Robert Balentine/Balentine and Company
Partner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Robert Balentine is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Balentine, the Atlanta based independent investment advisory firm. In 1987, Robert founded Balentine and Company, which grew to become the largest independent investment advisory firm in the south. In 2002, the firm was acquired by a large public company where Robert become CEO of their investment management business, managing more than $36 billion in assets. Five years ago, he and his partners became entrepreneurs once again and created Balentine as an independent firm. Robert began his career with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, where at the age of 28, he was elected the youngest vice president in Merrill Lynch history. In 1987, he and his father cofounded Balentine & Company, which grew to become the largest privately owned investment counseling firm in the Southeast. In 2002, the firm was acquired by Wilmington Trust Company where Robert served as Executive Vice President and Chairman and CEO of Wilmington Trust Investment Management. There, his Atlanta based team managed over $36 billion in assets for clients throughout the United States. Robert has held a variety of leadership positions in the community. He was Chairman of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Vice Chairman of the Woodruff Arts Center and Chairman of the Salvation Army Atlanta Boys & Girls Clubs. He is a 20 year member of Vistage, an international organization of CEOs; founding president of The Southeastern Horticultural Society; and a member of the Elachee Nature Center Advisory Board. Robert is also founder of the Southern Highlands Reserve (SHR), a nationally recognized native plant arboretum in western North Carolina, and in 2014 was honored for his work with SHR by Invest in Others in its annual Community Leadership Awards. Since its founding in December 2009, Balentine has grown to nearly $2 billion in assets, employing 25 people in two offices and has been named one of the Top 50 fastest growing RIAs by Forbes and a best place to work in Money Management by Pensions & Investments. In addition, the Metro Atlanta Chamber awarded Robert with the Entrepreneur of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013. In August of this year, Robert was named one of the nation’s “Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors” by Barron’s.
Jim Cook/National Financial Services Group
James L. Cook serves as CEO of National Financial Services Group (NFSG), a comprehensive financial services firm headquartered in Atlanta. Under his leadership, which began in 2000, the firm has become one of the premier financial services companies in the Southeast having grown from a single office of 16 associates to over 125 financial services professionals with offices in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. NFSG has a long proud history. Through its association with National Life Insurance Company (NLIC), NFSG can trace its roots back to 1896, the year the first NLIC agency opened in Atlanta. Over the years, the firm’s name has changed but its solid reputation for excellence in service and long term client relationships has endured. Jim’s steadfast commitment to ongoing training and education builds the intellectual capital of the firm and enables the firm’s financial professionals to stand out among their peers in the industry. NFSG was recognized as the top National Life agency from 20052010 and for the past ten years, it has been ranked as one of the top agencies for insurance and assets under management by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. The firm has been the recipient of numerous GAMA International Awards which recognize exceptional agencies and firm leaders around the world. These awards include the Master Agency Award (five times), the First in Class Award (six times) and the International Management Diamond Award (eight times). Jim served for four years as a GAMA International Board Member.1 A 1981 graduate of Western Illinois University, Jim earned his Certified Fund Specialist® designation in 1995 and became a Chartered Financial Consultant® in 1997. He is past President of NAIFA Atlanta and served as a board member for three years. Jim has traveled to Washington D.C., along with NAIFA leaders from across the country, to discuss important industry issues with members of Congress. Jim and his wife, Belynda, live in Cumming, GA and have three daughters. They are members of Johns Creek United Methodist Church. During his occasional free time, Jim can be found golfing or cheering on the Atlanta Braves.
Brad Stonecipher/Peachtree Planning Corporation
Executive Vice President Investments
Brad Stonecipher has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. He was previously employed with Trust Company Bank, Merrill Lynch, and Robinson Humphrey, before joining Peachtree Planning in 1995. Brad currently oversees Peachtree Planning’s Investment Department which includes, Operations, Compliance, and Investment Product Sales. He is responsible for over 90 registered representatives who currently manage over $2.6 billion of their clients’ assets. Brad is the recipient of several professional organizational awards. He has served as a member of the Field Advisory Board for Park Avenue Securities (PAS) and for Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company. He helped develop and implement the PAS Investment Specialist Training Program, a program that has trained over 200 Investment Specialist’s throughout the country. He graduated with a BBA, from the University of Kentucky. He is a member of the IAFP, International Association of Financial Planners, a member of the Atlanta Chapter of the ALU, Association of Life Underwriters, and a member of GAMA International, The General Agents and Managers Association. Brad lives in Buckhead with his wife, Iris, and their son, Nick, and daughter, Haley. They are members of Peachtree Presbyterian Church.
Reo Oravec/Pilot House Advisors
Reo Oravec comes with 32 years as a trusted advisor to clients. He started his career with Anderson Consulting in Europe where he attended the University of Oxford for an MBA. He returned to the US to run the West coast branch of Anderson and was hired as a CIO for a DOT COM client, which he took public. Reo has spent over a decade in various VP roles for a global consulting company helping a broad range of businesses from startups to F100 companies. As CEO of Pilothouse Advisors, he currently leads the business strategy efforts that focus on customer’s high growth and innovation execution. Reo has a vast experience with SMEs from all aspects of business operations, and, today, he will uncover their origins and usefulness in today’s challenging environment. Optional: Reo holds certifications in project management from Stanford University, business intelligence from TDWI, and is a certified outsourcing executive from IAOP. He’s the author of an upcoming book on effective business processes and revenue generation titled “Sales Best Practices.” In Atlanta, he is involved in TAG, ASP, AICPA, IIBA, the AQAA, and is a fund raiser for SOGA, the Salvation Army Bed and Bread program, Feed America, and the Wounded Warrior Project.
Heather Thompson/Pilot House Advisors