BY EMILY LECOZ
OXFORD – The unexpected growth of FNC from a University of Mississippi incubator business to a 250-employee operation with $14 million of revenue in just seven years meant the company expanded from one small building to the next.
By 2004, FNC – a pioneer in real-estate-collateral information technology – occupied four properties scattered throughout the college town and two in California. It also had employees telecommuting from 11 states nationwide.
“We had to walk down the street to a different building every time we needed to talk to the developers,” said Jennifer Janus, communications manager.
But on Friday, FNC cut the ribbon to its new, multimillion-dollar headquarters in Oxford's rapidly growing office park – one day after learning it ranked No. 154 in Inc. 500 magazine's annual listing of America's 500 fastest growing, privately held companies, with a 851% rate of total growth.
Company and city officials, along with employees, investors and supporters celebrated the magazine's announcement and the 18,000-square-foot office space designed by architect Corey Alger.
The glass and steel building initially will house 100 employees with room for 50 more. The company's data-processing department will move to a new building across the street.
“This saves us money, but mostly human capital and makes us more efficient,” said Dennis Tosh, chief administrative officer. “Our biggest assets are human capital.”
Tosh said company executives decided to stay in Oxford for its nurturing business climate and its endless pool of intelligent people. FNC has also benefited from Mississippi investors and support from the city of Oxford and the Oxford-Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Foundation, said Mike Mitchell, FNC director of business development.
The state-of-the-art building offers more than 150,000 feet of cable, 400 network and 200 voice connections, a 300-kilowat generator, a security and fire-protection system and wireless connections on the patio.
“For us to have that type of technology in Oxford makes us able to stay here,” said Stratton Lindley, director of corporate security. “This building is far beyond anything we've had in any previous buildings in terms of technology. It allows us to provide services that we'd otherwise have to go outside of Oxford to get.”