Getting to Know Missy Meggison of First Financial Asset Management

Missy Meggison’s first job as a lawyer was for a collections law firm and, 12 years later, she hasn’t looked back. Now the general counsel and chief compliance officer for First Financial Asset Management, Missy longs for the day when we all just get along and everyone uses the same auditing form to save time and money. Read on to learn more about Missy and what she was eating as she typed out her responses to these questions.

Name: Missy Meggison
Company: First Financial Asset Management (FFAM360)
Length of time at current company: 10 months
Length of time in industry: 12 years

How did you get your start in the industry? 
It was purely coincidence. I had just graduated from law school and was studying for the Florida bar when I decided to move to Georgia. I submitted my resume to an advertisement on a job board which happened to be for a collections law firm with offices in Florida and Georgia (Pollack and Rosen). I met with the managing partner in Florida and he hired me for the Georgia office. So basically, I was a new attorney looking for work who found a job which happened to be in the collections industry.

What is your career highlight so far? 
I had to think about this a lot, because there have been so many good moments. That said, after much thought, I think the highlight so far is when I was hired here at FFAM360 as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer (once I was RMA certified!). After spending 11 years in the industry in various litigation and internal compliance roles, taking on the GC position last year felt like the culmination of my efforts and I really like being part of the FFAM team.

When or how are you most productive? 
I am most productive right after I’ve had my morning cup of coffee. I’m not necessarily a morning person, but I feel like I’m able to mark more things off my to-do list in the morning hours before the day takes unexpected turns.

Which industry professional do you admire most? 
That’s a tough one … there are so many amazing people in this industry.  If I have to limit it to just one, I would say John Bedard. He’s always willing to talk about compliance and talk through unique issues in our ever changing climate.

What is one thing you do better than everyone else? 
I’ve been told by others that I have a knack for communicating with operations folks and coming up with solutions that are both legally compliant and operationally feasible.

What do you like most about this industry? 
This is a double-edge sword, but I love the never-a-dull-moment, fast-paced environment in which we operate.

What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry? 
I wish we could come up with an industry-wide, standardized audit/RFP/RFI solution that we can all agree on. It would be such a time saver for everyone involved if there was one repository where the standard information that appears on 90% of an RFI/Audit document was stored, so each auditing entity could pull it down from there instead of the answering the same questions over and over and over again. Or, if we as an industry could agree on a standard form, it would free up so much time all around.

If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing? 
Hmmmm … that’s a tough one. Probably doing some type of personal injury or insurance defense work. Or if I didn’t practice law at all, I would probably still be working at Publix like I did when I was in college.

Describe a typical work day.
First — COFFEE. I don’t operate well without it and make some before I leave the house. After a short (less than 15 min!) commute to the office, I settle in and try to get to work on my top daily priorities. Usually within my first 45 minutes at the office though, the priority changes as something new, interesting, and shiny comes up. From there on out, its usually a series of phone calls, meetings, and emails, while I try to accomplish my original goals for the day which sometimes happens, and sometimes does not. 

What is your guilty pleasure? 
Chocolate. I run for exercise and fun and continually tell myself that I don’t need to eat a candy bar or cookie, as its not conducive to a healthy runner’s diet. More often than not though, I lose this battle … I ate a fun size Twix as I was typing this as a matter of fact.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? 
Don’t burn any bridges; everyone in this industry ends up everywhere else and everybody knows everyone. 

What are you currently reading? 
At the moment … lots of contracts, nothing for fun.

What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you? 
I love talking about sports (except ice hockey because I grew up in South Florida and don’t understand it). Other than hockey though, if you see me, and are tired of talking about the weather… talk sports with me! Fair warning … if it’s baseball season I will dominate the conversation with my thoughts on the Atlanta Braves and if its college football season, you’ll be hearing about the Miami Hurricanes. That might be more than one fact …  

Who else would you like to see answer these questions? 
Keith Wier or Matt Maloney

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