Financial Adviser and Divorce Practice Group Leader | Balasa Dinverno Foltz
Heather is passionate about helping people make complex decisions. As a BDF owner, head of our Divorce Practice Group, and founder of our Women’s Service Team, she solves problems by balancing the emotional and behavioral components of financial decisions with the tax and legal issues.
Since taking the right steps at every turn matters, Heather empowers divorcing men and women to make sound decisions throughout all the phases of divorce. Often as the first divorce professional people talk to, she helps families hire the best-fit attorneys, mediator or other professionals needed. Heather and her team assist in key decisions such as whether to settle or continue negotiations, then fully implement separating assets and managing the investments to fund a full life post-divorce. Heather uses her technical knowledge and first-hand experience to guide people through this unsettling situation to create a full life as they redefine it. She authored The Next Chapter: A Practical Roadmap for Navigating Through, and Beyond, Divorce and is a regular contributor to Forbes.com
A Forbes “America’s Top Women Advisor,” Heather is also a six-time “Five Star Wealth Manager” according to Chicago Magazine, was named an “Influential Women in Business” by The Business Ledger, a “Top 200 Wealth Advisor Mom” by Working Mother, and an Investment News “Woman to Watch”. She has contributed to various publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Crain’s Chicago Business, Family Lawyer Magazine and Divorce Magazine on topics ranging from how to protect an estate during a divorce to key financial considerations before signing a divorce settlement or prenuptial agreement. Through presentations including “The Financially Responsible Woman: Five Strategies for a Full Life” and “When I Do Becomes I Don’t: Five Strategies for a Financially Responsible Divorce, Heather educates women and men on how to transition through new phases of their life with confidence and peace of mind.
After earning a bachelor’s in accounting from the University of Northern Iowa, Heather obtained her CPA designation in 1993, Certified Financial Planner™ certification in 1996 and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® designation in 2013. She completed a year-long executive coaching program in 2002 and Northwestern University’s Divorce Mediation coursework in 2015. Heather started her professional career in public accounting with Arthur Andersen LLP and then a local CPA firm in Houston. Her entrepreneurial spirit kicked in at age 24 when she started her own financial planning and investment management practice in 1995 before joining BDF in 1998.
When not helping clients, Heather enjoys learning something new every day from her son and daughter, traveling, being active outdoors and giving back to the community. She is a former board member at the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School of Chicago and is involved with A Night Out, The Lilac Tree, and Make-A-Wish Foundation.