Company News

  • June 15, 2020 Oakbrook Terrace, IL - Ballast Equity Management Hires Operations and Compliance Leader

    Industry veteran to reunite with small and mid-cap specialists

    Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois – June 15, 2020: Ballast Equity Management is pleased to announce that Josh Freedman has joined the firm as Partner and Chief Operating Officer. Freedman will also assume the role of Chief Compliance Officer for Ballast. Josh has more than 25 years of industry experience and was most recently Chief Operating Officer of Elk Creek Partners. Roles prior to Elk Creek included serving as Partner at Platte River Capital and Research Analyst at Three Peaks Capital.

    “Josh is an important addition to Ballast as we build operational and compliance expertise to support our service to clients,” stated Ballast CEO Jeff Kautz. Kautz added, “Josh has considerable experience in operations, compliance and investment research and is uniquely qualified to contribute to the success of our business.”

    Ballast was founded 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 and Analytics. Kautz also served as the Co-Manager of the Janus Henderson Mid Cap Value Fund and the Janus Henderson Value Plus Income Fund. Kautz and Hughes have managed funds together for more than twenty years.

    “Strong culture, investment excellence and exceptional client service are critical in building a strong investment business,” Freedman noted, adding “I have worked with each of Ballast’s partners earlier in my career and am confident we have the right people and skills to build a successful firm.”

    About Ballast Equity Management

    Ballast Equity Management is an employee-owned asset management firm that invests alongside its clients in high conviction portfolios of quality small and mid-capitalization businesses. Ballast manages these portfolios of publicly traded companies for individuals, family offices and institutions. Based in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, Ballast was founded in 2016 by Jeff Kautz and Randy Hughes, investment professionals who previously held senior roles at Perkins Investment Management and have invested together for over 20 years. More information may be found at www.ballastequity.com.

  • December 9, 2019, Oakbrook Terrace, IL - Ballast Equity Management Adds Strategies to Schwab Managed Account Marketplace®

    Former Perkins Investment Leaders Deliver Small and Mid-Cap Investment Solutions to Advisors

    Former Perkins Investment Leaders Deliver Small and Mid-Cap Investment Solutions to Advisors

    Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois – December 9, 2019:  Ballast Equity Management is pleased to announce that its three U.S. equity strategies are now available on the Schwab Managed Account Marketplace®.  Managed Account Marketplace® allows advisors to negotiate directly with their preferred money managers while benefiting from the brokerage and custody services of Charles Schwab.  Ballast strategies now available at Schwab are Quality Value Smallcap, Quality Value Midcap and Select Value.

    “Ballast knows the value that registered investment advisors add in serving their clients.  It is important to us to have our Quality Value strategies available at Charles Schwab, where many independent advisors with whom we partner custody their client accounts,” stated Dave Mertens, Partner and Head of Business Development.

    Ballast was founded 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 and Analytics.  Kautz also served as the Co-Manager of the Janus Henderson Mid Cap Value Fund and the Janus Henderson Value Plus Income Fund.  Kautz and Hughes have managed funds together for more than twenty years. “Randy and I have a long history of investing together on behalf of families and institutions,” stated Ballast co-founder Jeff Kautz.  Kautz added “offering these services through Schwab, where more than 7500 advisors do business, is an important step in Ballast’s growth.”

    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.  More information may be found at www.ballastequity.com.

  • July 17, 2019, Oakbrook Terrace, IL - Ballast Equity Management Celebrates 3rd Anniversary of Quality Value Midcap Strategy

    Former Perkins Investment Leaders Reach Important Milestone in Serving Clients

    Former Perkins Investment Leaders Reach Important Milestone in Serving Clients

    Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois – July 17, 2019: Ballast Equity Management is pleased to announce the third anniversary of its Quality Value Midcap Strategy on June 30, 2019. Passing the three-year anniversary provides a proof statement for prospective investors as they gauge the effectiveness of the firm in adding value through the management of U.S. mid cap stock portfolios.

    Ballast was founded 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 and Analytics. Kautz also served as the Co-Manager of the Janus Henderson Mid Cap Value Fund and the Janus Henderson Value Plus Income Fund. Kautz and Hughes have managed funds together for more than twenty years.
    “Randy and I have a long history of investing together on behalf of families, institutional investors and mutual fund shareholders,” stated Ballast co-founder Jeff Kautz. Kautz added “our mission is to deliver a smoother ride for our clients in good markets and bad; to-date, we have been able to deliver on that commitment.” Noted co-founder Randy Hughes, “this three-year anniversary is a meaningful milestone. More importantly, it serves as the foundation for us to continue to refine our craft and assist our clients in meeting their financial goals.”

    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. More information may be found at www.ballastequity.com.

  • 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.

  • 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”.