Q&A With Adam Ward, Senior Vice President | Stephens

Who We Are

What We Do

We provide investment banking, research, sales and trading, asset and wealth management, public finance, insurance, private capital, and family office services.

About Us

We are a family-owned financial services firm that values client relationships, long-term stability, and supporting the communities where we live and work.

The Stephens Story

The idea of family defines our culture, because each of us knows that our reputation is on the line as if our own name was on the door.


Our reputation as a leading independent financial services firm is built on the stability of our longstanding and highly experienced senior executives.

Impact Initiatives

We are committed to corporate philanthropy; economic and financial literacy advocacy; and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

Our Brand Ambassadors

Stephens is proud to sponsor the PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour, and PGA TOUR Champions careers, as well as applaud the philanthropic endeavors, of our Brand Ambassadors.

Making Connections

We host many highly informative meetings each year with clients, industry decision makers, and thought leaders across the U.S. and in Europe.

Our Businesses

Capital Management

We provide fiduciary investment strategies to public-and private-sector institutional clients through asset allocation, consulting, and retirement services.

Fixed Income Sales & Trading

Decades of proven performance and experience in providing tailored fixed income trading and underwriting services to major municipal and corporate issuers.

Institutional Equities and Research

Proven industry-leading research, global market insights, and client-focused execution.


Customized risk management, property & casualty, executive strategies and employee benefits solutions that protect our clients over the long term.

Investment Banking

We assist companies with accessing capital through innovative advisory and execution services that help firms achieve their strategic goals.

Private Capital

We have been a trusted and reliable source of capital for private companies for over 70 years.

Private Wealth Management

Our experienced Private Client Group professionals develop customized investment strategies to help clients achieve their financial goals.

Public Finance

We are a trusted municipal advisor with proven expertise in public financings. We also work with clients in negotiated and competitive municipal underwritings.

Stephens Spotlights

Q&A With Adam Ward, Senior Vice President

Oct 18, 2022

Adam Ward, a Senior Vice President in the Fixed Income Sales & Trading team at Stephens, has been at the firm for 16 years – his first job out of college. He reflects on the advantages to working at a private firm, what makes a seemingly staid part of the business exciting, and the opportunities available to someone looking to build their career for the long-term.

Q: What brought you to Stephens?

A: Living in Central Arkansas I am very familiar with the story of Stephens and from a young age I aspired to work here.

When the opportunity presented itself, one of the questions that David Moix asked me, that I don’t think I was prepared for at age 22, was, “Are you comfortable with this being the only business card that you’ll ever have?” I thought about it and ultimately told him, “Yeah, I am completely comfortable with that.”

Even though I didn’t think hard about why I answered “yes” at the time, it speaks to why this is a great place to work. That question demonstrates the loyalty Stephens has to its employees, which is highly unusual.

Q: What has your career trajectory been like?

A: I started in our St. Petersburg office in sales. In 2008, I moved back to Little Rock to work in the municipal department. The three people I worked for had probably an average tenure of about 40 years. After a couple of years, one of them was getting ready to retire, so they asked me if I wanted to transition into the trading side of the business.

In my mind that was what best suited my skill set so I made that move in 2010 or so. Later, in 2016, there was an opportunity to take over underwriting.

Q: Why is Fixed Income recruiting now?

A: There’s an opportunity to leverage our competitive advantages of teaming seasoned professionals with promising new talent to grow market share.

Q: What would you tell a young person about coming to Stephens?

A: Stephens is very entrepreneurial. Plus, as a family owned company, we are guided by the family’s expectations and client needs, not by external expectations.

The company’s motto, if you will, is “We’re going to be in business tomorrow.” There's a lot to be said for that when especially I look at friends that also had gone into the financial world and worked at places that have been absorbed by another firm.

I believe that we can compete with any of our competitors as Stephens does not have the outside distractions they might.

Q: Why Fixed Income?

A: If you look at the size of the market, fixed income can be a strong driver of revenue. And when there is volatility in the market, it can be one of the more exciting areas of finance.

Q: What kind of people become successful here?

A: People who are good with numbers but also good at relationships. You get to interact with a lot of interesting people.

Q: Any advice for people just starting out?

A: You're smart, you've been the top of your class, and you've been able to accomplish everything that you set your mind to. And then, you get pushed into the real world.

Success will be a longer process than you're used to. You've got to have a 1-year outlook; a 5-year outlook; a 10-year outlook or more. A career at Stephens allows you to build with a long-term horizon.

About the Expert

Adam Ward

Senior Vice President, Head of Municipal Trading, Fixed Income Sales & Trading

Read full bio