About Highground Advisors

Founded in 1930 as Baptist Foundation of Texas, HighGround Advisors is an investment and trust services company with almost $2 billion in assets. A first-class financial management organization specializing in the nonprofit sector, HighGround Advisors offers a diverse array of services and expertise in areas such as asset management, planned giving and account administration, all designed to protect, strengthen and grow the assets of our nonprofit clients.

We offer comprehensive products and services to create customized endowment management and planned giving support to deliver the results you need to further your mission and life transforming work.

Together with our subsidiary HighGround Trust Company, which was established in 1996 and chartered by the Texas Department of Banking, we have extensive knowledge and expertise in the nonprofit sector.

Our Vision

Protect. Strengthen. Grow.

 

Our Mission

To encourage, receive and manage charitable gifts for nonprofit organizations dedicated to transforming lives.

 


WE WORK WITH OUR CLIENTS IN THREE WAYS

WE PROTECT OUR CLIENT RELATIONSHIPS

  • We use a disciplined, ethical and highly transparent approach that safeguards our clients’ brands and missions, while mitigating risk and balancing short-term financial needs with long-term objectives.
  • HighGround has more than 86 years of dedication to the nonprofit sector.
  • With a team of in-house lawyers specializing in nonprofit law and legislative monitoring, we provide protective guidance on state and federal compliance for our client institutions.
  • We provide high-touch relationships with transparency, candor and high caliber service through every opportunity.

WE STRENGTHEN OUR CLIENTS

  • We create customized solutions for our client institutions that bolster returns and manage risk.
  • We strengthen our clients through knowledge transfer and training, and by providing a variety of counsel from legal, financial and accounting – all under one roof.
  • We provide expertise that is tailored to meet the financial and investment objectives of nonprofit organizations of all sizes aat every stage.
  • We treat clients like they are a part of our family. We take the time to truly know our clients and understand each organization’s goals and objectives.
  • Our extensive knowledge in nonprofit endowment management has given us the opportunity to develop long-term relationships with our clients – some for 86 years.

WE GROW CLIENTS’ ASSETS

  • We deliver exceptional investment management services for our client institutions, while also working closely with them to identify and create new solutions to grow their endowments to further their mission or cause.
  • We grow our clients' assets through our exceptional expertise and insights in nonprofit financial and investment management.
  • We work side-by-side with clients to identify issues and find solutions that will help achieve long-term objectives.

Officers

Jeff W.  Smith, J.D.
Jeff W. Smith, J.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Ben  Curry, CPA
Ben Curry, CPA
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
David M. Slover
David M. Slover
Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer
Joe H.  Wright, Jr.
Joe H. Wright, Jr.
Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer
Kari L. McGregor, CPA
Kari L. McGregor, CPA
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Joe Hancock, J.D., M.B.A.
Joe Hancock, J.D., M.B.A.
Vice President and General Counsel
Kellie  Morrison, CFA
Kellie Morrison, CFA
Vice President and Investment Officer of HighGround Trust Company
Colleen  Sims
Colleen Sims
Vice President for Institutional & Donor Services of HighGround Trust Company

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Members of the HighGround Advisors and HighGround Trust Company Board of Directors have notable careers and leadership positions in marketing, banking, finance, investments, real estate, accounting and law. The board oversees the company and delegates day-to-day management to the executive team.

HighGround Advisors Board of Directors

Kim J.  Askew, Chairperson
Kim J. Askew, Chairperson
Partner, K&L Gates LLP
Robert K.  Fowler
Robert K. Fowler
President and Attorney, Brown, Fowler & Alsup, P.C.
Carey P. Hendrickson
Carey P. Hendrickson
Senior Vice President & CFO, Capital Senior Living Corp.
Hunter M.  Barrow
Hunter M. Barrow
Partner, Thompson & Knight
Carrol R. McGinnis
Carrol R. McGinnis
Private Investor, McGinnis Investments
Fred R.  Norton, Jr.
Fred R. Norton, Jr.
Attorney, Norton & Wood LLP
Harold R.  Preston
Harold R. Preston
Retired SVP for Finance & COO, Hardin-Simmons University
Bradley S.  Selner
Bradley S. Selner
Managing Director, JLL
John E. Thompson, Jr.
John E. Thompson, Jr.
President & Executive Director, NSIIP
Jerry E.  Turner
Jerry E. Turner
Of Counsel, Andrews Kurth LLP
Phil D.  Wedemeyer
Phil D. Wedemeyer
Former Partner, Arthur Andersen & Co./Grant Thornton LLP
Gretchen M. Williams
Gretchen M. Williams
Associate, Ebby Halliday Realtors
Maston C.  Courtney, Director Emeritus
Maston C. Courtney, Director Emeritus
Of Counsel, Courtney, Countiss, Brian & Bailey LLP

HighGround Trust Company Board of Directors

Jeff W.  Smith, Chairperson
Jeff W. Smith, Chairperson
President & CEO, HighGround Advisors
Mark E.  Lovvorn
Mark E. Lovvorn
Chairman & CEO, Providence Bancshares, Inc.
Robert F.  Sanford, Jr.
Robert F. Sanford, Jr.
Former President & CEO, Gilbert X-Ray
Carrol R.  McGinnis
Carrol R. McGinnis
Private Investor, McGinnis Investments
Fred R. Norton, Jr.
Fred R. Norton, Jr.
Attorney, Norton & Wood LLP
Ben  Curry
Ben Curry
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, HighGround Advisors
Michael D. Williams
Michael D. Williams
Retired President and CEO, Community Hospital Corporation

GOVERNANCE

HighGround Advisors, formerly Baptist Foundation of Texas, was founded in 1930 to hold and manage assets for various Baptist institutions that existed at that time. The company is organized as a Texas not-for-profit corporation under §501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. HighGround Advisors is an agency of The Baptist General Convention of Texas (Convention) which is the sole member of the corporation. The company receives no funds from the Cooperative Program, does not solicit funds for its own benefit and does not make grants or distributions under its own authority. HighGround Advisors is governed by a 12 member board of which 51% is appointed by the Convention with the remaining 49% elected by the company’s board. The board is charged with oversight of the company and delegates day to day management to the executive team which currently consists of five officers.

Media

Media Center

Welcome to the HighGround Advisors Media Room, where you can find the latest news and information about our company.

Visit our Press Releases section for the latest news and media coverage.

Line

Careers

At HighGround Advisors, our people are at the core of who we are, and we’re committed to maintaining a salary and benefits program that is both competitive and responsive to the changing needs of our staff. The people who make up HighGround Advisors are passionate about helping others.

We believe as an organization that our reason for being is to protect, strengthen and grow our clients' assets. We believe our work will not only positively impact our lives, but will also allow our clients to focus on their purpose of transforming the lives of those they serve.

While the details will depend on your position, how long you’ve been with us and where you’re based, we think we have a lot to offer.

 

 

our Benefits Program

Health and Welfare

A healthy staff is a happy staff, so you’ll find that we offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes a progressive medical plan, dental, disability benefits and more. Additionally, we have a health and wellness staff committee constantly seeking ways to enrich our physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

Work Life Balance

We value your time in and outside of the office, that’s why we offer flexible start times, generous vacation and maximum benefits for our employees.

Licensing and Certification

We believe that your continued education should not halt after school ends. HighGround Advisors will cover your first registration and examination fees for approved professional licenses. We also cover your annual professional license fees, as well as providing you with the time needed to prepare for exams.

Professional Development

Personal growth is important at HighGround Advisors. How important? We offer reimbursement for training in your area of service to help you gain further knowledge, improve and/or learn new skills.

LIFE AT HIGHGROUNd

HighGround Advisors strives to create a collaborative work environment and continually seeks to improve the way we work. We have a heart-centered personality, reflecting our dedication to cultivating meaningful client relationships. We are compassionate and caring with Christian values. We acknowledge the exceptional work that our employees display both internally and with our clients.

Top Reasons to Work at HighGround

"I can't think of any other employer that does what HighGround Advisors does for their employees, personally and professionally. It's encouraging. The management and employees are all very nice and so are the clients. I am extremely proud to say that I work here.”

Account Administration, 2 year tenure

"Working at HighGround Advisors is truly a pleasure. The work environment is electric as we work together to meet the needs and expectations of our clients. Our efforts are appreciated by management and recognized by those we serve. I feel privileged to be part of an organization with such deep convictions and high standards.”

Trust Company, 2 year tenure

“It brings great pleasure to work with a group of people and for an organization with the common goal of serving others.”

Account Administration, 15 year tenure

JOB LISTINGS

HighGround Advisors is always looking to grow our team with outstanding talent to help further our mission. If you don't see a specific role you are looking for on the site, please send your resume to HR@highgroundadvisors.org and we’ll be in touch.

 

 

History

1925-1928

1925 – Budget Control Committee (H.L. Kokernot, Dr. T.V. Neal, Dr. Forrest Smith, Carr Collins, Sr., Judge T.M. Kennerly) appointed by The Baptist General Convention of Texas to make a detailed study of the financial condition of Convention institutions and agencies

1928 – Idea of Baptist Foundation of Texas was born and the Budget Control Committee submitted first proposal