Richard Bryant named recipient of the 2021 Poole College Distinguished Alumni Award

By Léa Hart

When Richard Bryant looks back on his life so far, he can attribute his personal and professional success to the core beliefs he shared with his sons as they were growing up.

“It all comes down to working hard, showing up, having fun, living within your means and giving back,” said Bryant.

It all comes down to working hard, showing off, having fun, living within your means and giving back.

One of her favorite ways to give back is at North Carolina State University and Poole College of Management. Bryant, who graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, has dedicated his time, expertise and financial support to the university and college in many ways over the years.

This is just one of the many reasons why Bryant was named the recipient of the 2021 Poole College of Management Distinguished Alumni Award. Each year, Poole College and NC State recognize an alumnus for professional achievement as well as support to the university. The award is presented to the winners at the NC State Alumni Association All-Star Night.

Upon receiving the award, Bryant joins the ranks of past recipients which include former Governor James B. Hunt, Jim and Ann Goodnight, General Hugh Shelton and many more.

Bryant is the co-founder, president and CEO of Capital Investment Companies, one of the largest independent financial services companies in the Southeastern United States. He started private equity firms almost four decades ago in 1984, just a few years after graduation.

Giving back in so many ways

Over the years, he has served on the Board of Visitors of NC State and the NC State University Foundation, as well as the Boards of the NC State Investment Fund and the NC State Endowment. He is a founding member and past president of Friends of ARTS NC State and was also co-president of the Achieve! Campaign Steering Committee for ARTS NC State and Co-Chair of the Frank Thompson Hall Renovation Project.

And that’s just to name a few. Bryant is a founding member of the State Club, a life member of the Wolfpack Club, and a member of the NC State Alumni Association for over 35 years. Bryant also served as a lecturer and mentor to college students.

Recently, Bryant and his wife, Suzy, awarded a scholarship to support student-athletes at Poole College of Management. The Bryant Family Endowment is awarded to undergraduates at Poole College of Management who are also members of a North Carolina State Inter-varsity Track Team.

The scholarship combines Bryant’s passion for the Wolfpack Club and athletics at NC State with a desire to support students who may be struggling financially to attend Poole College, he said.

Capital Investment Companies maintains an internship program that employs students from the state of North Carolina. Bryant said he was extremely impressed with the caliber of the students coming out of college and Poole College.

“The class this year has been just amazing,” he said.

Carrying the impact of NC State with it

Today, Bryant is humbled by his success and touched by receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award. For him, it’s about coming full circle – giving back to a university that has given him so much.

“Going to State was magical,” Bryant said of a college student.

He was from Gastonia, which was a very small town at the time, and had embraced NC State and what it offered. When he left for NC State, his father told him “this will be the last carefree moment of your life, so make the most of it.” And Bryant admits he’s definitely embraced the “fun” side of college, joining a fraternity and enjoying a rich social life.

But he also stuck with his studies and said he only had a hair to make the dean’s roster during his senior year at NC State.

“I also made many friendships, and it shaped my life as much as NC State,” said Bryant.

Together, it all explains why he has given so much back to college over the years.

“It’s fun giving back to this university,” he said. “And it’s easy because it’s fun.”

It’s fun to give back to this university. And it’s easy because it’s fun.

Bryant first came to NC State to be an engineer, but realized quite quickly that this was not the right path for him.

“I went out and turned to business, and my life just opened up,” he said. “I became a guy who liked a lot of things. “

For Bryant, there was no preferred course once he made that change. He loved everything from marketing to macroeconomics to finance. After graduation he first went to work for his father’s company, Bryant Supply Company in Gastonia, but said he had started to take an interest in “how money makes money. ‘money “.

Bryant left the family business, returned to Raleigh, and worked for other companies for a while, but it didn’t last long. He met his partner, Bobby Edgerton, in 1983 at the old Tripps restaurant on Wade Avenue behind Meredith College and they sketched their partnership on the back of a napkin. The rest, as they say, is history. Capital investment firms today have close to $ 8 billion in assets.

Along the way, Bryant met and married Suzy, whom he calls “the woman behind the man.” They have two sons, Miller and Andy, who each attended the state of North Carolina.

At 62, Bryant said he was “becoming the old man in the industry,” but he’s not complaining. He really likes it.

It all, he says, started at NC State.

“I learned who I was and who I wasn’t at NC State,” said Bryant.

He said he also learned about people, the way they work and the importance of lasting friendships. Like many, being alone away from home has taught him a lot of life lessons.

This is the advice he would give to students today. “Know who you are,” said Bryant, and stick with that person.

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