visit recently with former Mexican President Vicente Fox.
Fox and Mexican Senator Silvano Aureoles Conejo toured the Mexican-owned Hispanic Business Center to learn about Houston and hear about investment opportunities for Mexican business owners and entrepreneurs.
The topic of the event was foreign investment. Among the participants were business leaders and elected officials looking to showcase Houston and present it as an ideal location for Mexican investors and entrepreneurs to look into for future investment opportunities and expansions.
“As I walked through the front door of the Hispanic Business Center, an aura of optimism and excitement could be felt immediately,” Lopera said.
Foreign investments have been generating considerable interest recently, due to programs like the EB-5 visas, which grant foreign investors temporary residency status if they invest $1 million and create at least 10 jobs. Not only can this be a huge boost for the U.S. economy, it also gives investors from less stable countries a chance to come to the country for more security.
The opportunity to discuss these kinds of issues with decision-makers is something Lopera credits to his position with Amegy, which he’s had since graduating from UH Bauer, beginning his career as a credit analyst and participating in the company’s Officer Development Program. There, he learned about banking concepts and acquired the necessary analytical skills to make credit decisions, as well as the opportunity to become a part of various banking groups, ultimately landing his current position at the Private Banking Group.
“My responsibility is to analyze and evaluate credit risk associated with existing and prospective banking relationships,” Lopera said. “In addition, I have been given the responsibility to assist in managing the relationships the bank has with its foreign national clients across business lines and further develop those relationships and that market in The Woodlands.”
The connections established during, and as a result of, being an involved student at UH Bauer were critical in achieving career success, he added. But for Lopera, the relationships aren’t simply a network, but more of an extended family.
“Just being a graduate of Bauer and the University of Houston has provided me with an instant connection with numerous co-workers and clients,” he said. “It is a connection that I can best describe as encountering a relative that has long been separated from you by distance and time, and upon reuniting with them, there is an instant connection and numerous stories to share as the process of catching up begins.”
Lopera said he uses the skills he developed as an officer of the college’s Hispanic Business Student Association (HBSA) and a student senator of the UH Student Government Association every day at his current position, working with bank partners to assist and understand client needs.
“I learned as a student leader how to not only work with different individuals and groups to accomplish goals and objectives,” he said “but also how to be resourceful when facing seemingly difficult obstacles in trying to complete a task.”
“New and different challenges arise with each customer request, and I am constantly returning back to the skills I obtained as a student leader to best respond to each one and effectively handle each relationship,” he added.
By Ryan Tang