The Right Tools

From the Spring 2009 edition of Vanderbilt Business

Hugh Tanner

Hugh Tanner

Hugh Tanner, MBA’85, is Managing Director in the Fixed Income Banking Group at Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc. in Nashville. He credits Owen with teaching him how to think critically and creatively. Those skills led him to create the first publicly offered, privatized student housing project on a college campus.

“Colleges know that students do better when they live on campus rather than in an apartment five miles away,” Tanner says. “I work with universities to develop financing plans for on-campus housing projects. Whether it’s bond insurance, stand-alone financing or private placement, we find the avenue that makes the most sense for the school.”

The economic downturn has affected Tanner’s business, but housing projects are still moving forward. “University housing has an identifiable source of revenue, so they can use those revenues to finance the projects. It’s not something you can really do with a chemistry building,” he says.

Tanner also owns Moody Packaging, which creates custom corrugated containers. “We do a lot of work with the local auto manufacturers and build containers to ship everything from engines to rear ends to transmissions,” he says.

Despite this full workload Tanner also finds time to serve on Owen’s alumni board. “I think it’s important to give back,” he says. “Vanderbilt and Owen are such integral parts of our community that you want to do everything you can to help them succeed.”

“I always viewed an MBA as basically having the right tools in a tool box or arrows in a quiver. You take them out when you need them. I doubt I’d be an investment banker today without my Vanderbilt MBA.”