Fresh out of college, and anxious to be out in the big-girl working world, my boyfriend-at-the-time (now, hubby!) told his uncle how his girl needed a job. His uncle was, conveniently, a vice-president at Morgan Keegan, so voila! I was offered a place in the Retirement accounts department.
I worked there a year before (now) hubby whisked me off to live on the Florida coast, but it was the best place I’ve ever worked. I know, I know… keeping up with tax laws, talking to brokers about distributions and such doesn’t sound like most folk’s idea of fun, but that sort of thing is right up my alley.
Plus, working for Morgan Keegan is just like one big financially-minded family. Every Southerner has heard of the “good ol’ boys network.” Well, MK (as most of us affectionately call it), is the epitome of the good ol’ boys network. Literally outnumbered 5 – 2, we ladies of the retirements accounts department were still well taken care of by caring, good Southern young gentlemen.
But it goes way beyond that. Folks take care of each other around there, just because it’s the right thing to do. It is business, of course, but it’s also a family.
Founded and based in Memphis, Morgan Keegan was recently acquired by Regions a few years ago, which is operated out of Birmingham. So you see, they have a strong Southern presence. Most of the brokerage offices are out of the Southeast and have also merged with Union Planters (Tennessee), AmSouth (Alabama), and Integrity (Georgia) in recent years. I mean, even names like Union Planters, AmSouth, and Integrity scream Southern!
All the way over here now on the other coast, I don’t have the opportunity to bank with my good ol’ boys any longer, but I sure do miss calling up a broker, and them knowing how your momma is doing, letting you know they’ll be downtown and hope to see ya later tonight, or just singing you a little line of “Blue Monday.” (All of these things really regularly happen. We even had an instance where a family from a fellow department in New Accounts took in a broker from New Orleans during the Katrina displacements.)
So in our explorations of Memphis this month, I just couldn’t leave out my memories of an integral part of the commerce in the city. Morgan Keegan is as Southern as business gets.
If any of you are by chance still not convinced, I’ve even heard rumors that Mr. Morgan has said, “if they don’t serve grits, we won’t have an office there.” Now that’s my kind of good ol’ boy.