It’s not just a plan. It's the foundation
of your legacy.
They're your assets. No one respects that more than Berman Capital. Our job is simple: Listen and learn from you. Focus on your goals. And apply our expertise to help you and your family get the most from your assets, for generations to come.
Getting to know us. It is important you get to know Berman Capital, too. Our values and principles guide the work we do for you. We invite you to learn more about us, what we do and how we do it.
Welcome to Berman Capital Advisors – a partner, in the purest sense of the word.
6/18/2015: Berman Capital Advisors Named to 2015 Financial Times 300 Top Registered Investment Advisers. Read more...
11/08/2013: Justin Berman awarded Atlanta Business Chronicle's 40 under 40 award. Read more...
Like any elite performance, preparation sets
the stage for success.
When it comes to you and your family, Berman Capital is more than a service provider: we’re a firm you can count on to safeguard your wealth and your legacy. We work with you to define your goals and help you achieve them. Then we help you invest. Not just by suggesting investments, but by actively participating in the process: we actually invest with you. That kind of side-by-side investing eliminates any doubt that our goal is singular: to get the best results for our clients. And for ourselves. Here is what you can expect:
The founding partners of Berman Capital and/or Massey Quick invest side-by-side with clients.
There are no "hidden deals" or embedded "fee arrangements."
We are not tied to any particular firm's platform. We have access to a full array of products, research, and institutional investment managers.
We have one group to whom we are accountable—our clients.
Our philosophy stresses asset preservation and growth of capital with minimal risk. Because we personally do not invest in strategies that are highly leveraged, our clients do not invest in those strategies.
Checks and Balances
Assets are held in custodial accounts chosen by the individual client—e.g., Pershing/Bank of New York Mellon, Northern Trust, Charles Schwab. Custodians are responsible for the safekeeping and accounting of investment assets.
If that’s the kind of service and professionalism you’d like from a wealth manager, call Berman Capital today.
Our Strategic Partners
Justin Berman, Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Justin Berman founded Berman Capital Advisors in 2010 as part of his commitment to provide truly objective wealth management and investment consulting services to a select group of high-net-worth clients.
Prior to launching BCA, Justin was a Vice-President in the Private Wealth Management division of Goldman Sachs & Co. He has also served in the Investment Advisory Group at myCFO, Inc. and in the Private Client Group at Arthur Andersen & Co.
Justin is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Georgetown University where he served as Varsity Tennis Captain and was a Rhodes Scholar Finalist. He also holds an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania where he was named a Palmer Scholar.
Justin is active in community affairs and serves on the Boards of Families First, Zoo Atlanta, Georgetown McDonough School of Business, Emory University Board of Visitors and is a member of Leadership Atlanta. He is also involved in Young Presidents’ Organization and is on two corporate boards.
Jill Asrael, Principal
Jill Asrael joined Berman Capital Advisors in 2011 as a Principal. She serves as the firm’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer and as a client relationship manager. Since 2001, she has been the CFO of Grapevine Partners, a single family office and now a BCA client, where she has managed all of the family’s financial interests including investment managers, tax professionals, insurance professionals and estate planning attorneys. In addition, she managed an operating company and a charitable supporting organization for the family. Jill also serves as the CFO for Peachtree II, L.P., an SBIC mezzanine debt fund in Atlanta.
Jill’s prior experience includes two years in the Corporate Turnaround group at Arthur Andersen performing financial analysis and cash flow forecasting and working with management to implement new policies and procedures to improve operations. Jill also worked for five years at Larson-Juhl, Inc. where she was responsible for budgeting and forecasting as well as financial statement preparation and treasury functions.
Jill graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis and has been a licensed CPA since 1998.
Kelly Downs, CFP®, Director, Relationship Manager
Kelly Downs joined Berman Capital Advisors in 2011 as the firm's Chief Operations Officer. Before coming to BCA, she worked in the Private Wealth Management division of Goldman Sachs & Co. where she specialized in operations and client service for the firm's high-net-worth and family office clients.
Prior to her time at Goldman Sachs, Kelly spent nine years at Fisher Investments, a California-based Registered Investment Adviser that works with private clients and large institutions. While at Fisher Investments, she served as Group Manager for eight years overseeing various functions such as client operations, recruiting, client reporting and trading.
Kelly graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Finance. Kelly obtained the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in 2013 after completing the required coursework at UGA’s Terry College of Business.
Wen Tang, Wealth Advisor
Wen Tang joined Berman Capital Advisors in 2014 as a Relationship Manager. Before joining BCA, she worked as a Client Strategies and Portfolio Solutions Analyst at AQR Capital Management where she created custom portfolio analysis for Private Wealth Advisors and Registered Investment Advisors.
Wen’s prior experience includes two years in the Private Wealth Management division at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. At MSSB, she specialized in risk and discretionary account management for the firm’s ultra-high-net-worth clients.
Wen graduated from MIT with Bachelor of Science degrees in Economics and Management Science. She was the Class Treasurer for four years and currently sits on the Alumni Class Council. She also holds an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Remonia Davis-Holmes, Associate, Relationship Management
Remonia Davis-Holmes joined Berman Capital Advisors in 2013 as an Associate, Relationship Management. Before joining BCA, she had spent 15 years at SunTrust Bank as a Banking Specialist and most recently, a Banking Consultant, in the Wealth Management Division. Throughout her career at SunTrust, Remonia provided services to over 100 ultra-high net worth clients, including many of BCA’s clients. She was responsible for maintaining consumer and commercial bank accounts as well as brokerage, trust and investment relationships. Remonia also has experience in consumer and commercial lending. Remonia was a member of the SunTrust Presidential Club in recognition of service excellence during her time with the bank.
Remonia received a scholarship for academics and leadership to Troy State University in Troy, AL where her core studies were in Business Administration/Marketing.
Keilah Everett, Associate, Relationship Management
Keilah Everett joined Berman Capital Advisors in 2015. She previously worked for Balentine where, as an Associate, she worked on with the firm’s Relationship Management and Investment Strategy Teams.
Before joining the wealth management industry, Keilah worked with the Dempster Family Foundation where she served as a project coordinator focusing on the organization’s marketing and fundraising efforts as well as administrative functions. She began her career at Prommis Solutions as a Legal Assistant.
Keilah has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology where she served as President of the National Organization of Minority Architects Student Chapter. She is a member of Club Blue, the young professionals’ organization benefitting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta and volunteers with Cure for Childhood Cancer, The Jim Mora Count on Me Family Foundation and Partners Against Domestic Violence.
McKenna Hershberger, Analyst, Relationship Management
McKenna Hershberger joined Berman Capital Advisors in 2014 as an Analyst, Relationship Management. Before joining BCA, she worked as an intern at Hilliard Lyons for three summers where she was responsible for conducting investment research and providing client service support for a team of financial consultants.
McKenna graduated from Clemson University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. She also holds a Masters of Arts in Economics from Clemson University, where she received the Marian L. Harris Fellowship of Economics. She also worked as the Tutoring Supervisor for the Economics Learning Center and a teaching assistant of microeconomics and macroeconomics.
Shae Amerson, Vice President, Operations
Shae Amerson joined Berman Capital Advisors in 2012 as Head Reporting Analyst. Before joining BCA, she was Vice President of Trading and Operations for Aurora Investment Counsel. At Aurora she was responsible for all trading, operations and reporting for several RIA firm's high-net-worth clients.
Prior to her five years at Aurora Investment Counsel, Shae worked as a trader for Personal Asset Management, a division of SunTrust, where she conducted trading, research and also advised on investment recommendations to portfolio managers and clients.
Shae graduated from Clayton College and State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Marketing. At CCSU, Shae was captain of the women's basketball team and is a record holder.
Stephanie Effron, Office Manager
Stephanie Effron joined Berman Capital Advisors in 2014 as the Office Manager. Before joining BCA, she spent nine years as a Family Office Coordinator for 3 high net worth families in the Atlanta area where she was responsible for providing day to day family office professional functions. She served as the primary liaison between the family groups and their various financial and legal advisors.
Prior to her time working with these families, Stephanie spent 12+ years in public accounting, working for several mid-size firms in Atlanta and one in Chicago. She spent 5 of those years as a tax manager where she was focused in a tax advisory role and managed the preparation and review of complex personal and corporate tax returns. Over the course of her 20 year accounting career, she has also gained extensive experience working with small businesses in a variety of industries performing bookkeeping and other financial functions.
Stephanie graduated from Tulane University with a Bachelor of Science in Management and a concentration in Accounting. She is a Certified Public Accountant in Georgia.
Laura Perez, Executive Assistant
Laura Perez joined Berman Capital Advisors in 2012 as Executive Assistant. Before joining BCA, she worked for over two years as an Administrative Assistant to the District Sales Manager for FedEx Corporate Services in Atlanta. At FedEx, her focus was on coordinating activities and initiatives that support a Sales Team towards excellence in sales as well as exceptional back office administration.
Prior to her work at FedEx, Laura spent six years doing back office accounting and payroll for Publix Supermarkets. At Publix she was responsible for managing a team of over 150 associates.
Russ Allen, CFA®, Chief Investment Officer
Russ Allen joined Berman Capital Advisors in 2014 as the firm’s Chief Investment Officer. Previously, Russ was Balentine’s Director of Investment Research and a member of the firm’s Investment Strategy Team. He was responsible for generating and advancing research to further all aspects of the firm’s investment process, including strategic and tactical asset allocation and manager selection and implementation.
Before joining Balentine, Russ spent nearly a decade at Globalt Investments, serving as a Senior Equity Research Analyst and a Portfolio Manager, where he led a team that managed assets on behalf of both institutions and high net worth individuals. Russ also served on Globalt’s Investment Policy Team, specializing in quantitative tactical asset allocation and fundamental stock selection. Earlier in his career, Russ worked with the National Security Agency as an intelligence analyst tracking terrorist group financing. He has also worked with the United States Treasury Department in the foreign exchange area and as strategy consultant for the Mitchell Madison Group.
Russ is a graduate of Wake Forest University where he studied Middle Eastern History and minored in Political Science. He holds Master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University in International Economics and Latin American Studies and from the University of California, San Diego specializing in International Security. Russ holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) designation and is a member of the Atlanta Society of Financial Analysts.
LAUREN WEST, CFA®, INVESTMENT ANALYST
Lauren West joined Berman Capital Advisors in 2014 as an Investment Analyst. Before joining BCA, she spent two years on the Institutional Client Service Team with Russell Investments in New York City, focusing on clients' strategic asset allocation and investment review.
Prior to her time at Russell Investments, Lauren spent three years on the corporate finance team at The Home Depot. She was responsible for managing HD's short-term investment portfolio, hedging foreign exchange exposures, and providing support and analysis on capital structure transactions. Lauren also spent over two years as a Performance Analyst for LCG Associates, an Institutional Investment Consulting firm in Atlanta.
Lauren graduated with highest honors from Georgia Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management. She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is a member of the Atlanta Society of Financial Analysts.
Polina Denissova, CFA®, Senior Investment Officer
Polina is a Senior Investment Officer at Berman Capital. She joined Berman Capital from UPS Investments Group, which manages over $31 billion of UPS pension plan assets. As a Senior Investments Analyst, she helped manage a public markets portfolio holding over $27 billion across equities, fixed income and hedge funds. Polina specializes in quantitative strategies, including smart beta and alternatives beta; and develops quantitative models to evaluate and screen both traditional and hedge fund managers.
Polina holds an MBA degree from Georgia State University and is a CFA Charterholder. She teaches CFA preparation courses through Kaplan Schweser and CFA Society of Atlanta. Polina is a board member of the National Women in Pensions.
Board of Advisors
Wendell Reilly, Chairman
Wendell Reilly joined BCA in 2011 as Chairman. Since 2001, he has been Managing Partner of Grapevine Partners, a family office and private investment company. Wendell is also a General Partner of Peachtree II, L.P., an SBIC debenture loan fund. He serves on the boards of Lamar Advertising Company and Brown & Brown Inc.
From 1985 to 1989, Wendell served as CFO of The Lamar Corporation in Baton Rouge, LA. He moved to Atlanta in 1989 to be CFO of Haas Publishing Companies, an apartment guide publication owned by Dillion Read and later sold to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in 1994. Wendell formed Grapevine Communications in 1995 to acquire local, network-affiliated TV stations. Grapevine Communications grew to seven stations before merging with another group of eight stations to become Piedmont Television in 2000.
Wendell currently serves as a trustee of Emory University, where he chairs the campaign for Arts and Sciences. He also serves on the endowment board of The Paideia School as well as the investment committee for Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta. He recently joined the board of the International Center for Journalists. Wendell was selected Philanthropist of the Year for 2011 by the Atlanta Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Wendell graduated from Emory College with a BA in English in 1980. After receiving an MBA in Finance from Vanderbilt University in 1983, he joined the Peace Corps where he served for two years with his wife, Mary, in the Dominican Republic. Wendell and Mary have three children. He enjoys sailing, golf and cooking.
Kent Alexander, General Counsel
CARE USA, former General Counsel of Emory University
and former partner of King & Spalding, LLP, Atlanta, GA
Richard Bianculli, Former Owner
Ocala Recycling, Ocala, FL
Brad Blevins, CEO
Blevins, Inc., Nashville, TN
Matthew Cullinan, Senior Lecturer
former Vice President for Strategic Initiatives,
Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
Thomas Danis, Jr., Managing Principal
RCP Advisors, Chicago, IL
David Eidson, Executive Vice President
Coxe Curry & Associates,
former Chariman & CEO Ridgeworth Capital Management, Atlanta, GA
Michael Eskew, Former Chairman and CEO
UPS, Atlanta, GA
Katherine Harbin, Managing Director
Source Capital, San Francisco, CA
Doug Hertz, Chairman and CEO
United Distributing Company, Part Owner Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta, GA
Sandy Leeds, Head of Finance Department
University of Texas McCombs School of Business, Austin, TX
Ed Michelson, Founder
Atlanta Consulting Group, Atlanta GA
Mitesh Shah, Founder and Managing Principal
Noble Investment Group, Atlanta, GA
Andrew Taylor, President
Taylor Mathis, Atlanta, GA
Dorothy Weaver, Managing Principal
Collins Capital, Miami, FL
Berman Capital & The
Science of Investing
It’s not a game of chance. At Berman Capital, we build portfolios based on the best information available, plus projections, world economics, worst-case scenarios, and more. Then, we combine our macroeconomic outlooks with the individual needs of each client to come up with the ideal portfolio. It’s wealth management, performed with exacting professionalism.
At Berman Capital Advisors, we work closely with each individual and family—as well as with their tax and estate planning professionals—to build and implement a tailored investment and asset allocation plan that reflects the client's goals and preferences. We focus on after-tax returns and tax-efficient investing and philanthropy.
Berman Capital Advisors specializes in constructing individual, customized portfolios. We do not use model portfolios. Instead, we look at the entire universe of investible assets – from private equity and venture capital to individual stocks and mutual funds – and find only the best ones for a client. We do not accept commissions and work on a fee-basis only.
Our investment philosophy focuses on absolute risk-adjusted returns and protection of capital. We provide our clients with access to a roster of carefully screened investment managers and continuously evaluate and execute tactical opportunities.
We provide customized, consolidated reporting to clients and their interested third parties on a monthly and quarterly basis. The consolidated report includes all your assets—even those not at Berman. In one report, you’ll see total holdings, income, yield and more.
Thanks to our partnership with Massey, Quick & Co., we are able to vet hundreds of investments and investment managers each year. Our rigorous evaluation emphasizes overall performance, risk management and absolute returns. Our research is at the core of our portfolio construction process, and is one of the features that makes Berman Capital so unique.
A Rigorous Manager Selection Process
Our joint advisory relationship with Massey, Quick & Co. provides our clients with a proprietary due diligence process that helps us identify the most talented investment managers. We look for experienced managers that can deliver outstanding risk-adjusted returns.
This process utilizes both proprietary quantitative models to analyze a manager's risk/return characteristics. In addition to this quantitative process, we perform on-site visits and interviews to really get to know how a manager thinks and acts. A dedicated team conducts continuous due diligence on all managers.
Family Office Services
Estate & Trust Planning
To help you get the most from your assets, we begin by clearly identifying your goals. We then make a complete analysis of your portfolio and make recommendations. Our ongoing support includes asset-transfers, working with counsel and fiduciaries, and even assisting with the education and mentoring of beneficiaries.
As part of our portfolio review, we examine tax obligations and make recommendations on ways to reduce tax consequences. We also work with accountants and others to identify local and state tax credits, and coordinate deliver of documents.
Income/Debt Analysis, Reporting & Projections
On an ongoing basis, we provide cash-flow budgeting and monitoring, with customized financial statements, showing expected income, obligations, margin requirements, expenses and more. Statements are generated every month, with more detailed statements every quarter.
No financial portfolio is complete without a comprehensive risk management plan. We recommend life and other insurance offerings, coordinate policy management and facilitate renewals.
News & Articles
BCA periodically prepares timely and informative Investment Strategy Essays.
In August, we wrote to you about falling oil prices and the consequent impact on MLPs / energy infrastructure. Since the time of our writing, oil has remained quite volatile but is actually about flat point to point. MLPs, on the other hand, have lately come under even more pressure, falling over 8% September 28-29 alone. Given that MLPs are generally considered safer than their associated commodities, investors want to know, “what is going on?”
Oil prices have taken investors on a wild and unpleasant ride as of late. Since last August, WTI (West Texas Intermediate) Oil has dropped by just over 50% as of the time of this writing. The initial round of selling took place in the second half of 2014, rebounded significantly, only to collapse again. Oil has now retraced to the old January lows below $45 a barrel.
As the second quarter began, investors worried about an apparent slowdown in the U.S. economy. However, it turns out the soft growth data was the result of bad weather, a port strike and a negative seasonal adjustment which was later reversed.
Despite the continuation of higher volatility that was experienced in 2013 and 2014, stocks have managed to stay in positive territory for the year. Equities have been aided by mildly improving economic data, continued easy monetary policy from global central banks, and high levels of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity. The S&P 500 has gone 914 days without a 10% correction, its third-longest run on record. European stocks have been able to push past renewed worries over Greece on the back of low valuations, improving data, and belief that the worst case scenario of a “Grexit” wouldn’t result in financial contagion.
Bond investors fared worse, with the Barclays Capital Long-Term Treasury Index dropping 4.7%. 2015 represents the first year in almost a hundred in which both the Dow Jones Industrials and long-term Treasuries fell during the first six months of a pre-election year (typically they are quite strong).
Markets have been volatile the past couple of weeks as worries regarding Greece’s potential exit from the Eurozone and a bursting bubble in China’s stock market have come to the fore. After starting the second quarter in positive territory, the major indexes have all turned lower. The U.S., partly due to its status as a safer haven without an immediate negative catalyst, is only down 0.75% as of July 8th. Europe is lower by almost 3% (in USD), and the more volatile emerging markets are lower by almost 7%. These worries have been worsened by the trading halt the NYSE endured Wednesday. Let’s take each of these events in turn.
Global markets are in turmoil today as the long-running Greek financial crisis is finally coming to a head. Despite the recent turmoil, for investors the negative impact of this seemingly never-ending crisis will likely be limited. Crucially, and unlike the 2011 crisis, Europe has likely done enough to prevent a broader financial contagion if there is a default. Contagion has always been the real issue, as Greece itself is a tiny part of the global economy.
We are pleased to announce that Berman Capital has been chosen by the Financial Times as one of the top 300 Registered Investment Advisors in the U.S. We could not have accomplished this without the support of the families we work with, the wonderful team we have here, and all of our friends of the firm. Thank you all very much for your continued support.
Russ Allen gives an update on Berman Capital’s India Investment Thesis.
As expected, volatility picked up in the equity markets in Q1. This increases the odds that hedged managers have a better relative performance in 2015. However, we still see equity exposure as favored overall. International developed markets such as Europe and Japan performed well in the quarter, and we are actively exploring increasing exposure to those markets which have lagged far behind the U.S. recovery. As we noted last quarter, while Europe and Japan are suffering from weak economies, we think their shared commitment to tackle deflation is a very significant positive.
Global growth remains slow and inflation is tightly controlled, so we stick by our stance that bonds will perform adequately in 2015, but beyond that, returns for interest-rate sensitive investments will likely be poor. We continue to see opportunities in niche credit opportunities where large banks have retrenched, leaving borrowers looking for an alternative.
CIO Russ Allen discusses the European QE program recently announced by the ECB and its implications for investors.
Justin Berman serves as mentor to Lorenzo Mauldin, foster care child and respected football player in the ACC.
Justin Berman was recently quoted in Bloomberg. Read his thoughts about investing in non-performing loans
ATLANTA April 23, 2014 -- Berman Capital Advisors has been selected for the 2014 Best of Atlanta Award in the Financial Consultant category by the Atlanta Award Program.
Each year, the Atlanta Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Atlanta area a great place to live, work and play.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2014 Atlanta Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Atlanta Award Program and data provided by third parties.
Jill Asrael, Principal at Berman Capital Advisors attended the fifth-annual Barron’s Top Independent Advisors Summit, hosted by Barron’s magazine to promote best practices in the industry and the value of advice to the investing public. The invitation-only conference was held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge, March 19 - 21 in Phoenix, AZ.
In an effort to assist in the fight against cybercrime, and keep your private information safe, we want to share some interesting information with you.
Many sites, including Gmail, were exposed to a bug called "Heartbleed". The Heartbleed bug allows information leaks from a key safety feature that is typically known to keep your online communication private when emailing, banking, shopping etc. As an example, one of our partners received an email from an impersonator of American Express with a hyperlink to a malware site.
Please be on high alert of suspicious emails from any source. It has also been advised that we all change passwords to sites listed in the CNN story in the link found below. Please do not change passwords to any sites that have not been cleared, or your new password will also be compromised. It is generally advised that passwords be at least nine characters and that they include a mix of upper- and lower-case letters and numbers.
We are happy to say that the "client login" link from www.bermancapital.com was not compromised, nor were the sites of our most common client custodians, Pershing and Schwab.
As the heat of summer rolls in, we would like to update you on some happenings at Berman Capital. This fall, we will celebrate the third anniversary of our firm and thus far, we are proud of our efforts to live up to the ideals Justin had when he started BCA: independence, objectivity, transparency, and a best in class experience for all our clients. We are looking forward to moving even closer towards those ideals with some exciting changes in the firm.
Berman was recently honored by having several articles featured in Worth's 2012 Leading Wealth Advisors, a special section in every edition of Worth. Worth is a publication serving high net individuals passionate about the stewardship of their wealth; its focus is on wealth creation and management, including entrepreneurship and investing as well as philanthropy, lifestyle and passion investing.
In The Community
Leading by example. At Berman Capital Advisors, we are fortunate to work with some of the region’s leading philanthropists. Not only do we encourage our employees to be leaders in the community, but we also actively champion local causes related to issues surrounding education, healthcare and poverty. If you believe your cause or charity aligns with Berman Capital's goals, consider applying for a grant by sending a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to learn more about Berman Capital Advisors, we invite you to call us or, if you prefer, complete the request form below.
3475 LENOX ROAD / SUITE 970
ATLANTA, GA 30326
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