MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Hancock Bank said today it will open a Central Alabama corporate center with 200 positions that will support the Gulfport, Miss.-based banking company’s five-state footprint stretching from southern Alabama to metropolitan Houston.
At a press conference, the bank said it will occupy two full floors—approximately 40,000 square feet—at Montgomery’s Capitol Commerce Center. Hancock will house a variety of operations, call center, commercial banking, and corporate support professionals in the complex. Hancock said it expects to hire approximately 100 people for new jobs essential to running the bank and its parent company, Hancock Holding Co., which also operates Whitney Bank.
“Hancock Bank was founded to help create opportunities for the people and communities we serve. Establishing a corporate hub at the Capitol Commerce Center enables Hancock to center key positions in one of the state’s most dynamic regions and to help stimulate more economic opportunity for Central Alabama and its citizens,” said Ron Milliet, Hancock’s chief information officer who oversees many of the operations located in the center.
The bank said it plans to employ at least 200 workers at the Capitol Commerce Center, with about half of those positions new. Hancock already has begun recruiting efforts to fill the new jobs. The other positions represent relocations from the Central Alabama region, the Gulfport area and New Orleans, according to Paul Maxwell, the bank’s corporate communications director.
Maxwell said the project to set up the Montgomery corporate center will have an immediate economic impact of $500,000. After all the new hires are made, the project will have an annual salary impact of between $3.5 million and $4 million, he added.
“Yet another major financial presence has come to Montgomery; and it speaks volumes of the confidence that Hancock Bank’s leadership team has placed in our community’s highly trained and dependable work force,” said Horace H. Horn Jr., chairman of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce.
LEARNING FROM KATRINA
When Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana coasts in 2005, Hancock’s main operations center was in its Gulfport headquarters, less than a half-mile from the Gulf of Mexico. The tower suffered heavy damage, and though the bank was able to reopen in many storm-ravaged areas within 24 hours, it had learned a valuable lesson, Hancock said in a statement.
“When you recover from a storm like Hurricane Katrina, you realize even your back-up plans need back up,” Milliet said. “Locating many of our critical operations at the Capitol Commerce Center and in areas less vulnerable to direct hits from hurricanes is another way we can ensure uninterrupted client service and partner with local leaders to help the region’s economy grow.”
Hancock also plans to use facilities at its downtown Prattville branch as a disaster recovery site integral to the company’s comprehensive business continuity plan.
Hancock has been in business 114 years and is rated one of the nation’s soundest banks by Bauer Financial Inc.