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Firm presents second seminar in investment series

Sterne Agee focusing on state’s economic issues

Last November, Sterne, Agee & Leach hosted its first-ever Mississippi gaming industry seminar. On February 22, the Jackson office of the investment firm will host a Mississippi banking seminar at the Jackson Yacht Club in Madison to discuss economic issues related to the state’s publicly traded banks. Both seminars are part of a new series that includes upcoming seminars on maximizing retirement savings, insurance and estate planning.

“Our investors know we’re committed to industry-specific conferences that affect Mississippi’s economy, but others might not be aware of it,” said Bradford Sipes, managing director of the Jackson office, which opened in 1995. “This is part of an internal and external marketing and branding campaign we recently initiated that will allow us to maintain higher visibility throughout the state.”

Sterne Agee, a subsidiary of Birmingham, Ala.-based Sterne, Agee & Leach Group, is a full-service brokerage firm registered in all 50 states offering investment services from equity trading to wealth management for individuals, corporations, municipalities and other public and private institutions.

Established in 1901, the small, privately held New York Stock Exchange-listed firm is the only remaining one of its kind headquartered in the Southeast. Its roots trace back to the firm’s founder, renowned Southern financial advisor Mervyn Sterne, who joined forces in the early 1900s with two-term Birmingham mayor George Ward. Initially an Alabama firm with offices in Birmingham, Mobile and Montgomery, the company now has offices located in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

The parent company lists $11.3 billion in client assets and more than 89,000 clients, and employs nearly 500 professionals in its five subsidiaries: Sterne, Agee and Leach Inc., The Trust Company of Sterne, Agee and Leach Inc., Sterne Agee Asset Management Inc., Sterne Agee Financial Services Inc. and Sterne Agee Capital Markets Inc.

“We’ve built a large correspondent and independent clearing operation, which has allowed us to achieve scale from investment banking to municipal finance, institutional sales and serving the retail private client,” said Sipes.

The firm’s expertise includes retail and institutional brokerage, investment banking and underwriting, secondary trading of corporate, municipal, and government securities and market making in over-the-counter stocks. The Jackson office is primarily known for its full-service private client group, led by group managing director Todd Newton.

“We leverage the resources of the Sterne Agee family of companies to provide a high level of expertise and broad range of products and services to meet investors’ needs,” said Sipes, who oversees thousands of accounts in Mississippi.

The firm kicked off the seminar series with the gaming industry focus, where a thorough history and market overview of the third-largest gaming jurisdiction in the U.S. was presented to investors, because “it’s been our belief that Mississippi as a regional market saw the opportunity of gaming early and became a worthwhile partner to the industry,” said Danny Davila, senior vice president and senior gaming analyst for Sterne, Agee & Leach Inc. “This means that the Mississippi investments we have recommended and continue to recommend have a solid foundation.”

Gaming seminar panelists included Tulane University professor Thomas Brosig, who co-founded Grand Casinos Inc., Torguson Gaming Group CEO Marlin Torguson, Isle of Capri Casinos CFO Rexford Yeisley and other industry heavy-hitters.

Presenters for the upcoming banking seminar, which is open to the public but has limited seating, include the CEOs of Trustmark, BancorpSouth, Britton & Koontz, First Bancshares, First M&F Corporation, NBC Capital Corporation and Peoples Holding Company, and CFO Carl Chaney of Hancock Holding Company.

“Each bank will present their story about why an investor might want to look at theirs as an investment,” said Sipes. “The banking seminar is designed for investors to give them information they need to make intelligent decisions.”

Contact MBJ contributing writer Lynne W. Jeter at lwjeter@yahoo.com.

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