Company News

  • March 25, 2019 Oakbrook Terrace, IL -Ballast Equity Management Appoints Business Development Professional

    Former Perkins Investment Leaders Aim to Grow Firm’s Assets Under Management

    Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois – March 25, 2019: Ballast Equity Management announced today the hiring of David Mertens as Partner and Head of Business Development.

    Mertens joins the firm with over 35 years of investment industry experience. From 2002-2017, Mertens was Managing Director of Jensen Investment Management in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Prior to that he held the roles of Senior Vice President of Berger Financial Group, LLC and President of Berger Distributors, LLC in Denver, Colorado. He currently serves as an Independent Trustee for the Advisors Series Trust.

    Mr. Mertens joins Ballast as the firm approaches the third anniversary of its founding. Ballast was launched in 2016 by two veterans of small and mid-cap stock fund management, Jeff Kautz and Randy Hughes. Kautz was previously CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Perkins Investment Management in Chicago; Hughes served as Perkins’ Director of Research. The two have managed funds together for more than twenty years.

    “Twenty years ago, I had the pleasure to work with Jeff and Randy as we grew what became the Janus Perkins Small and Mid Cap Value Funds,” said Dave Mertens. He continued that “their diligence as investors has grown and their passion for delivering results to their clients is undiminished.”

    “Randy and I are focused on investment research and on building successful investment portfolios,” stated Jeff Kautz. “Adding Dave to our team ensures that we can focus on our strengths while he builds bridges to current and new clients.”

    About Ballast Equity Management

    Ballast Equity Management is a registered investment advisor headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. The firm was founded in 2016 to serve investors seeking ownership of high conviction portfolios of quality small and mid-capitalization businesses. Ballast manages these portfolios of publicly-traded companies for individuals, family offices and institutions. Ballast, an independent, employee-owned firm, is led by experienced professionals who passionately invest alongside their clients.

  • October 19, 2017 Oakbrook Terrace, IL - Bill Driscoll joins the firm as Investment Advisor and Portfolio Manager

    Ballast Equity announced today that Bill Driscoll has joined the firm as an Investment Advisor and Portfolio Manager. In this role, he will launch and manage the Ballast Unconstrained Value strategy and will assist clients with their asset allocation decisions across investment classes.

    Mr. Driscoll has 19 years of industry experience and 7 years of portfolio management experience overseeing all-cap equity strategies. Mr. Driscoll has a bachelor’s degree in Biology with a concentration in Environmental Science from Colby College. He has also earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

    Jeff Kautz, Co-Founder, and CEO commented, “We are thrilled to have Bill join Ballast Equity. His investment philosophy aligns very closely with Ballast’s commitment to identifying high-quality companies that can earn a high return on invested capital well in excess of their cost of capital sustained through strong, durable competitive advantages. I have known Bill personally and professionally for a number of years, and am confident that our clients will greatly benefit from him joining our team”.

  • April 3, 2017 Oakbrook Terrace, IL -Chris Leshock joins the firm as a Portfolio Manager

    Ballast Equity announced today that Chris Leshock has joined the firm as a portfolio manager. In this role, he will launch the Focused Alpha strategy, a concentrated long-only strategy that tends to focus on the Industrials, Materials and Energy sectors, where Mr. Leshock has over 20 years of experience.

    Mr. Leshock has 18 years of industry experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Marquette University and an M.B.A. in Finance from DePaul University.

    Randy Hughes, Co-Founder and CIO, commented, “We are very fortunate to have Chris join our team. We worked with Chris for 11 years at our prior firm. He brings strong analytical skills and deep sector knowledge to Ballast. We are thrilled to be working together again”.