Poole College Advisory Board Spotlight: Alex Wallace
While the Poole College of Management Advisory Board includes business leaders across disciplines, board member Alex Wallace brings with him a unique commitment that comes with being a lifelong member of the Pack – a deep love and appreciation for the university.
Wallace, a North Carolina native and former NC State baseball player, graduated from the university with a degree in economics in 1987. After graduation, he served as an assistant baseball coach for the Wolfpack from 1987-1989 while he pursued his master’s degree in public administration – after which time he went to work in the banking industry and subsequently the North Carolina State Treasurer’s Office.
“In 1996, I moved to Charlotte to join First Union National Bank, which in 2001 became Wachovia. It was there I worked under Ben Jenkins, who the college’s Jenkins Graduate School of Management is named after,” Wallace explains. “I had stayed connected to the university and the college over the years, so when former dean, Ira Weiss, asked me to join the Poole College Advisory Board, I was honored.”
Today, Wallace serves as a managing director and head of higher education in the investment banking division of Loop Capital Markets.
Wallace’s primary motivation for joining the board was to be able to give back to the university that continues to mean so much to him. He also agreed strongly with the college’s mission in creating a business school designed to respond to the changing market demands.
Plus, his work and experience in capital markets, investment banking and public finance provided the college with a unique perspective .
I was eager to join the board to help the college take a fresh look at an ever-changing economy and workplace.
“Working in public finance, I deal with state and local governments, nonprofit healthcare, and colleges and universities. Financing needs of these sectors are fundamentally different than corporate finance,” Wallace says. “These segments of industry play a major role in our local, state and national economies and often get overlooked in academia. I was eager to join the board to help the college take a fresh look at an ever-changing economy and workplace. We’re not entrenched in tradition like many business schools and therefore we can continuously evaluate what skills are needed in the current market and match what our students need to learn with the jobs that will be available to them after graduating.”
To Wallace, linking NC State’s business school with the real world has never been more important than it is today – and leaning on the university’s strengths in STEM disciplines will set its graduates apart from their peers. If the college wants to continue to experience the same success it has to-date, he believes one thing will be critical: agility in our thoughts and our actions.
As a college, we have to commit to being open-minded and not tying ourselves to something just because it was successful 10 years ago. Markets are changing and technology is evolving.
“The future is hard to script. As a college, we have to commit to being open-minded and not tying ourselves to something just because it was successful 10 years ago,” he says. “Markets are changing and technology is evolving. Our future success is contingent upon how agile we can continue to be while leaning on our historical strengths.”
The result, Wallace believes, will not just impact the lives of Poole students – but also the state’s economy.
“Poole College of Management, and NC State as a whole, is a major attractor to our region. The success of this university has allowed the state to retain talented students who may have considered leaving North Carolina to pursue an education – and jobs – in bigger cities like New York or Chicago,” he says. “We’ve been successful in applying cross-market competencies, all of which plays a major role in driving the economy of North Carolina.”