Investor Group Led by Bartow Morgan, Jr., to Purchase Georgia Banking Company

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An investor group led by Bartow Morgan, Jr., has reached an agreement in principle to acquire the Georgia Banking Company, Morgan and Georgia Banking Company Chief Executive Officer Elliott Miller announced today.

In addition, the new ownership group plans to raise $150 million in new capital to build a major presence in commercial lending and private banking, primarily targeting customers in AtlantaNorth FultonGwinnett and Cobb counties. Plans also call for adding a variety of new services for medium size businesses, including treasury management products.

Georgia Banking Company has assets of approximately $660 million. With offices at 6190 Powers Ferry Road in Sandy Springs and 1624 N Expressway in Griffin, it provides a unique set of mortgage products to independent mortgage bankers across the nation. Earlier this year, the company was ranked as one of the nation’s best-performing consumer and mortgage bankers by the Independent Community Bankers Association.

The purchase and the new capital-raising effort are expected to close during 2021’s first quarter.

Elliott Miller has done an extraordinary job building one of the finest community banks in metro Atlanta,” said Morgan. “As our local economy continues to recover from the pandemic and begins a new growth phase, we plan to expand Georgia Banking Company’s presence in commercial banking and add more services to help owners of mid-size businesses grow.”

“Our shareholders are excited about Bartow’s plans for our organization’s growth and expansion in new areas of banking and financial services,” said Miller. “His banking pedigree, business background and knowledge of metro Atlanta’s business community are a perfect fit for Georgia Banking Company.”

In 2011, shortly after The Great Recession ended, Morgan raised $200 million in new capital as chief executive officer of the former Brand Group Holdings, Inc., the parent holding company of the former Brand Banking Company. Much of those funds were used to expand into commercial and industrial (C&I) lending, lending for franchise acquisitions, loan programs for Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) backed loans, and expanded consumer loan and deposit offerings.

The agreement brings together two of metro Atlanta’s most well-known banking leaders. Morgan has a unique banking history in Georgia.  His great, great grandfather, E.M. Brand founded Brand Bank in Gwinnett County in 1905, making Morgan the fifth-generation family member in the banking business.

Morgan was born and raised in Gwinnett County and is a former chairman of the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce. He has also served as a director of the Buckhead Coalition, on the Board of Trustees of Georgia Gwinnett College and as a board member of the Georgia Ports Authority.

Brand was sold to Renasant Corporation in 2018.

Miller has been chief executive officer of Georgia Banking Company since the company was founded in 1998. He has served as a member of the board of directors of the Community Bankers Association of Georgia and now serves on the Community Bankers of Georgia FinTech ATDC committee.

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