An Interview With Chris Robbins, Birmingham, Alabama Market President
What’s your story? Where did you grow up and have you always lived in Alabama?
I was born in Florida, but have lived in Alabama since I was four years old.
How did you get into banking?
Following graduation from college, I was intrigued by the skill set and diversity of jobs within banking as well as the stability of the industry.
How is the culture different at FirstBank compared to larger banks?
FirstBank definitely has more of a customer or client focused approach while at the same time balancing employee work/life and shareholder value.
What is your favorite part about your job?
I enjoy creating banking solutions for clients who have struggled with larger banks where they experienced “out of box” thinking.
Describe a typical day at the office.
You can typically find me prospecting for new business, focused on building our Birmingham team and keeping up with email and communications with customers and associates.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Professional baseball player preferably for the Atlanta Braves playing second base and leadoff hitter.
FirstBank operates as a community bank, with the services and resources of a large bank. What advantages does that give you in your job? What about your customers?
The advantage of FirstBank’s local banking is I can offer a quick turnaround on commercial deals with the flexibility to negotiate and provide custom solutions to fit our client’s needs.
As a Market President, what’s your vision for FirstBank in Birmingham?
Our goal at FirstBank is to build a reputation for offering the best of a community bank and the products and technology of larger banks.
Describe your market area in three words.
Small but big.
What is Birmingham known for?
Unfortunately, Bear Bryant.
What do you like best about life there?
Birmingham is big enough to always find something to do but small enough where you seem to always run into someone when out.
If we got in your car and turned on some music, what are some songs that would be on your playlist, CD or favorite radio station?
Lately, I have been listening to Y2K Country on Sirrus/XM.
If you could give your 20-year old self one piece of advice, knowing what you know now, what would it be?
I would tell them that regardless of your job in the workplace, everyone has something of value that can be applied to their everyday behavior or skill set. I would also tell them to buy Google stock.
What is your life motto?
Trust but verify.
Describe your perfect vacation.
Any place sunny with water and drinking beer.
Do you prefer indoor or outdoor sports?
Anything sports works for me.
To be named as one of this year’s 90 Best Banks To Work For, this means we work purposely every day to ensure that associates are engaged, having fun and enjoy what they are doing. American Banker conducts extensive workplace surveys and reviews employer reports on benefits and policies, basing their rankings on banks going above and beyond.