Leadership

Ballast’s founders have over 20 years of experience navigating markets together

Jeff Kautz, CFA

Ballast Co-Founder & CEO
  • Portfolio Manager with 23 years of financial industry experience
  • 1997 – 2014 Perkins Investment Management – Portfolio Manager, CIO, CEO
  • 1993 – 1997 Market maker and Specialist for GVR & Co. on the Midwest Stock Exchange
  • University of Illinois, B.S., University of Chicago, M.B.A.

Randy Hughes

Ballast Co-Founder & CIO
  • Portfolio Manager with 22 years of financial industry experience
  • 1995 – 2015 Perkins Investment Management – Director of Research and Analytics, Equity Analyst
  • 1994-1995 Registered Representative at First Investors Corp
  • Southern Illinois University, B.S. Governors State University, M.B.A

J. Christopher Leshock

Ballast Focused Alpha, Portfolio Manager
  • Portfolio Manager & Equity Analyst with 18 years of financial industry experience
  • 2015 & 2016 Schwartz Capital Group – twice an Interim Consultant & Investment Analyst with a large family office operation
  • 2004 – 2015 Perkins Investment Management – Partner & Equity Analyst
  • 2000 – 2004 Morgan Stanley & Co. – Transportation Team, Associate Analyst
  • 1995 – 2000 Resource Data International – Energy Industry Analyst
  • Marquette University, B.S. Accounting,  DePaul University, M.B.A. Finance

Dave Mertens

Ballast Partner & Head of Business Development
  • Investment professional with over 35 years of financial industry experience
  • 2002-2017 Jensen Investment Management – Managing Director
  • 1995-2002 Berger Financial Group – Senior Vice President and President, Berger Distributors
  • Ball State University, B.S., Marylhurst University, M.B.A.