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John Chalker

LM Capital managing director balances investment services, community service

John Chalker is focused on civic involvement and providing his clients with the best investment strategies possible.

As a chair on the state transportation committee, Chalker is part of a team distributing $18 billion on projects across California. He said it's important for the state to have an effective system to transport goods because its geographical position, facing exporters like China and India across the Pacific Ocean.

A former U.S Naval Service pilot, Chalker said airports need to be able to quickly move goods because they are a central hub for business and tourism, which is important to San Diego as well.

"We want to make it easy for people to come to San Diego," Chalker said, noting that 50 percent of tourists who fly to San Diego spend more and stay longer than those who use a different form of transportation, such as auto or bus.

As the commission divvies up the money, Chalker hopes to see a track added in the train route between San Diego and Los Angeles, which could turn the ride into a two-hour commute. Chalker said the line between the two cities is the second most heavily traveled line in the country -- next to the route from Boston to Washington, D.C.

The second line is scheduled for completion in the next 25 years.

"I think we need to speed that up," Chalker said.

By day, Chalker is the managing director of the Investment Strategy Group for LM Capital Group LLC. He said his focus is to get the best dollar for government and Forbes 500 companies' pension plans.

"I'm fortunate in that the company's been very successful and that's allowed me to give back in community service," Chalker said. He serves on various civic service boards around San Diego County, including the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, Alliance in Support of Airport Progress in the 21st Century, the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl and the Braille Institute Community Advisory Council.

LM Capital, which was formed in 1990, is expanding its office and hiring more employees this year as it continues to grow.

Chalker came from Merrill Lynch & Co. (NYSE: MER), where he was a vice president, senior financial consultant.

"Rather than just be a financial consultant that brought in clients and turned them over to other managers, I wanted to be in charge of the money," Chalker said.

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