In 1970, a small group of Alabama bankers and businessmen got together to form the first multi-banking holding company in Alabama. Their proposal was grounded in one idea: sound banking principles and new growth opportunities could be combined to create a stronger financial institution for the state. These banking pioneers overcame legal and regulatory hurdles as well as opposition from the banking industry in the state. Finally, in July 1971, three Alabama banks joined to form Alabama’s first multi-bank company. With the combination of three respected banks, the holding company began operations with a total of $543 million in assets and 40 locations in Birmingham, Huntsville and Montgomery.