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Honoree Headshot

Heather Fortner

Chair, Partner & Chief Executive Officer

Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Founded: 1997
Industry: Financial Services

Don H Bravaldo

When Heather Fortner became CEO of SignatureFD in 2020, one of the first things she did was diversify the senior leadership team, the partner group and the C-suite. In 2021, she spearheaded an initiative to require quarterly diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) training for all team members, including those in leadership.

“This type of training encourages not only a deeper empathy and collaboration among colleagues but also helps them to better understand and better serve traditionally underrepresented client bases,” Fortner’s team said. “She believes it is a leader’s responsibility to create new avenues and opportunities for groups traditionally left underrepresented, which is reflected in her leadership style and initiatives.”

SignatureFD is a financial planning firm, and Fortner is its first female CEO, partner and chair, serving in a leadership role in an industry traditionally dominated by male leaders.

Fortner holds a Bachelor of Finance from Kennesaw State University and is an Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional and a graduate of the Schwab Executive Leadership program and the G2 Institute. She holds a Master of Science in professional counseling from Georgia State University.

Fortner said she addresses difficult problems by “leaning into my master’s of counseling to bring EQ to every conversation.”

Since becoming CEO, Fortner has received several awards. In 2021, she was awarded CEO of the Year by for the category Individual RIA Firm Leaders and she received the Investment News Women to Watch honor in the ascension category. In 2022, Fortner was named Most Admired CEO by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

SignatureFD has been awarded numerous honors, including the 2021 Investment News Best Places to Work, Inc.’s 2021 Best Workplaces, 2022 Accounting Today Top Firm, 2022 RIA Channel Top 50 Wealth Managers by Growth in Assets, 2022 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For, 2022 Atlanta Business Chronicle Best Places to Work and Pacesetter awards, 2022 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Best Places to Work, 2022 Barron’s List of Top RIA Firms, 2022 Financial Times Americas’ Fastest Growing Companies, and 2022 goBeyond Profit Champion and is currently ranked No. 74 on the 2022 Forbes/Shook America’s Top RIA Firms.

“Heather is most proud of the many accolades the firm has received as one of the best places to work,” Fortner’s team said. “The awards are given primarily based on employee engagement and satisfaction surveys and are a testament to the dedication and hard work the leadership team has invested in developing a workplace environment where individuals feel safe and valued.”

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Heather is an avid fan of the Harry Potter series.

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