Brightlane Partners is a management consulting and investment banking firm based in Atlanta that provides value added advisory services to financial institutions and financial technology companies. Our professionals have an unmatched ability to understand and assess market conditions in today’s climate characterized by regulatory changes, market consolidation, and technological innovation. The firm formed in 2014 from principals in its predecessor, T. Stephen Johnson & Associates, and its staff boasts over 40 years of industry experience providing advisory services to over 300 financial institutions across the United States.

Owner & Managing Director

Chris Johnson

Chris is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of Brightlane Partners LLC. He serves as manager for projects including M&A transactions, de novo bank formation, small bank charter acquisitions, branch expansion and consolidation, bankcard programs, strategic planning, and payment acquiring. Prior to joining Brightlane Partners, Chris served as a pricing analyst at Waffle House, Inc., in Atlanta where he worked with the marketing team to provide market and competitive analysis for the company’s 2,100+ stores across 25 states.

Recent experience includes the sale of branch location of a $182 million asset bank, creation of a co-branded bankcard program for a FinTech startup, the development of multiple de novo bank charter applications, and the expansion of a $3 billion bank to a $5 billion bank through strategic acquisitions.

Chris has a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Scheller College of Business at the Georgia Institute of Technology and received his Masters of Business Administration from the Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University.

Managing Director

Nancy LaFoy

Nancy is a Managing Director of Brightlane Partners LLC. She brings nearly 40 years of regulatory and commercial banking experience to the firm. Ms. LaFoy has acted as an independent consultant to Brightlane Partners previously and now joins in a new role to assist in mergers and acquisitions, regulatory filings, strategic planning, and de novo charters.

She began her career with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta spending seven years in bank regulation before moving on to Wachovia Corporation, formerly First National Bank of Atlanta, as an Assistant Vice President. In 1987 she joined the consulting firm T. Stephen Johnson & Associates, Inc. and she has been a consultant to the financial industry ever since. During her time at T. Stephen Johnson & Associates she was responsible for a team that developed over 100 de novo bank applications and numerous bank mergers and acquisitions. Ms. LaFoy also previously served on the Board of Directors for Florida Banks, Inc., a $1 billion bank in Jacksonville, Florida, where she chaired the Audit Committee.

Nancy attended the University of South Florida where she graduated from the College of Business with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Finance.

$1.5 Billion

raised in capital


new bank formations


years of experience