Meet Lawson Kroeker’s Portfolio Manager, and Find Out Which Unique Money Lessons Shaped His Philosophy
“Lawson Kroeker is a firm that plans to be around forever, passing the philosophy and management from one generation to the next. The company’s commitment to remaining an independent investment management firm really aligned with my beliefs back then. It still does.”
Hometown: Omaha, Neb.
Years in the Investment/Finance Industry: 30-plus
First Car: 1973 Mercury Capri for $250, sold years later for $450
Local Involvement in Omaha: Coaching kids’ basketball; trustee on the St. Cecilia Cathedral Educational Endowment; chair and trustee for the Omaha Archdiocesan Educational and Parish Endowment Funds; member of the Archdiocese of Omaha Investment Committee
When you begin working with Lawson Kroeker, the approach might surprise you. They’re not your average investment management firm, chasing Wall Street trends or trying to sell you on a particular financial product. Instead, their approach is to help you access the wealth-building that comes with long-term, sustainable investing.
Even better, the approach is friendly, upbeat and engaging – a lot like Tom Sudyka, Portfolio Manager.
Tom talks about portfolios with clients in a way that feels more like a trusted friend who shares your values and, as a fiduciary, he has your best interests in mind. Want to know a little more about Tom? Read on.
Education and Early Money Lessons
Tom earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Creighton University, then received his MBA from the University of Nebraska while working at his first full-time investment job.
Some of his earliest education toward money was gained when his grandfather took him to the Nebraska horse racetracks at a young age. It was there that he first learned about odds, math, predicting, investing and how to handle (or how not to handle) money.
Tom became a chartered financial analyst (CFA) in 1989, which is considered the “gold standard” in the investment world. He was particularly happy that he got it finished while working, completing his MBA and prior to the arrival of his first son.
He also earned the chartered analyst in Philanthropy (CAP) in 2018, motivated by a desire to learn additional ways to help Lawson Kroeker clients. It was enlightening for Tom to work with the 12 other professionals over the year-long class to observe new avenues available to help clients with their decisions.
Choosing Omaha and Lawson Kroeker
When Tom decided to leave the institutional investment world, Omaha was a natural choice because he had grown up here. On a professional level, the investment community in Omaha is well respected, yet not cut-throat competitive. “When talking with different investment firms nearly 20 years ago, I knew right away that the chance to spend most of my time and investment efforts on a small group of clients at Lawson Kroeker was appealing,” says Tom. “It was also appealing to know that Lawson Kroeker is a firm that plans to be around forever, passing the philosophy and management from one generation to the next. The company’s commitment to remaining an independent investment management firm really aligned with my beliefs back then. It still does.”
Tom feels that not being constantly bombarded with Wall Street’s “need to do something” allows him to really take the time to listen and think about what investments are truly appropriate for clients, as well as to consider the type of investment advice that makes sense for the long term.
Reflecting a lifelong interest in sports, Tom enjoys working with budding young basketball players, as well as just shooting baskets and playing the game himself. “I’m old, slow and never was very good, but I enjoy the game,” he adds.
What Tom’s First Car Says About Him
In 1980, as a Colorado high school sophomore, Tom bought a 1973 Mercury Capri for $250. It was green with a gorgeous brown leather interior. During his junior year in college, he sold the Capri for $450. The buyer just wanted the interior, which he tore out and put into another Capri he owned. Tom was pleased, “Now that is my kind of investment, when you pay $250, then sell for $450 after using it for several years.”
Community Involvement and the Great Outdoors: A Source of Inspiration
When Tom isn’t working with clients, you might see him coaching kids’ sports. He has also been a trustee on the St. Cecilia Cathedral Educational Endowment for years and serves with the Archdiocese of Omaha, where he is currently chair and trustee for the Omaha Archdiocesan Educational and Parish Endowment Funds, as well as a member of the Archdiocese of Omaha Investment Committee.
Even with all his work and volunteer time, Tom does kick back for some fun now and then. He spends a fair amount of the summer waterskiing, fishing, grilling and relaxing at their family lake house in Iowa. He also likes traveling during the winter months and usually gets a snow-ski and a beach trip into his calendar. Tom is also excited to work on remodeling projects and spent the last year gutting and helping to remodel his oldest son’s 1930s house.
Tom is married to Kathryn, and talks with pride about their three sons: Thomas (28), Stephen (26) and David (24).
To make an appointment with Tom or another CFA at Lawson Kroeker, contact us at our office today. You’ll quickly see a difference in how we handle your portfolio, offering investment advice for the long-term, not just following the buzz on Wall Street.