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BancorpSouth – Mega-Large Category 3rd Place

It all began in the small Northeast Mississippi town of Verona.

BancorpSouth’s roots can be traced to a cubby in a hardware store in the late 1880s but the bank and its reputation for customer service have spread east of Dallas to St. Louis to west of Atlanta.

Now headquartered in Tupelo, BancorpSouth is a financial holding company with $13.3 billion in assets and operates 314 commercial banking, mortgage, insurance, trust and broker/dealer locations in several states.

The bank also has done well by its employees, as witnessed by it being named one of the Mississippi Business Journal’s 2010 “Best Places to Work in Mississippi” finalists.

With the average starting salary of $33,000 and a median salary of $43,000, new hires typically only have to wait a month before enjoying a full menu of benefits: 83 percent coverage of healthcare benefits; prescription, dental and vision program participation; 35 days annual paid leave/sick time; fitness program access; tuition and relocation assistance; stock options; and, a 5 percent 401(k) match.  

The annual employee recognition program is akin to a family reunion.

“BancorpSouth has leadership that provides confidence and security for employees and customers alike,” BancorpSouth branch manager Karen Mosely told the Business Journal last year.  “In addition to great benefits and a network of people to help with every situation, there’s opportunity for growth and advancement. Commitment, confidence, opportunity and service are all great ways to describe why the bank is a great place to work.”

BancorpSouth CEO Aubrey Patterson, who earned the Better Business Bureau of Mississippi’s Torchbearer Integrity Award two years ago, has guided the bank as president since 1983 and as chairman and CEO since 1991.  

A staunch supporter of community involvement with a passion for education, Patterson has led the example for volunteerism for the bank’s 4,500 employees. He’s also served as a past president of the American Bankers Association.     

In 1987, BancorpSouth became Mississippi’s first statewide bank with the merger of First Mississippi Bank. 

The millennium brought the merger of First United Bancshares of El Dorado, Ark., and in 2005, BancorpSouth expanded its Nashville area footprint with a merger that added locations in Brentwood and the historic City of Franklin.

The next year, the bank expanded its considerable footprint by entering the Mississippi Gulf Coast and Florida’s Emerald Coast.

In 2007, BancorpSouth entered the St. Louis and Springfield, Mo., markets through a merger with Signature Bank and followed by opening new full-service offices in Clayton and O’Fallon.

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