In 1984, after having built successful careers in the private client and brokerage arms of several well-regarded investment firms (including Glore Forgan, Loomis Sayles and Bacon Whipple), William J. O. Roberts, CFA and James D. MacDonald, CIC partnered to form their own investment advisory shop, which ultimately became known as Roberts, Glore & Co.

 

From the outset, Bill and J.D.’s aim was to build an advisory firm that provided both client-focused service and top-notch investment ideas—all at a reasonable cost. In the decades that followed, their emphasis on high-quality investments and attentive service attracted a broad client base encompassing high-net-worth individuals and families, endowment funds, and other institutional accounts across the United States and abroad.

 

During the first decade of the new millennium, Bill and J.D. transitioned ownership of Roberts Glore to their associates Clemens P. Ciupke, CPA and Jim L. Calaway, CFA, CIC, both of whom had been steeped in the firm’s hands-on approach to investing. Since that time, our investment team has continued to grow—and client service, investment acumen, and reasonable costs have remained at the core of our DNA.

 

 

William J. O. Roberts, CFA
Co-Founder (November 19, 1920 – November 17, 2006)

Bill Roberts was the consummate portfolio manager—ever on the hunt for hidden values and dissecting the increasingly complex nuances of the global financial markets. Bill’s career spanned more than six decades, encompassing market booms and busts, bubbles and recessions, and geopolitical storms of all shapes and sizes. He was among the first recipients of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and a longstanding member of the CFA Society of Chicago. In everything, he strove to maintain—and to inspire in those around him—a relentless focus on long-term growth and tax efficiency. Indeed, he brought to his investing career the same vision, courage, and indomitable spirit that carried him through the D-Day invasion as a young naval navigator off Utah beach.

 

Bill retired from Roberts, Glore & Co. in 1999 (astute market timing on his part!), but his passion for investing and tax matters never faded. He frequented the office throughout his retirement years to lend his insight in whatever ways he could, even though there was no obligation for him to do so—evidence of his character and his commitment to both our firm and our clients.

 

Bill was much more than a portfolio manager, however. He was an unquenchable and lifelong learner whose interests ranged from economics, statistics, and the finer points of estate and income tax law to archaeology and the arts. His breadth of knowledge was formidable and his love of discovery infectious. He traveled extensively, his pursuit of learning drawing him across the globe. He was also a generous philanthropist and supported endeavors academic, artistic, and humanitarian. Above all, Bill was a man of principal. His example of integrity and professionalism will remain a cornerstone of our firm. We are profoundly grateful for his wisdom and friendship, and we look forward to continuing to expand upon the foundation he worked so hard over many years to build.

 

 

James D. MacDonald, CIC
Co-Founder (February 13, 1930 – April 24, 2014)

After completing his service as an officer in the U.S. Air Force in 1957, J.D. MacDonald launched his investment career with the storied Harriman, Ripley & Co., where he developed a keen eye for investment opportunities and a reputation for client-focused counsel. J.D. subsequently managed Van Strum & Towne's Chicago office and later moved to Loomis Sayles & Co., where he was awarded the Chartered Investment Counselor designation by the Investment Counsel Association of America (now known as the Investment Adviser Association) in 1976. It was also at Loomis Sayles that he first met Bill Roberts.

 

That auspicious acquaintance blossomed into a working partnership after J.D. and Bill moved on to Bacon, Whipple & Co. in the late 1970’s. While there, both men began to suspect that their tailored approach to investment management could be better pursued in an independent environment. In 1984, after Bacon, Whipple was bought by another prominent investment house, J.D. and Bill saw their opportunity, forming the investment advisory firm that would ultimately become known as Roberts, Glore & Co.

 

In the years that followed, J.D. successfully guided his clients’ portfolios through bull and bear markets with a consistent focus on long-term value creation. At each step of the way, he brought to investment management the same traits that marked his life outside the office: poise, integrity, and a dash of style.

 

In 2007, J.D. entered into a retirement agreement with the remaining partners of Roberts, Glore & Co., but he continued to play a consultative role to our portfolio managers—a tribute to his commitment to both our team and our clients. At the same time, retirement gave him greater opportunity to indulge his passions for woodworking, world travel and hunting—pursuits whose rigors and rewards, incidentally, bore a remarkable resemblance to those of investment management. We remain indebted to J.D. for his friendship, his counsel, and his example of integrity and equanimity in the pursuit of excellence.