Mr. Johnson began his career as an attorney practicing in real estate syndications. He joined Equitable Real Estate's Institutional Accounts Group in 1986 to help initiate an effort to place institutional grade real estate with individual investors via master limited partnerships, completing transactions with Shearson, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch acquiring approximately $350 million of commercial real estate. Later, he raised approximately $650 million in two funds from public pension funds to acquire two separate portfolios of office buildings and regional malls.

After seven years with the Institutional Accounts Group, Mr. Johnson was asked to help start Column Financial, Inc., a commercial mortgage lender focused on the securitization market. At Column, Mr. Johnson was chair of the Investment Committee and had responsibility for working with rating agencies and investors in the securitization of Column Financial's mortgage pools.

After a short stint with Wachovia Bank running their real estate capital markets group, Mr. Johnson was approached by Lend Lease to rejoin this company (Lend Lease having acquired Equitable Real Estate in 1997) to head the company's Debt Advisory Group. During this tenure, the Debt Advisory Group closed on over $750 million in new loans and managed over $7 billion of commercial mortgage and CMBS investments for its clients of pension funds and life insurance companies.

Mr. Johnson stayed with Lend Lease through the sale of the company in 2003 and started Johnson Hailey Investments in 2004.