Kevin Murphy, U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, Casper, Wyo.
While it typically takes new reps a few years to get their businesses off the ground, Kevin Murphy experienced success from day one. "Right off the bat, everything started to work well," says Murphy, a managing director with U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray in Casper, Wyo. "At that time, there was oil in Wyoming and our economy was doing better than it is now. I started calling ranchers all over the state asking them if they had a tax problem. They did. Then I'd tell them about tax-free bonds."
Murphy did some prospecting in person, too. He would drive north 150 miles toward Gillette, another rural town in Wyoming, stopping along the way. "I'd drive until I'd find a ranch road, then I'd go up to the ranch house, knock on the door and start talking," he says. "I've had dogs chasing me more than a few times, but I developed a very good clientele among the ranching community."
Born and raised in Casper, Murphy grew up in a family familiar with the stock market, so his interest developed at an early age. "There were 12 in our family," he says. "At one point, there were about eight of us going through college or graduate school. For our family to get through the education process, the market had to work for us."
After graduating from Notre Dame in 1980 with a degree in finance, Murphy went back to school for a teaching certificate. He thought being in education would satisfy his interest in coaching and working with youngsters. He taught and coached basketball at a parochial school for six months. Since the salary was practically "charity-work level," he decided to enter the securities industry.
Murphy started with Dain Bosworth, where his father had his account, in August 1981, at the age of 22. Two years later Murphy was hitting the firm's top levels of production.
In 1992, Murphy switched to Piper Jaffray to become producing manager of the Casper office. He later gave up the position to spend more time with his family. In the meantime, his success continued.
For the past five years, he's been a member of Piper Jaffray's Baker's Dozen, representing the highest level of annual production at the firm. Murphy has 150 million under management and says his goal is to consistently produce more than a million dollars.
"Last year my production was 1.2 million, and in Wyoming, where there's more antelope than people, that's awfully good," Murphy says. He credits some of his success to the advice a veteran broker gave him years ago. "Be conservative," he says. "Place clients in quality stocks that will do well over time."
With the state's economy depressed now because of oil prices, Murphy is expanding his territory. "I'm working with IRA rollover plans in Rock Spring, Wyo., 300 miles from Casper. Through my college contacts at Notre Dame, I've developed clients all over the country."
Chris Lippincott, his long-time sales assistant, and Mark Schweda, a partner brought on a year ago, help Murphy keep up with a schedule that sometimes takes him out of the office for several hours at a time. He often has to drive hundreds of miles for client meetings.
Murphy also devotes a lot of time to helping his community, his alma mater and the youth of Wyoming. Murphy is an active participant in his church, chairing its fund-raising efforts. In addition, he served four years as president of the Notre Dame Club of Wyoming. He has also coached junior high school sports, Little League baseball, youth soccer and basketball at the local YMCA.
While the investment business is his profession, Murphy loves his avocation of community service, especially coaching. "If there's a team out there, I've probably coached it."--Michelle Gabriel
Outstanding Traits:"I like how he does business. He's good about keeping in touch and communicating ideas to me."--client Greg Lewis, an independent insurance broker, Casper, Wyo.
"Kevin's a good guy. He loves to get involved and is always enthusiastic about his community service projects."--colleague Mike Pohlen, U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, Bloomington, Minn.