Robert Balentine is Chairman of Balentine. He brings more than 35 years of experience advising clients and families on matters relating to their wealth and legacy. A seasoned entrepreneur, Robert has experience building, buying, and selling businesses, and has counseled many of our entrepreneurial clients on matters relating to managing their businesses, as well as managing their wealth. He was the inaugural recipient of the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s 2013 Business Person of the Year “Lifetime Achievement Award.” Barron’s and Forbes have each named Robert one of the country’s top wealth advisors, and the Atlanta Business Chronicle named Robert to its 2018 list of “Most Admired CEOs.” He is a frequent contributor to the media and addresses audiences across the country on topics related to investing and entrepreneurship.
BA, Washington and Lee University
Professional Affiliations & Awards
- Atlanta Business Chronicle, “2018 Most Admired CEOs”
- Barron’s, “Top 100 Independent Advisors” (highest-ranked advisor in the Southeast: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
- Forbes, “America’s Top Wealth Advisors” (2016, 2017, 2018)
- Boy Scouts of America, Atlanta Area Council, Eagle Scout Centennial Class Honoree (2012)
- Metro Atlanta Chamber, Business Person of the Year “Lifetime Achievement Award” Winner (2013)
- Rotary Club of Atlanta, Sheffield Leadership Award Recipient (2013)
- Library of American Landscape History, Preservation Hero Award (2017)
- Think Advisor, Research Magazine, Advisor Hall of Fame (2015)
- Vistage 150, Member
- Southern Highlands Reserve, Founder
- Rotary Club of Atlanta, Past President
- Washington and Lee University, Emeritus Trustee
- Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Past Chairman
- Woodruff Arts Center, Past Vice Chairman
- The Garden Conservancy, Vice Chairman
- The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Atlanta, Past Chairman
- Georgia Prevention Project, Board of Directors
- Atlanta Speech School, Past Trustee
- Reinhardt University, Past Trustee
- Southeastern Horticultural Society, Founding President
- Elachee Nature Center, Advisory Board
What was your best business decision?
To leave a successful career with a large Wall Street firm to start Balentine & Company with my dad in 1987.
Who were your heroes growing up and how did they influence your life and career?
My dad was always my hero. He taught me the virtues of hard work, integrity, and faith.
Where is the most exotic place you have ever been?
In September 2008, I went fly fishing in Northern Mongolia. That was also the week Lehman Brothers failed—not a good time to be on vacation!
What was your hardest lesson learned?
That you can’t change the culture of an organization unless you’re the one in charge.
What is the toughest business decision you’ve faced?
To resign as CEO of a publically traded investment management business and start over again as an independent firm in the depths of the Great Financial Crisis. But we had a vision to build the type of firm we’d hire to manage our own money—and we did it.
What are the big issues that Balentine and companies like it need to solve to truly benefit the parties they serve?
Ours is an industry mired in conflict and lack of transparency. As Charley Ellis famously said, “We’ve confused the economics of the business with the values of the profession.” At Balentine, our role is to simplify clients’ lives in a conflict-free setting, providing peace of mind and performance.