Speaker: David H. Houston
Partner and the Chief Operations Officer with Blackwall Partners LLC
Friday, October 12, 2012
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Business Leadership Building 180
Mr. Houston is currently a Partner and the Chief Operations Officer with Blackwall Partners LLC. He manages institutional investor relations for the fund and is integral in the daily operations and compliance of the firm. Mr. Houston performed these same director-officer roles for Western Reserve Capital Management LP, a long-short equity hedge fund from 2008 thru 2010. From 2004 to 2007, he was a Director of Investments with Mobility Ventures LP, an emerging manager venture capital firm focused in the wireless communication and information technology sectors. Mr. Houston joined noted technology author and thought leader Roman Kikta in the early stages of developing his new venture capital fund Mobility Ventures. This would be the next-generation fund to Mr. Kikta’s first venture capital incubator group called Genesis Campus. This was a challenging and comprehensive extension of Mr. Houston’s work in the venture space from his previous advisory role at a large investment bank. Mr. Houston was instrumental in the conceptual development and strategic direction of this new early stage venture firm. Working closely with the General Partner, Mr. Houston was integral in the branding and focus of Mobility Ventures as well as in the coordination of the fund’s marketing strategy and international road show. He generated global visibility for the fund via the introduction of the partnership to prominent investment banks, hedge funds and private equity firms. Mr. Houston presented the fund to top-tier institutions and their investment committees. He also conducted due diligence, review and analysis of management teams and business plans that were potential future investments for the fund.
Prior to joining Mobility Ventures, Mr. Houston was a financial advisor with UBS Financial Services Inc. in the firm’s Dallas Private Client Group. He specialized in alternative investments and managed private capital in the high net worth space. Mr. Houston developed investment strategies for sophisticated investors, business owners and corporations that required alternative investment exposure. Within his first year at the firm, he was recognized by the investment bank for superior performance by ranking in the top 5% nationwide of their advisor program. Mr. Houston utilized numerous alternative investment managers, vehicles and strategies which he performed additional due diligence on to meet client specifications. Mr. Houston also provided advice to a number of venture capital portfolio companies which involved working closely with those firm’s CFOs to provide financial and strategic options relative to their funding round and business development projections. He designed solutions to extend the cash burn rates of portfolio companies and provide them with additional flexibility in terms of credit and liquidity. Mr. Houston also worked closely with outside legal council on estate planning, trusts, gifting and wealth transfer cases for HNW clients.
From 1994 to 2000, Mr. Houston served in a management role for Constructive Playthings Inc., a privately held manufacturer and distributor of wholesale educational supplies. During his tenure, he directed a staff of seventeen employees as well as conducted the screening, training and mentoring of new personnel. During his years of service, Mr. Houston expanded institutional sales, built regional business relationships, coordinated numerous special events for product promotion and managed multiple projects and product lines.
Mr. Houston holds two degrees from the University of North Texas; a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and an MBA with a concentration in Finance from the University’s Toulouse School of Graduate Studies. Mr. Houston has held Series 7, 66, 31 and Group 1 licenses; and has spoken publically on alternative investment topics to various public and private organizations.