FMC Relocating Headquarters To Florida

MERIDIAN, MS (AP) — Headquarters for a 60-year-old Meridian company with more than 40 branches throughout Mississippi and Louisiana will relocate to Florida in July.

         Financial Management and Investment Corp. will move its headquarters from Meridian to Pensacola, Florida, said company CEO Tag Purvis.

         "Recently, we were courted by the city of Pensacola as a targeted industry," Purvis said. "We have purchased a building in downtown Pensacola that required a zoning variance which readily flew through the historic preservation group, the mayor, the fire marshal, the planning board and the Pensacola City Council — all with a unanimous approval.

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         "Additionally, we were offered a generous incentive package from the city and the state of Florida, which we appreciated but declined. At every step of the way, Pensacola has actively and progressively looked for ways to attract our business and make this deal happen," he said.

         Since its inception, FMC has expanded to 43 branches (including King Loans and Harbor Financial) through Mississippi and Louisiana, employing 160 people — 30 of which are based out of Meridian.

         "We are not a large company, but a family business that last year alone experienced a 20 percent growth rate," Purvis said.

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         Financial Management and Investment Corp. was founded in 1955 by Tag Purvis' father, Guy Purvis. A Pensacola native, Guy decided to move to Meridian when he and his wife visited the area shortly after they married.

         "My dad was in a special ops group in the Navy in World War II called Scouts and Raiders – a precursor to the SEALs. When he came back from the war, he returned to Florida and married my mother," Tag Purvis said. "They just happened to be driving through Meridian, really liked it and decided to set up their business and raise their family here."

         In 1998, Tag Purvis, a film director, returned to Meridian from Miami, to shoot his first feature film, "Red Dirt." He returned home again on a part-time basis in 2005 to manage his family's business.

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         "Working in business is similar to directing a movie," he said. "In directing, you cheer troops on and try to get the best people you can connected to a project; it's kind of the same when you're directing a company."

         With the relocation of FMC's headquarters, the Meridian office located will close July 1. Of its 17 employees, one-third will relocate to Pensacola; the remaining employees will continue to work with the company in different capacities.

         "That's been one of the hardest parts of all of this," Purvis said. "We have such a great team operating for us right now that we value greatly. I am committed to making this transition occur for them as smoothly as possible."

         Purvis said because of his strong ties to Meridian, the decision to relocate to Pensacola has not been easy.

         "I was born in Anderson Hospital and like so many people, I had a wonderful childhood here with parents that loved and gave back enormously to this community," he said. "It is a decision that I have not taken lightly and that has taken many years to make."

         The company's branches will remain in Meridian and throughout the state and Louisiana. And Purvis' father, who is now in his 90s, will continue to work with FMC part-time.

         "He'll float from Meridian to Pensacola," Purvis said. "So we will continue to be there for our local vendors and the community — who we would like to thank for over a half of a century of support and friendship."

         Purvis Business Machines Inc., which is also headquartered in Meridian, will not relocate, Purvis said.

         – by AP/ Reporter Ida Brown with The Meridian Star

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