Some brokers at Morgan Keegan nervously looking for the exits as an expected sale of their firm to private equity investors hits some unexpected complications.
A few weeks ago, the independent broker-dealer network was effectively promised to a consortium of private equity firms.
But the collapse of MF Global has put such a chill in the financing market that the deal might be off.
Instead, jilted suitor Stifel Nicholaus is reportedly back at the negotiating table as the private equity guys balk at the cash price Regions Bank is asking.
Being sold to another brokerage firm is the Morgan Keegan reps' nightmare.
Private equity would have let them stick to their knitting and simply absorb the profits, but a broker-dealer as parent would naturally be tempted to change the way Morgan Keegan operates in order to drum up efficiencies of scale.
Already more than a few Morgan Keegan advisors have jumped.
If it starts to look like Stifel is the only serious bidder left standing, we could see quite a few of them on the move.