published Sunday, December 16th, 2012

Business Briefcase: 'We build that' in Tennesseee

'We build that' in Tennesseee

Bill Hagerty may have left the Mitt Romney presidential campaign last month, but a bit of the campaign tone lingered in the words of Tennessee's economic development commissioner last week.

In announcing the expansion of Access America Transport, Hagerty took a gentle poke at President Obama's contention that entrepreneurs owe a large part of their success to government.

"You did build that here in Tennessee," Hagerty told the Access America executives gathered at the company's Warehouse Row headquarters. "Importantly, government does not create jobs. Our goal is to create an environment for the private sector to grow and prosper."

Prior to joining the Haslam administration, Hagerty previously worked at Bain Capital with Romney. Hagerty also was a campaign fundraiser for Romney's first presidential campaign in 2008 and briefly helped this year's campaign while on leave from Haslam's cabinet.


Williamson joins FourBridges

Frank Williamson, the former chief investment officer for Unum Corp., has joined FourBridges Capital Advisors as managing partner. He succeeds Charlie Brock, who remains a partner in the local investment banking group but could soon be headed to Nashville.

Venture Nashville, an online news service that follows Tennessee's venture capital markets, reported last week that Brock may become the new chief executive of LaunchTN, the state-funded development agency formerly known as Tennessee Technology Development Corp. LaunchTN has been without a permanent CEO for nearly three years.

Williamson, who also serves as a director of LaunchTN, declined to discuss the CEO search. But he said he is excited about joining Four Bridges.

"The experts at FourBridges possess the skills and knowledge to provide high-quality investment banking services in our region," he said. "I'm ready to get my hands dirty as we deepen our deal pipeline and take advantage of emerging opportunities in the M&A market."


State gets money in Pfizer settlement

Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper says the state will receive $1.1 million for participating in a multistate agreement with drug maker Pfizer Inc. over promotion of its products, Zyvox and Lyrica.

Tennessee is receiving part of a $42.9 million agreement between Pfizer and 32 states and the District of Columbia.

The states claim that Pfizer used unfair and deceptive practices in promoting Zyvox, an antibacterial agent, and Lyrica, which is used to treat fibromyalgia.

Under the settlement, Pfizer does not admit wrongdoing but says it will change how it markets Zyvox and Lyrica.

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