PORTALES, NM (04/20/2018) Jane Terry, the owner of Summit Investment Group in Santa Fe, faced gender discrimination on her journey to starting an independent investment firm.
The Carlsbad native began working with Alpha Delta Pi sorority as one of five traveling consultants after graduating with a bachelor’s degree from Eastern New Mexico University in 1969. The job allowed her to travel the country to visit top universities and meet many deans of women and students.
While interviewing for a potential doctoral program in Arizona, however, the remarks of the department head left her feeling shocked and incensed. He recommended that she "return to New Mexico, learn how to play the piano, get herself a man, get married and start raising a family." It was a remark she never forgot.
After working at Texas Tech as the director of student organizations and graduating with a master’s degree in educational administration, Terry returned to New Mexico as a real estate broker for Candlelight Homes.
She encountered gender discrimination during her time as the Santa Fe sales manager when she was instructed by the owner of the corporation to train the construction superintendent on how to manage all closings at the title company. Despite her seniority, number one ranking and high performance levels, the owner felt having a woman in such a visible position did not project the then accepted "status quo" of having male managers in real estate development.
Frustrated by the glass ceiling, she interviewed with the brokerage firm EF Hutton in Albuquerque and beat out the other 60 applicants.
In the early 1980s and working in the male-dominated investment industry, Terry was initially one of only three females among 27 male financial advisors.
Early in her career, Terry attended "by invitation only" national financial advisor conferences. Male colleagues would approach her as if she was an employee of the hotel, asking questions like "When will coffee be served?" She had to consistently stand her ground and educate many of her male colleagues that women were registered representatives with the same certifications.
After years of gender inequality at a number of firms, Terry decided she could have greater personal satisfaction and professional success by managing her own business. In 1989 Terry started her own independent investment firm, Summit Investment Group. At that time there was a significant bias against smaller independent firms as they did not have the branding or marketing budgets to capture the attention of investors that the large wire houses had cultivated for decades.
Today Terry’s firm is located in Santa Fe, right off of Canyon Road. The independent firm partners with Raymond James Financial Services for technology, research, and their portfolio management platforms. Summit is a wealth management firm that provides estate and retirement planning, as well as portfolio management for high net worth clients ($500,000 minimum balance) in over 22 states.
As a result of Terry’s grit, leadership and expertise, the firm has quadrupled managed assets and has been an annually recognized member of the Raymond James Executive Council for providing exemplary client service and for maintaining a high level of professional performance. Terry proved herself in the male-dominated financial industry.
The business owner believes one of the best things to ever happen to her was the well-rounded education she received at ENMU. It was an environment where she was given "the opportunity to be a very big fish in a very small pond," with experiences she knows she would have missed at any other university, including being crowned Rodeo Queen, serving in the student government and being a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority.