Merrill JohnsonBirmingham, AL – BMSS is proud to welcome Birmingham community member, seasoned banker and friend of the firm Merrill Johnston, Jr. as firm consultant and business developer. In his new role, Johnston will be tasked with four main initiatives:  1.) Merger infrastructure 2.) Business development 3.) Assisting firm clients with banking negotiations 4.) Creation of Family Enterprise Advisory service line.

“As BMSS continues on a trajectory of growth, it makes sense to bring someone onboard who will help both initiate and facilitate that growth. Merrill, who has served as both our banker and friend for nearly 20 years, is the obvious man for the job,” said Chief Executive Officer Don Murphy.

Johnston cut his teeth in the banking world and has spent the past 21 years working in a variety of high profile positions for First Commercial Bank. His primary interest is in helping businesses with their finances, operational improvement and strategic growth.

“First Commercial Bank (now Synovus) provided a place for me to grow in both experience and business acumen. I was involved in a wide range of projects including sales management, systems and process improvement projects, and relationship management for a large group of clients and industries,” said Johnston.

“In my tenure with the bank, I was also afforded the opportunity to develop a relationship with BMSS. I’ve always been attracted to the firm’s work-life balance, passion for growth and desire to create something of enduring value.”

Originally from Birmingham, Johnston moved with his family to Tupelo, MS as a child and remained until he attended Furman University in Greenville, SC. While at Furman, Johnston met wife of 25 years, Barbara; they decided to move back to Birmingham (Homewood) in 1991. Following time in retail and at AmSouth Bank, Johnston was recruited by First Commercial in 1996 where he remained until his recent move to BMSS. He received an MBA from Samford in 1998. He has been on Birmingham’s Red Cross board of directors and currently serves as a trustee and finance committee member for Covenant Presbyterian.

When asked why, after nearly a quarter-century in banking, he would make a change to accounting, Johnston answered without hesitation, “The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and exciting at BMSS. They get it. They always shoot for a win but even if they don’t get it, they’ll try again in a better, more informed way. Clients see that and like it. There are big things ahead for BMSS; I want to be a part of them.”

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