Jon Bragg, the new private client relationship manager at First Tennessee Bank, said having a good professional working relationship with a banker is one of the best investments that any entrepreneur or business professional can have.
Bragg, despite his relatively young age, has become a trusted name in the banking business, managing the portfolios of several high net worth clients.
His clientele includes some of the Mid-South's top physicians, attorneys and accountants.
"First Tennessee offered me this position and I am eager to strengthen and build upon relationships that I have made," added Bragg. "Opportunities are out there for banks more than ever."
For Bragg, the banking industry offers opportunities to not only build capital but invest in the communities in which his clients live, work and play.
Face-to-face consultations in the board room or office are one way to build that relationship but the affable Bragg also likes to get to know his clients in a more personal way.
A better-than-average golfer, Bragg often strengthens those relationships on the putting green or driving range.
"I want to get to know my clients whether they have been in the business for 10 years or 40 years," Bragg said. "When you sit down with them I want to know all about them and be as important to them as their mother and their brother or sister."
Bragg said one of his favorite bankers is the Jimmy Stewart incarnation of the lovable George Bailey who discovered his vast wealth was measured in friendships and relationships with people in the community.
According to Bragg, First Tennessee Bank has made innumerable friendships and relationships in the 155 years that it has been in business.
"What I liked about First Tennessee is that the average tenure is 17 years," Bragg said. "You want to make sure your tenure is long enough to build those relationships and make sure it's a good situation for both your clients and your career."
His portfolio at his prior bank topped more than $50 million.
"We can continue to help them grow their wealth and maintain it for their children," Bragg said. "I want to sit down with someone who trusts me. I think most people are truly surprised at the level of professionalism and expertise that you have and are able to share with them.
"Banking is more than a checking account or a savings account," Bragg said. "Banking is about the relationship but even more than that, it's about preparing that person for the future, and the future for their families, their children."
Bragg, 36, and his wife Lindsey have two children, Hawkins, 5, and Penelope or "Penny," 3 1/2 months. The couple and their children attend Hernando United Methodist Church. Bragg serves as a member of the DeSoto County Economic Development Council's Infrastructure Committee.
A Columbus native, Bragg said being a part of the greater DeSoto County community is exciting.
"The economy is back," Bragg said. "People are spending money. For banking and DeSoto County investment in general, there is an untapped market in DeSoto County. It gives us a chance to use our resources at First Tennessee."
Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at email@example.com or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.