Steve Oesterle '75 has come a long way since growing up on a farm in Mason, but his humility and work ethic have endured. The values learned from his rural Midwest upbringing have brought him to the top. Oesterle’s professional accomplishments reached a new height late last year when he was named Chairman and CEO of former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s new investment banking firm, Giuliani Capital Advisors.
From the start of his career, Oesterle aimed for a position where he could “learn, grow and increase career options” — a tactic which has certainly served him well. Before joining Giuliani’s team in New York, Oesterle was vice chairman of Ernst & Young, a company he joined immediately after graduating from Alma. In 2002, he was asked to join Giuliani Partners, a management consulting firm, and then Giuliani Capital Advisors, which provides businesses financial advice and banking solutions. Oesterle’s path has taught him that “at every point in your life, you have boundless opportunities.”
Oesterle also is a Partner and Managing Director at Giuliani Partners. While juggling multiple roles is challenging, Oesterle enjoys the variety and unpredictability of his job. Whether meeting with current or prospective clients, attorneys, or advisors, he recognizes the importance of “building relationships and establishing two-way trust — skills enhanced by Alma’s close-knit campus community and liberal arts atmosphere.
While his accomplishments are stunning, Oesterle is the last to brag. Instead, he finds his success “humbling,” at the same time enjoying the intellectual stimulation of his many endeavors. “It’s exciting to be involved in things you care about,” he says. Instead of crediting himself for his many achievements, he simply reiterates that he feels “incredibly fortunate” for his opportunities.
Reflecting on his career, Oesterle emphasizes the importance that mentors have played in his success, saying that, “Throughout my career, I have been blessed with a small number of talented, caring professionals who have taken the time to help me develop leadership skills.” Oesterle has found the perspective and candid, objective feedback of these individuals invaluable to his personal and professional development.
Skills gained at Alma have been a key element of Oesterle’s success, especially “the ability to understand what drives other people, and to put myself in their shoes.” He met his wife, Michelle Andrews '76, at Alma. A music major, she is the children’s choir director at New York City’s Marble Collegiate Church, sings with the Juilliard Choral Union, and has sung professionally at Carnegie Hall and with the New York City Ballet, among other accomplishments. Such achievements make it clear why Oesterle dubs her “the real talent in the family.”
Making time for each other and sons, Matthew and Adam, Steve and Michelle see “the ability to have balance” as a key part of their success and happiness.