Adrian Cronje, Ph.D., CFA

Chief Executive Officer



Adrian Cronje is Balentine's Chief Executive Officer. Under his leadership, the firm has experienced exponential growth. In 2023, Adrian was recognized as one of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Most Admired CEOs. In addition, Balentine was named one of America's fastest-growing companies by Inc. and one of America's fastest-growing Registered Investment Advisors by Citywire RIA. Adrian is a founding partner of Balentine, its former Chief Investment Officer, and a member of both the management committee and the investment strategy team. Previously, Adrian served as Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Strategist at Wilmington Trust and chaired its investment strategy team. Adrian began his career at Schroders in London as Director, Deputy Head of Quantitative Equity Products.

Adrian holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in economics and finance from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics, with honors, from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Adrian is a Chartered Financial Analyst and is a member of both Vistage International and The Young President's Organization (YPO). He serves on the Journal of Wealth Management Editorial Board and is Chair of the Wealth Management Vertical for YPO's Global Financial Services network. Adrian is a Trustee of Agnes Scott College, the founding President of the not-for-profit A+ Squash, and President-Elect of the Rotary Club of Atlanta in 2024-2025.

A frequently requested speaker, Adrian has published several papers and addressed national audiences on topics relating to investments and the economy. In addition, he enjoys teaching and is a recurrent guest lecturer at several prominent universities. He regularly contributes his expertise in wealth and legacy to entrepreneurial publications such as Fast Company and Real Leaders Magazine. In 2010, Adrian was named one of Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 40 Under 40, an honor designating the region’s up-and-coming business and community leaders. He was also an honoree at TiE Atlanta’s 2018 Top Entrepreneur Awards. In 2019, Adrian was recognized as a top new speaker for Vistage International for his highly rated talk on how “Capital Markets Lead the Economy, Not the Other Way Around.” He is also a published author. First Generation Wealth, a book he co-wrote with Chairman Robert Balentine, won the Nautilus Book Award in 2023.

Adrian Cronje, Ph.D., CFA
Atlanta Business Chronicle
Most Admired CEO
TiE Atlanta
Top Entrepreneur Awards
Atlanta Business Chronicle
Top 40 Under 40
Top New Vistage Speaker
more info

Ph.D., Cambridge University (Macroeconomics and Econometrics)

M.Phil., Cambridge University (Economics and Finance)

B.Com. (Hons), University of Cape Town (Economics and Accounting)


Wilmington Trust, Senior Vice President & Chief Investment Strategist

Schroders (London), Director, Deputy Head of Quantitative Equity Products

Professional affiliations & awards

Atlanta Business Chronicle, Most Admired CEO (2023)

Atlanta Business Chronicle, 40 Under 40 (2010)

Camigan Microsystems Corporation, Board of Directors

CFA Charterholder

CFA Institute, Future of Finance Initiative, Member & Approved Speaker

CFA Society Atlanta, Member & Course Instructor

CFA Society of the UK, Member

Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, Master of Analytical Finance (MAF) Program, Advisory Board

Georgia Institute of Technology, Quantitative and Computational Finance Program, Guest Lecturer

Journal of Wealth Management, Editorial Board

South African Budget Speech Competition, Winner (1993)

TiE Atlanta, Member and Top Entrepreneur Awards Honoree (2018)

Vistage 151, Member & Top New Vistage Speaker (2019)

The Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), Member

YPO Global Financial Services Network, Chair of Wealth Management Vertical

Community involvement

A+ Squash, Board of Directors & Founding President

Agnes Scott College, Board of Trustees, Investment Sub-committee Chair, Financial Success Committee Chair

Atlanta Hedge Fund Challenge, Judge

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, Endowment Committee (Past)

Marcus Autism Center, Supporter

Rotary Club of Atlanta, Board Member, President Elect, 2024-2025, Trustee of Charitable Foundation, Secretary (Past), Membership Chair (Past) 


What was your best business decision?

Walking away from a comfortable position to join Robert Balentine and my other partners to reconstitute Balentine as an independent firm. It was a huge risk for my young family, but the opportunity to start with a clean slate and build a lasting firm to manage client assets the way in which we would want our own capital to be stewarded has been more rewarding than I could have imaged at the time.

If you weren’t in this business, what would you be doing?

Perhaps teaching in some capacity. Nothing is more rewarding than to help someone finally have that “a-ha!” moment. Having studied theoretical economics and applying those concepts in building my own business, I have developed strong opinions of what the textbooks are missing and how academia can benefit from a practical, entrepreneurial perspective.What keeps you up at night? Differentiating ourselves in a perceived “sea of sameness.” Many people believe that independent Registered Investment Advisers, brokers, trust companies, banks, and even consultants offer the “same thing,” when in fact there are important differences in business models and investment philosophies that influence outcomes. Often people spend more time planning their next vacation than planning their investment future. How do you contribute to Balentine’s global perspective? I was born in South Africa, continued my education in the UK, and began my career in London. My wife is from Augusta, GA, so we “split the difference” and decided to raise our family in Atlanta.

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