Brian Eagon ’90
A financial advisor for Morgan Stanley in the Pittsburgh area for nearly 20 years, Brian Eagon ’90 always had a love for business. It wasn’t until he attended Radford University that he decided to turn that love into a career.
“When I took Dr. Nozar Hashemzadeh’s economics course, that is when I finally understood that the entire world is based on economics,” says Eagon. “That’s when I caught the bug.”
A high school soccer star in his native Canton, Ohio, Eagon was recruited to play at several other Virginia colleges, including William and Mary, James Madison University and the University of Richmond – but not Radford University. A chance visit to campus changed that.
“I decided to visit the campus on the way back to Ohio from a different campus visit,” Eagon explains. “I spoke with then-administrator Tom Lillard, who introduced me to the soccer team’s new head coach.
“When I found out about the team’s need for a midfielder, I knew then that I had a chance to play as a freshman. The coach told me that if I made the team as a walk-on, he would find a way to get me a scholarship.”
Eagon did end up making the team as a walk-on, where he started as a freshman and served as captain of the team for his final three years. His time as a Highlander ultimately lead to lifelong friendships.
“I am not only still friends with many of my teammates from my playing days, some are actually my clients,” Eagon continues. “I think very highly of Tom Lillard, as he was the person that got me in front of the head coach.
“My time at Radford was such a fun time in my life.”
Upon graduation, Eagon joined agricultural supply cooperative Southern States. “I interviewed with them at a campus job fair,” he explains. “And they hired me on the spot. It was perfect because I desired to work in agriculture with my business degree.”
After 10 years with Southern States, Morgan Stanley recruited Eagon, who decided that the time was right for a change. “While working for Southern States, I met a lot of wealthy people who owned farms who could utilize financial services,” Eagon explained.
“I grew up working on rural farms, so I understand the importance of diversifying your crops. One crop is ultimately going to fail, so you always need the others as a backup.”
Eagon continues, “I bring an agricultural perspective to my work. I tell my clients to treat their investments like crops – diversify.”
Eagon was recently named to Forbes Magazine’s inaugural list of “America’s Best-in-State Wealth Advisors."
“I have a desire to help people,” he says.
That desire to help, Eagon says, is due in large part to his time at Radford University.
“I met students from all backgrounds while I was at Radford. From urban and rural – I even had international teammates,” he explains. “That has been very important to me personally and professionally. You need to meet a variety of people in order to really understand people and learn tolerance.”
Eagon also says that Radford’s smaller size helped him get into the business he is in today. “Radford University had small class sizes, which enabled you to build a rapport with your professors,” he says. “I always knew I would go into the business field. It was in Dr. Hashemzadeh’s class that the light really came on for me.”
Eagon encourages all Radford University students to make sure they pick a career for the right reasons.
“Pick a degree in a field that you love – and one that makes good economic sense,” he says. “If you are good at your job, the money will come. Do not pick a job because of the money.”
Eagon continues, “Have passion and an urge to be the best and success will come. I loved working with people and numbers and I applied it to my career. I would never have dreamed I would be at Morgan Stanley.”
The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management or its affiliates. All opinions are subject to change without notice. Neither the information provided nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
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