Robert T. Willis, Jr., CFA
Chief Investment Officer
Mr. Willis is the founder, CEO, and chief investment officer of Willis Investment Counsel. Mr. Willis oversees portfolio construction, participates in stock selection and fundamental analysis, and also serves on the firm’s investment committee. Prior to founding Willis Investment Counsel in 1979, Mr. Willis was a tax accountant in the Atlanta office of Arthur Andersen & Co. Mr. Willis holds a bachelor of business administration degree, with high distinction, from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. Mr. Willis is a former trustee and investment committee member of the State of Georgia Employee Pension Fund.
Kelli M. Wright
CCO and VP Operations & Trading
Ms. Wright is a principal, 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. Ms. Wright also serves as the firm’s chief compliance officer. 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.
James J. Kilroy
Mr. Kilroy is a principal and portfolio manager for Willis Investment Counsel. He is responsible for fundamental analysis, stock selection, and client relations. He also serves on the firm’s investment committee. Prior to joining Willis Investment Counsel, 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 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.
Peter D. Miller
Mr. Miller is a portfolio manager for Willis Investment Counsel and is largely responsible for portfolio construction, option strategy and trading execution for the Willis Investment Counsel Managed Volatility and Income Strategy. He also serves on the firm’s investment committee. Prior to joining Willis Investment Counsel, he 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. Mr. Miller currently chairs the Brenau University Board of Trustees and recently chaired 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. Slattery, CFA
Mr. Slattery is a portfolio manager for Willis Investment Counsel. He is responsible for fundamental analysis and also serves on the firm’s investment committee. Prior to joining Willis Investment Counsel in June 2012, 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.
Tracey A. Patton
Ms. Patton is a research analyst for Willis Investment Counsel. Her primary responsibilities include conducting equity research for the firm’s portfolio managers and providing support in portfolio monitoring, composition, and analytics. Ms. Patton holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from North Georgia College and State University with a concentration in finance and accounting.
John M. Lewis
Mr. Lewis is a research analyst for Willis Investment Counsel. His primary responsibilities include conducting equity research for the firm’s portfolio managers and providing support in portfolio monitoring, composition, and analytics. Mr. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Georgia with a concentration in finance. He passed Level I of the CFA Program in 2016.
Natalie R. Challen
Director 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. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from University of Georgia with a concentration in finance.
Ashton G. Meeks
Ms. Meeks is a management analyst for Willis Investment Counsel. Her responsibilities include marketing, client relations, strategic projects, and other organizational business matters in support of the firm’s management and portfolio managers. Ms. Meeks holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Utah.