“One of the lessons of the great recession is that people don’t trust anybody anymore,” Robert Balentine says. “They don‰Ûªt trust the banks, they don’t trust the large brokerage firms and I think they’re seeking independent models. I think at the end of the day, if you listen to your clients, they’ll tell you how to run your business.”
Among wealth-management firms, Balentine’s presence on Facebook isn’t at all typical. The firm’s “wall” is crowded with news and insights from staffers, including messages from industry conferences, summer-reading recommendations and descriptions of kids’ baseball games. It looks, in other words, like the Facebook page of an outgoing and intelligent person. And that’s exactly what the firm has in mind.
Since its launch two years ago, Balentine has created a strong base of clientele with approximately $1.5 billion in total assets through a focus on family offices, high-net-worth individuals and foundations and endowments with portfolios typically ranging from $10 million to $100 million.
The firm gives investors the ability to choose whether they want to be party to all decisions about their money, said President Jeff Adams. “We believe that offering both appropriate. There are still clients who prefer to make the decisions themselves,” he said. Still, “We have more clients than not that trust us to do it for them.”
“When we opened our doors in 2010, there was a dearth of independent investment firms and a crisis of confidence among investors, prompting many to lament the lack of objective investment advice,” Balentine, chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
In “The Butterfly Effect: Biodiversity and the Blue Ridge,” Robert Balentine discusses the incredible biodiversity of the region, examining the symbiotic relationships between this bioregion and the flora and fauna found there. His discussion centers on the interdependence of life, sharing examples of how forces that are seemingly unrelated to the average person can come together to create mortal stresses on an already fragile ecosystem.