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First American Bank completes merger

By Jay Wilson
DAILY Business Writer 340-2440

First American Bank has finalized its merger with Birmingham's National Bank of Commerce.

Alabama National BanCorp., the holding company for First American, announced the merger in October, saying Decatur-born First American would be a $2.5 billion company with 33 locations after the merger.

James "Skip" Thompson III of Decatur is now chief executive officer of First American, Alabama National's largest subsidiary. He served as president and chief operating officer of First American before the merger.

According to Alabama National's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the promotion pays Thompson a base annual salary of $195,000 along with options on 5,000 shares.

Thompson said the consolidation and merger followed company predictions.

Gone according to plan

"It has all gone very much as planned," he said. "There were some regulatory issues that needed to be approved, and that has taken place."

Following the original announcement, Thompson said the deal created two regions, one under the First American name and the other in Florida. The company wanted to enable customers to bank under the First American name from Decatur to Birmingham to Auburn-Opelika, he said.

In addition to the Alabama expansion, the merger created First Gulf Bank by combining First Gulf Bank in Baldwin County and First Gulf Bank of Pensacola, Fla.

"I'll be spending a good deal of time in Birmingham, initially," Thompson said. "I have an office there, but my primary location is still Decatur."

In his previous duties Thompson presided over 16 branches in four counties. The new organization adds 17 locations and includes Birmingham and Talladega County.

First Citizens Bank of Talladega is scheduled to join under the First American umbrella in May.

Job loss due to merger

Thompson told THE DAILY in November that net job loss would be about 15 to 20. First American is moving loan operations from Decatur to Birmingham, consolidating loan and deposit operations, according to The Birmingham Business Journal.

The Journal reported that about 10 Decatur employees decided against moving to Birmingham. Several of them were assigned to other positions, according to the bank.

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