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Changing course lands Ferguson in employment benefits

Bryant Ferguson (Staff photo by Kevin Harnack)

Bryant Ferguson (Staff photo by Kevin Harnack)

Bryant Ferguson isn’t afraid to change course.

Ferguson, an attorney with Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren SC, Milwaukee, grew up wanting to be a pilot. After attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, he worked as a pilot for five years before deciding the career wasn’t for him.

“I had always thought about a law degree,” he said. “There’s a lot you can do with it. So I went down that path as well as working on my MBA.”

His combined MBA and law degrees from Marquette led to a job at a Big 4 accounting firm where he prepared state and federal tax returns, and researched tax-related issues. But Ferguson still wasn’t satisfied.

“The accounting firm work was all compliance driven and I really something wanted more analytical,” Ferguson said. “I wanted more of a challenge.”

Two and a half years ago, he found it at Reinhart, where he works in the firm’s employment benefits area.

“I do a lot of problem solving and researching and really enjoy it,” Ferguson said. “A lot of complex topics come together in employee benefits: taxes, representing corporate investors and more.”

He said his MBA comes in handy, too, since it helps him understand his clients’ business concerns.

“I speak their language,” he said, noting that he does a lot of reading and research to keep up with ever-changing employment law and guidelines.

“Every deal and client faces a unique challenge,” he said, “and I use my background and experience to represent my clients the best that I can.”

Wisconsin Law Journal: What was your favorite class in law school?
Bryant Ferguson: Probably securities law. This overlapped with a class I was taking for my MBA so I liked being able to tie those together. I also enjoyed the professor.

WLJ: What activity could you spend hours doing outside of work?
Ferguson: Sitting in the sun reading by a pool.

WLJ: What do you like to listen to on your iPod?
Ferguson: Whatever my son is into at the time. Currently, One Direction and Katy Perry.

WLJ: If you could have drinks with anyone, who would it be?
Ferguson: Alexander Hamilton. He overcame a lot to become a founding father.

WLJ: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Ferguson: I wish I were more outgoing.

WLJ: What was your favorite toy as a child?
Ferguson: Legos

WLJ: What was the last book you read?
Ferguson: ‘House of Morgan’ by Ron Chernow

WLJ: What is your favorite sport to watch or play?
Ferguson: I love watching football and playing golf.

WLJ: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Ferguson: On a lake somewhere warm.

WLJ: What is your favorite activity to do in Wisconsin?
Ferguson: Summer, boating; winter, skiing.

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