Johnston heads new Chase hub in Chattanooga

photo Chase hires Hamp Johnston to lead Middle Market Banking in East Tennessee.

A former executive of Chattanooga's biggest bank is moving to America's biggest bank to expand its commercial lending and investment services in East Tennessee.

Hamp Johnston, formerly senior vice president of First Tennessee Bank, has joined JPMorgan Chase & Co., in Chattanooga to lead Chase's middle market banking team for the eastern part of the state.

"Chase is making a big commitment on the east side of our state and I'm excited about building this business from our hub here in Chattanooga," Johnston said Wednesday. "With the staff we are building, we can foster relationships locally but also leverage the world-class resources and talent that Chase has around the globe."

As the biggest U.S. bank with operations in more than 50 countries, Chase can offer more international, treasury, investment banking and asset management services than regional banks "and we think that's a great fit for the middle market in East Tennessee," Johnston said.

Chase is targeting businesses with annual revenues between $20 million and $500 million, Johnston said.

Chase opened its first Tennessee office in Knoxville in 2010 and added a statewide headquarters in Nashville the following year. Chase opened a Chattanooga office with Stefanie Mansueto as a commercial banker two years ago and Johnston said he hopes to expand the local office in the 10th floor of the Liberty Tower "as we grow with different needs."

Chase also plans to soon open another office in the Tri-Cities.

Nicole Maynard, president of Chase in Tennessee, said the New York-based Chase doesn't have any immediate plans to open a full-service bank in Tennessee. But she said Chase can offer a suite of services, investment options for private wealth clients and lending and treasury services for commercial customers.

"We continue to build across the state and Chattanooga is a big focus for us because the economic development of Chattanooga demands that we have an office there to serve what we see as a growing market," Maynard said.

Chase has more than $2.5 trillion in assets and operates more than 5,90o offices around the world, including 88 offices in Georgia and 64 branches in Kentucky.

Johnston, 43, worked for 16 years with First Tennessee, most recently as manager of private banking and trust in the Chattanooga market. A native of Chattanooga, Johnston is president of McCallie's Alumni Council, president of Re:start The Center for Adult Literacy (Formerly READ of Chattanooga, Inc.), and Chair of "Amuse"um for the Creative Discovery Museum. He is a graduate of LSU School of Banking, Leadership Chattanooga and the Holmberg Arts Leadership Institute.

"I have deep roots in Chattanooga and I think it's a great win for our city that would pick Chattanooga to be the hub for East Tennessee," Johnston said.

Contact Dave Flessner at or 757-6340.