Adrian Cronje, Ph.D., CFA is Balentine’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer. He is also a founding partner of Balentine and a member of the Management Committee. A CFA® Charterholder, Adrian is an active member of the CFA Institute, contributing frequently on a regional, national, and international level. Adrian’s presentation, “Revisiting the Winners’ Game,” at the CFA Institute’s Asset Allocation for Private Clients conference, was chosen by the CFA Institute to be included in its prestigious publication Conference Proceedings Quarterly. Adrian is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and has been a member of Vistage 151 since 2009. He also frequently addresses Vistage audiences across the country and recently earned recognition as a top new Vistage speaker for 2019. Additionally, Adrian is a charter member of TiE Atlanta, an organization dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship with a focus on giving back to the community. In 2010, the Atlanta Business Chronicle named Adrian one of Atlanta’s 40 under 40, an honor designating the region’s up-and-coming business and community leaders. First Generation Wealth, a book co-written by Adrian and Chairman Robert Balentine, will be released in 2021.
- B.Com. (Hons), University of Cape Town (Economics and Accounting)
- M.Phil., Cambridge University (Economics and Finance)
- Ph.D., Cambridge University (Macroeconomics and Econometrics)
- Wilmington Trust, Senior Vice President & Chief Investment Strategist
- Schroders (London), Director, Deputy Head of Quantitative Equity Products
Professional Affiliations & Awards
- Atlanta Business Chronicle, 40 Under 40 (2010)
- CFA Charterholder
- CFA Institute, Future of Finance Initiative, Member & Approved Speaker
- CFA Society Atlanta, Member & Course Instructor
- CFA Society of the UK, Member
- Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, Guest Lecturer
- Journal of Wealth Management, Editorial Board
- Georgia Institute of Technology, Quantitative and Computational Finance Program, Guest Lecturer
- South African Budget Speech Competition, Winner (1993)
- TiE Atlanta, Charter Member & Top Entrepreneur Awards Honoree (2018)
- Vistage 151, Member & Top New Vistage Speaker (2019)
- Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), Member
- A+ Squash, Board of Directors & Founding President
- Agnes Scott College, Investment Committee, Board of Trustees & Investment Committee Chairman
- Atlanta Hedge Fund Challenge, Judge
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, Endowment Committee (Past)
- Marcus Autism Center, Supporter
- Rotary Club of Atlanta, Member & Past Membership Committee Chair
What was your best business decision?
Walking away from a comfortable position to join Robert Balentine and my other partners to reconstitute Balentine as an independent firm. It was a huge risk for my young family, but the opportunity to start with a clean slate and build a lasting firm to manage client assets the way in which we would want our own capital to be stewarded has been more rewarding than I could have imaged at the time.
If you weren’t in this business, what would you be doing?
Perhaps teaching in some capacity. Nothing is more rewarding than to help someone finally have that “a-ha!” moment. Having studied theoretical economics and applying those concepts in building my own business, I have developed strong opinions of what the textbooks are missing and how academia can benefit from a practical, entrepreneurial perspective.
What keeps you up at night?
Differentiating ourselves in a perceived “sea of sameness.” Many people believe that independent Registered Investment Advisers, brokers, trust companies, banks, and even consultants offer the “same thing,” when in fact there are important differences in business models and investment philosophies that influence outcomes. Often people spend more time planning their next vacation than planning their investment future.
How do you contribute to Balentine’s global perspective?
I was born in South Africa, continued my education in the UK, and began my career in London. My wife is from Augusta, GA, so we “split the difference” and decided to raise our family in Atlanta.
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