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Profiles of Innovation

A matter of trust: Taseer Badar has changed the way physicians invest

A matter of trust: Taseer Badar has changed the way physicians invest

Editor's Note: This is the latest installment of a continuing series that highlights Houston innovators and entrerpreneurs.

From an early age, Taseer Badar knew he was going to be an entrepreneur. When he was a teenager attending Humble High School he started a lawn mowing business in his neighborhood and began turning a profit. Raised in a middle class family of professionals and physicians, Badar received a tennis scholarship at Texas A&M Univeristy and graduated with a BBA in entrepreneurship and finance in 1995.

While still in school, he ran a company that drop-shipped toner to clients all over the world. This little private enterprise enabled him to put away six figures before he’d even graduated. Since then, he’s been the recipient of three straight “Aggie 100” awards celebrating the 100 fastest growing Aggie-owned businesses in the world as the founder and CEO of  ZT Wealth and Altus Healthcare Management Services.

 “Our model is to allow physicians to invest in what they know and what they understand," Badar says. "We allow them to grow with us as partners and focus on healthcare investments and opportunities where they feel most comfortable.”

 Thinking Wall Street, Badar took a job with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter in New York after college. He fell in love with the Yankees but quickly discovered that he “didn’t want CNBC to dictate my life” and returned to Houston where he started a retail brokerage firm and began tapping into his family contacts of physicians to manage their money. 

“At first I went after established, older doctors and what I found out was that none of them were going to give their money to some kid to manage. So, I decided to target new doctors. Right out of medical school they had no connections and at the time all I wanted was to get their IRA. I amassed about 40 of them and as their careers grew, so did mine,” he recalls.

He developed a bond and trust with his physician clients and they began to turn to him to negotiate their salaries with hospitals, write business plans and manage finance and property deals.  

In 1997, Badar was approached to invest in new MRI technology in California. He sought advice from his neurologist brother in-law who convinced him to say yes. He called the business ZT Wealth; the “Z” for his partner's name and the “T” after himself. (He bought the other partner out in 1999 but kept the name.)

“Our model is to allow physicians to invest in what they know and what they understand," Badar says. "We allow them to grow with us as partners and focus on healthcare investments and opportunities where they feel most comfortable.”

The company has grown to over 500 employees and occupies 20,000 square feet of office space in Pearland. He also recently opened a showcase office in the Galleria area. Investments through the Altus Healthcare subsidiary include imaging centers, ambulatory surgery centers and sleep centers. Once operational, the doctors get to focus on what they do best; practice medicine while ZT Wealth handles the day-to-day business management.

Now 38, Badar is married and has a 19-month-old son. Like most entrepreneurs, he struggles to balance his personal life with his professional responsibilities but still manages to find the time to get back to New York to root on his beloved Yankees, where despite living in Houston he maintains season tickets to entertain clients and friends. He’s also an avid philanthropist and car enthusiast.

“We’ve come a long way from when I was first consulting with my brother-in-law whether to invest in our first stand-up MRI machine. I had an investor tell me recently that we don’t forget where we started or where we are now, because we care.” 

Asked what drives him to be successful Badar simply responds, “Coming through…I just want to be the guy that comes through for people."

Greg Scheinman is creator of the PBS show, PROFILE with Greg Scheinman, and associate at Insgroup Inc., Houston's fourth largest independent insurance agency.

News_Profiles of Innovation_Taseer Badar_Jan 2012
Taseer Badar, center, surrounded by some members of his team at ZT Wealth
News_ZT Wealth Track Event_Taseer Badar_Dr. Syed Imitaz Anwar
Taseer Badar, right, and Dr. Syed Imitaz Anwar at the race track at MSR Houston in Angleton. Photo by Augustine Nguyen