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Stewart Challenges Students to Focus on the Right Things

October 9, 2015

Ben Stewart, OBU alumnus and director of investor relations at The Humphreys Fund, delivered OBU’s Business Forum Lecture Friday, Oct. 9. He challenged students to build their lives and careers on the right priorities and with an eternal perspective.

He offered the students four key areas to focus on, which will lead to success in both their professional and personal lives: People, Process, Portfolio and Performance. He stressed the importance of placing people and relationships ahead of their desire for results.

“Focus on the first three ‘P's’ and the Performance will take care of itself,” he said. “The deep abiding relationships you are building right now are the ones that will last a lifetime. You need to make sure their [your friends’] eternal values are similar to yours, as they are the ones who are going to be your anchor when things aren't going well.

He also challenged the students to find their ambitions, plans and desires in their relationship with Jesus Christ. He shared how God has seen him and his family through difficult times, including a three month span in 2013 when he lost his infant son to a rare immune system disorder, followed by the passing of his mother-in-law and nephew, all within a three month period.

“You have to be anchored to Christ, then you have to be anchored to people who are anchored to Christ,” he said. “When the storms come in your lives, who are you going to be anchored to?”

Stewart earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance with a minor in religion from OBU. He then earned a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in finance from the University of Oklahoma.

He currently serves at The Humphreys Fund as managing director of investor relations. The Oklahoma City-based, private real estate investment fund was founded by former Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphreys. It is a diversified, income-producing, multi-sector real estate fund with approximately $160 million in assets across 13 states. The Fund expects closing 2015 with over $200 million in assets and is planning and anticipating significant future growth.

Prior to joining The Humphreys Fund, he served as director of investments at the University of Oklahoma Foundation, where he managed approximately $1.5 billion in assets. At the foundation, he managed the investment process and worked closely with the investment committee of the board of trustees. He coordinated all of the investment activities on the foundation’s endowment and short-term portfolios including recommending asset allocation and manager selection. He also oversaw the due diligence and monitoring process on the foundation’s 90 external investment managers.

Prior to his time at the OU foundation, he spent almost a decade at the Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma, where he performed a similar function as vice president, director of investments.

He and his wife, Jeannie, reside in Newcastle, Oklahoma, along with their children, where their family is active at First Baptist Church. He leads a growing small group of young adults called “4G,” serves as a deacon and on the finance team, and also coaches Upward Basketball.