Steve Cotton was raised and educated in Dallas, and has had a rich and multifaceted career in investments, business, government, public affairs, media relations and marketing for more than 37 years. His professional experience has included wealth management for private clients and churches, business planning and marketing, high-level government relations, and program development responsibilities. He is currently an LPL Registered Representative and an Independent Financial Advisor with Independent Financial Partners (IFP), and is President of CottonWealth Management Associates, a financial planning and wealth management firm.
Prior to starting his new company in 2014, he was one of two founding Managing Partners of the Cotton-Adams Financial Group, LLC from 2006-2014. Prior to starting the joint venture at Cotton-Adams, Steve was a successful financial consultant at A.G. Edwards and Morgan Stanley. He has also held senior management positions in the largest division of a high technology, Fortune 100 defense corporation, helped develop public policy in the U.S. Congress and Texas Legislature, directed media relations, public affairs, and political campaign work, served a major Texas university, and served private clients as a corporate business consultant.
For five consecutive years, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Steve has been named a FIVE STAR Wealth Manager in Texas Monthly magazine, an award based on 10 objective criteria associated with providing quality services to clients such as credentials, experience, and assets under management among other factors. Wealth managers do not pay a fee to be considered or placed on the final list of 2012-2016 Five Star Wealth Managers.
Steve is an active member of the Dallas-Fort Worth Council on World Affairs and the Rotary Club of Dallas. He served on the Rotary Board of Directors 2012-2013, serving as Chairman of the club’s Outstanding Teacher Awards program. In 2006, he was selected to be the first President of the new Dallas Association of Southwestern University Alumni. In November, 2013, Steve was honored as an “Outstanding Professional Alumnus” by Southwestern University at the annual Homecoming Celebration, one of only three alumni chosen nationwide that year.
Mr. Cotton earned a B.A. in Political Science from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas in 1977 and received his M.A. in Government with Certification in National Security Studies from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. in 1986. During his public policy career, he served in the Texas Legislature as Administrative Assistant to a Texas State Senator, Administrative Assistant to a Texas State Representative, worked for a Texas Supreme Court Justice, and served with three Members of Congress in Washington, D.C. as a senior Legislative Assistant, Special Assistant, and Press Secretary/Communications Director. He is a graduate of the Congressional Research Service’s Institute for Legislative Staff.
During his service in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, Mr. Cotton handled a broad spectrum of national and international policy issues. He worked directly with the White House, executive branch agencies, public policy groups, business, military and national security groups, health care representatives, technology experts, with the state, national and international news media, and rural development and social service advocates.
Mr. Cotton’s background in the private sector includes service in the aerospace technology industry. As a senior manager in the marketing and program development department of General Dynamics’ Fort Worth Division from 1986 to 1991, Mr. Cotton helped direct the marketing and government affairs activities at the company’s largest business unit ($1.5B in annual sales), and served as administrator of the Division’s Political Action Committee. In 1987, he was honored with the company’s Extraordinary Achievement Award.
Mr. Cotton has a passion for teaching and has served as a Special Guest Instructor at four major Texas colleges-- Trinity University, Southwestern University, Texas Christian University and Texas Tech University. His topics have ranged from financial planning and investments, to economics and market issues, to U.S. arms control and foreign policy issues, to the congressional budget and governmental process, to national security issues, to technology, health care and telemedicine issues, to congressional and presidential politics, and elections.
He has developed and directed two Financial Bible Study courses, has served two churches as a trained Stephen Minister (lay crisis counselor), and been a Facilitator for both DivorceCare and Grief Recovery programs. Steve is an Ordained Elder at the Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church and has served on the Financial Stewardship Committee, Church Officer Nominating Committee and Usher & Communion Teams.