GULFPORT, Miss., Sept. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Hancock Holding Company (Nasdaq: HBHC) announced today the launch of the Hancock Horizon Diversified Income Fund as a new addition to the company's growing $1.5 billion family of investment funds. The fund seeks to generate steady income from a combination of financial investments. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120130/CL42755LOGO) "The launch of the new Hancock Horizon Diversified Income Fund marks another important milestone in the continued growth of our family of investment funds, and we believe the fund has strong potential to generate income during the current challenging interest rate environment," said Hancock Horizon Funds Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Strategist John Portwood, CFA. "This will be an alternative for investors who have seen diminishing returns from traditional income-producing investment products as interest rates have declined." The new fund will invest in a mix of Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs), dividend paying stocks, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), preferred stock, and high yield bonds. Fund managers at Hancock Horizon Funds (HHF) said they have flexibility to add other assets as deemed strategic. To lead the Diversified Income Fund, the Hancock Horizon Funds has tapped 20-year investment industry veteran Greg Hodlewsky, CFA. "We actively manage all of our funds, and the Diversified Income Fund will be no different," says Hodlewsky. "We will move in concert with changes in the market and focus on the areas of the market where the income is greatest to generate the best results possible." While there are similar type funds available, Hodlewsky said the number of those funds is small – perhaps 20-50 – compared to the number of generic stock funds available, such as large cap stock funds that may number 1,500 or more. Hancock Holding Company is the parent company of Hancock Bank and Whitney Bank. The investment management team for Hancock and Whitney banks comprises 18 members responsible for managing $5.4 billion in assets under management. "As we move forward, we believe Greg Hodlewsky's experience and expertise will be very valuable in managing the Diversified Income Fund for the benefit of its shareholders," said Mark Duthu, Executive Vice President for Hancock and Whitney Bank's Trust & Asset Management Department. "With the combined strength of Hancock Bank and Whitney Bank, our investors will benefit from the professional expertise and financial resources we have as one of the largest financial institutions headquartered in the Gulf South." About Hancock Horizon Funds Founded with three funds worth $240 million at its inception in 2000, the Hancock Horizon Funds family has grown to include 10 funds with $1.5 billion in assets today. It is one of the largest mutual fund families in the Gulf South region and includes the Burkenroad Small Cap Fund, which is rated 5 stars by Morningstar and celebrated its 10th anniversary in January 2012. About Hancock Holding Company Hancock Holding Company operates almost 250 full-service bank branches and more than 350 ATMs across the Gulf South spanning metropolitan Houston, Texas; southern Mississippi; southern Alabama; and the Panhandle, northern, and central regions of Florida. The company operates its bank branches in Texas and Louisiana under the Whitney Bank brand. All branches in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida operate as Hancock Bank locations. To determine if this Fund is an appropriate investment for you, carefully consider the Fund's investment objectives, risk factors, and charges and expenses before investing. This and other information can be found in the Fund's prospectus, which may be obtained by visiting www.hancockhorizonfunds.com or by calling 1-800-990-2434. Please read it carefully before investing. Diversification may not protect against market risk.