Lunsford Bridges, former CEO of Metropolitan National Bank, retired more than five years ago after a five-decade career in the banking and finance business. A native of Pine Bluff, Bridges began his banking career there before moving to Little Rock to guide Metropolitan to a sizable statewide presence.
He spends his time now doing woodworking and not wearing a tie — he’s “allergic to them,” as he pointed out in a recent interview. Bridges was the very first guest on the very first “Talk Business” program on June 27, 1999. Talk Business & Politics CEO Roby Brock sat down with Bridges on the TV show’s 20th anniversary for a reflection on his career and advice that he still shares to this day.
“It’s hard to pick out one or two bits [of advice] from a 50-year banking career. Working hard, and if at all possible, do something that you truly love to do. As the old saying goes, ‘If you love it, then it’s not work,'” he said.
“For a young businessman, there’s one thing that has always stuck with me that my old chairman of the board told me 48, 49 years ago. In working with businesses, there are three relationships that a business person needs in their careers.
“That’s a good CPA, a good attorney, and a good banker. So my career was all about trying to be a good banker for our customers, and we were fortunate to have many opportunities with that,” Bridges said.
You can watch his full interview in the video below.