Jan 4, 2019
Robert T. Willis, Jr., CFACEO and Chief Investment Officer
Mr. Willis is the founder, CEO, and Chief Investment Officer of Willis Investment Counsel. He oversees portfolio construction, participates in stock selection and fundamental analysis, and also serves on the firm’s investment committee.
Prior to founding WIC in 1979, Mr. Willis was a tax accountant in the Atlanta office of Arthur Andersen & Co. He is a member of the CFA Institute, and the Atlanta Society of Financial Analysts. He is also a former trustee and investment committee member of the State of Georgia Employee Pension Fund.
He is a member of the Rotary Club of Gainesville.
Mr. Willis holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, with high distinction, from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.
James J. KilroyPresident and Portfolio Manager
Mr. Kilroy is the President of Willis Investment Counsel, having responsibility in the areas of strategy, client relations, firm operations, and portfolio management. He serves as the portfolio manager for the Small Cap Value Strategy, and is also a member of the firm’s investment committee.
Prior to joining WIC, Mr. Kilroy was an analyst with Abingdon Capital Management, a long/short hedge fund, for seven years. Mr. Kilroy’s tenure at Abingdon Capital Management was preceded by two years as an equity research analyst at Bear, Stearns & Co. covering the multi-industrials sector, and four years as an investment banker with SunTrust Equitable Securities.
Mr. Kilroy serves on the Board of Directors of Healthcare Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: HR) Healthcare Realty is a publicly-traded Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) that focuses on owning, managing, acquiring and developing outpatient medical facilities throughout the United States. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Lakeview Academy. Additionally, Mr. Kilroy is a board member of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce and Elachee Nature Science Center, where he serves on the investment committee.
Mr. Kilroy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Ashton G. MeeksDirector of Client and Community Relations
Ms. Meeks is the Director of Client and Community Relations for Willis Investment Counsel. Her responsibilities include client relations, community engagement, marketing, strategic projects, and other organizational business matters in support of the firm’s management and portfolio managers.
Ms. Meeks is a board member of the Junior League of Gainesville-Hall County and Rape Response. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Gainesville, and has also served as a committee member for the Medical Center Auxiliary’s Marketplace and the American Heart Association Go Red for Women event.
Ms. Meeks holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Utah.
Natalie R. ChallenDirector of Information Systems
Ms. Challen is the Director of Information Systems for Willis Investment Counsel. Her primary responsibilities include supporting the trading operations of Willis Investment Counsel, portfolio analytics, and technology-driven projects. She also serves as secondary support for our operations team in terms of reporting, compliance, and client service.
A board member of the Quinlan Visual Arts Center, she is also a tri-chair for the Medical Center Auxiliary’s Marketplace, and is a graduate of Leadership Hall. In addition, she serves on the Board of Trustees for Lakeview Academy.
Ms. Challen holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Georgia with a concentration in finance.
John M. LewisSenior Analyst
Mr. Lewis is a senior research analyst for Willis Investment Counsel. His primary responsibilities include conducting equity research for the WIC Small Cap Value Strategy, the WIC Fixed Income Strategy, and other areas of research within the firm.
Mr. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Georgia with a concentration in finance. He has passed Level I of the CFA Program.
Tracey A. PattonSenior Analyst
Ms. Patton is a senior research analyst for Willis Investment Counsel. Her primary responsibilities include conducting equity research for the WIC Core Equity (large-cap) Strategy and assisting in the day-to-day management of the WIC Managed Volatility and Income Strategy.
She is a member of the Junior League of Gainesville-Hall County.
Ms. Patton holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from North Georgia College and State University with a concentration in finance and accounting.
Peter D. MillerPortfolio Manager
Mr. Miller is a Portfolio Manager for Willis Investment Counsel and is largely responsible for portfolio construction, option strategy and trading execution for the Managed Volatility and Income Strategy. He also serves on the firm’s investment committee.
Prior to joining WIC, Mr. Miller was Regional CEO of Regions Financial (NYSE: RF) and president of First National Bancorp Georgia (acquired by Regions in 1996). Mr. Miller served in a variety of positions at Regions and First National Bancorp, including security analyst, portfolio manager, and trust department head.
He recently chaired the Brenau University Board of Trustees and the investment committee for the Georgia State University Foundation.
Mr. Miller is a recipient of the Bronze Star from his service in the U.S. Army, and he holds a business degree in finance from Georgia State University.
Brett M. SlatteryDirector of Research and Portfolio Manager
Mr. Slattery is the Director of Research for Willis Investment Counsel. He also manages the firm’s Core Equity (large-cap) Strategy and serves on the firm’s investment committee.
Prior to joining WIC, Mr. Slattery was a senior portfolio manager at Harris SBSB (a unit of BMO Financial Group) for three years, and an equity research analyst at Abingdon Capital Management for seven years.
Mr. Slattery holds an MBA from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater. He is also a member of the CFA Institute.
Kelli M. Wright
CCO and VP, Operations & Trading
Ms. Wright is the Chief Compliance Officer and Vice President of Operations and Trading for Willis Investment Counsel. She oversees securities trading, the portfolio accounting and client reporting systems, and portfolio monitoring for client specific investment policy compliance. She holds the IACCP® designation (Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional). The IACCP® is a professional program granting the designation to individuals who complete an 18-month program of study of the Investment Advisers Act, pass a certifying examination, and meet certain work experience, ethics and continuing education requirements.
Prior to joining WIC, Ms. Wright served as a financial advisor for the private banking group of Wachovia Bank of Georgia (now Wells Fargo).
Ms. Wright holds a Bachelor of Science degree and an MBA degree (concentration in finance) from Auburn University.