Firm: Hilltop Securities
As the first member of her family to earn a college degree, Ester Flores knows the value of higher education. Today, she works for some of Texas’ top universities — including her alma mater the University of North Texas — as a director for municipal advisor Hilltop Securities.
As higher education faces a severe financial shock, Ester and her associates at Hilltop are adapting to a new way of advising clients, working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Hilltop Securities acted fast and put in place the tools and resources needed for us to safely work from home," she said. "My team and I have been fortunate to be able to get our clients in the market and price successful transactions in this volatile market.”
A native of Hereford, Texas, Ester joined Hilltop’s predecessor firm First Southwest Co. in 2009 when the firm’s clients were challenged by the last financial crisis.
Her associates call her “an intelligent and personable young professional who is both eager to learn and incredibly ambitious.”
Her noteworthy projects include a $450 million bond deal in 2013 to make Texas A&M University System’s Kyle Field the largest stadium in the Southeast Conference. This year, only a fraction of the stadium’s seats will be filled due to pandemic restrictions.
“I’m confident in the leadership throughout our higher ed clients,” she said. “They’ve acted fast and adjusted budgets, program by program."
When she's not working on higher education or doing work for other clients, she volunteers to help underprivileged students at a Dallas elementary school.
“I’m a first generation American and first in my family to graduate college,” she said. “ I understand the educational disadvantages that kids in some of these areas face.”