Gayest & Greatest

Gayest & Greatest: Legal and Financial

Mass Mutual’s Bryan Cotton balances personalized planning and LGBTQ advocacy.

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It was a quick career climb for Bryan Cotton, who has been assisting executives, entrepreneurs, and homeowners with real estate and financial planning for over two decades. 

Two years ago, Cotton decided he wanted to pivot from real estate and take on new challenges. He was approached by Mass Mutual Greater Houston to join their firm, and he seized the opportunity to introduce the leadership team to the LGBTQ community.  He steadily worked to help build diversity and outreach for Mass Mutual by sponsoring activities with the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce, the Montrose Center, and the LGBTQ Victory Fund.

A Houston native, Cotton began his career in real estate at Re/Max, then moved to Perry Homes before launching Bryan Cotton Properties. He received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Houston.

“I’m like a financial therapist,” Cotton says. “I take great care to get to know everything about my clients’ finances. Every client is different, and the most common complaint from clients is that they should have started financial
planning earlier.”

According to a 2017 survey, 57 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings, and 36 percent have none at all. Among Millennials, the “no savings at all” figure jumps to 46 percent. 

Besides being a multi-talented professional, Cotton is active in Houston, serving on the National Campaign Board of Directors for the Victory Fund and supporting the Montrose Center. He recently stepped down from the board of Out for Education (formerly the PFLAG/HATCH Youth Scholarship Foundation), a nonprofit that provides scholarships for LGBTQ students.

Regardless of your age, and no matter how you define financial success, most people won’t get there without a solid plan. Cotton is available to help strategize for retirement, college, and business growth—or customize a financial blueprint for anything life has to offer.

When you meet Cotton, you’ll most likely hear him say, “I enter into a long-term relationship with my clients, as I’m in the business of making 30-year promises.” So, the next time you start crunching your personal finances, consider calling Cotton to help stretch their longevity.   

—Marene Gustin

Best Bank/ Credit Union

Wells Fargo
Finalists: Amegy Bank, Chase Bank, East West Bank

Best Female Accountant/Bookkeeper

Kathy Hubbard

Best Male Accountant/Bookkeeper

Gary Gritz
Finalists: Greg Ault, Merlin Cavallin, Donald Simon

Best Female Attorney

Deborah Lawson
Finalists: Phyllis Frye, Fran Watson

Best Male Attorney

Raed Gonzalez, John Nechman (tie)
Finalists: Mitchell Katine, Dwane Todd

Best Female Financial Planner/Advisor

Grace Yung
Finalists: Felicia Gulihur, Britt Kornmann

Best Male Financial Planner/Advisor

Bryan K. Cotton
Finalists: Richard Dickson, Shane Theriot


Marene Gustin

Marene Gustin has written about Texas culture, food, fashion, the arts, and Lone Star politics and crime for television, magazines, the web and newspapers nationwide, and worked in Houston politics for six years. Her freelance work has appeared in the Austin Chronicle, Austin-American Statesman, Houston Chronicle, Houston Press, Texas Monthly, Dance International, Dance Magazine, the Advocate, Prime Living, InTown magazine, OutSmart magazine and web sites CultureMap Houston and Austin, Eater Houston and, among others.
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