Mortgage technology firm FNC Inc. is in the middle of the design phase of its new headquarters in Oxford, a complex that will not only give the growing company needed space, but also reflect the city of Oxford’s vision for large, campus-like environments.
“We have been working on our plans for about three years,” said FNC President Glen Evans. “We’re not stacked on top of each other now, but we are looking ahead — looking at our growth rate.”
FNC’s site rests on Highway 7, not far from the firm’s current headquarters on Office Park Drive.
Plans are still being finalized, but FNC expects to build a 68,000-square-foot complex on 20-25 acres that will allow room for future growth.
Evans said the new headquarters would probably cost in the $20-million range.
The contractor on the project is Ridgeland-based White Construction Company. STG Design and local architectural firm Howorth & Associates are executing the design work.
FNC has already received the first set of drawings, and is expecting a second set by the end of the month. The company hopes to break ground before the end of the year, and construction is expected to take approximately a year.
That time frame is a little soft, Evans said, because FNC is working with a number of entities on the project. These include the Mississippi Department of Transportation, which is widening Highway 7.
However, FNC is also looking to meet the city of Oxford’s vision for future commercial development of high-tech companies and research firms. On the same day Evans was interviewed by the Mississippi Business Journal, The Oxford Eagle ran a story concerning the city’s push to create a new planning district with campus-like work environments. The newspaper reported a proposal that would limit buildings to a maximum of 45 feet tall and a minimum lot size of 3.5 acres.
The Eagle quoted Oxford City Planner Andrea Correll, who specifically cited FNC.
Evans told the Mississippi Business Journal that FNC, indeed, is looking to build a “campus-like atmosphere” at the new headquarters, adding that FNC leaders looked at other “best-places-to-work-type companies” when formulating plans for the new headquarters.
Jon Maynard, president and CEO of the Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation, told the MBJ that the city is looking to grow companies that enhance Oxford’s image as a clean, forward-thinking community.
“The new FNC site will not only be great for the company, but the community as a whole, too,” Maynard said.
FNC has long been a bragging point for the city. The company was founded in the mid-1990s by former University of Mississippi professors and mortgage industry experts Bill Rayburn and Dennis Tosh. The men were educators and consultants to lenders and state banking organizations, counseling them on conforming to regulatory guidelines by applying the Financial Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act.
Rayburn and Tosh subsequently collaborated with fellow professors Bob Dorsey and John D. Johnson as well as Ole Miss Ph.D. student Duncan Chen to develop the real estate collateral management software that would eventually become the firm’s flagship product, the Collateral Management System, or CMS.
FNC has been on a steady growth track since then and has garnered numerous headlines. In 2008 when the housing industry imploded, FNC not only survived, it thrived as clients lined up in the new environment for the firm’s products in services.
In 2012, the firm made The FinTech 100, a ranking of fastest-growing tech companies in the world. And, just last year the company unveiled the FNC Clean Room, technology aimed at making loan trading more efficient and transparent by turning the loan file into structured data that can be easily analyzed.
Additionally, the FNC Clean Room streamlines connections between buyers and sellers, which enables both parties to expand their business and increase revenues
Today, FNC operates satellite offices in Costa Mesa, California; Dallas; Detroit; New York; and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Additionally, FNC supports technical staff at client locations nationwide and employs telecommuters in Jackson as well as Charlotte, Atlanta, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, San Antonio and Jacksonville.