Atlanta Partner Jonathan Hightower was quoted Feb. 8 by Economy Matters regarding the forces behind the upswing in bank mergers. In 2017, the total number of U.S. bank mergers came to 302, up from 296 the year before, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. "There are some really strong markets in the Atlanta Fed region," Hightower said. The Atlanta Fed's district encompasses Alabama, Florida and Georgia and sections of Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. Hightower said Florida, Atlanta, Savannah, Birmingham and Nashville have favorable demographic profiles that seem poised to grow. It's no surprise that acquirers from markets that aren't growing as fast would look to the Southeast, he added. Click here to read the full article.