Merit Bank will open its doors this month as a newly established financial institution headquartered in the Huntsville market.
In less than 60 days, Merit Bank raised $25 million from hundreds of investors with diverse backgrounds from across North Alabama. In that same time, the bank gained approval from all three regulatory agencies – the Alabama State Banking Department, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Federal Reserve – to rebrand and relocate its headquarters from Valley Head to 659 Gallatin Street. Merit Bank had acquired Citizens Bank of Valley Head.
Merit Bank is led by an executive team with decades of experience and success in the Huntsville market, including President/CEO Hill Womble, COO Frank Aldag, and Executive Vice Presidents Mark McIntyre and Will Heaps.
In addition, the Board of Directors, representing a vast range of industry and investment experience across North Alabama, will help shape the vision and growth of Merit Bank. Board members include Chairman Kevin Heronimus, Steven Cost, Chad Falciani, Jeff Huntley, and Brent Romine.
“In any industry, including banking, success starts with the people,” said Womble. “We have built a team of established bankers with proven track records and highly successful board members. The overwhelming response to our initial private stock offering shows we have the confidence of investors.
“We are committed and poised to do big things for our clients and our community.”
With Huntsville’s continued growth and repeated accolades, funding and investment in this market is critical. Merit Bank will specialize in commercial lending and private executive banking, expansions, capital improvements, and agricultural lending, among other opportunities.
“Obviously, Huntsville and the North Alabama market is an ideal setting for commercial banking,” said Heaps, executive vice president of commercial banking. “Merit Bank will focus primarily on providing a high level of service and support to our clients, along with a secure, easy-to-use platform for efficiency. We are excited for this opportunity to support economic development and growth in our community.”
Operations of Citizens Bank will not be interrupted and former President E.N. “Buz” Jones will continue overseeing Valley Head operations.