Brad K. Heppner
Chief Executive Officer
Bradley K. Heppner is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Beneficient (Ben), based in Dallas, Texas.
Mr. Heppner was born and raised in Hesston, KS, the hometown of his mother’s multigenerational farming family in the central plains of Kansas. He maintained ties with the hometown rural community by serving for seven years as a founding board member of the Hesston Community Foundation. At 18, Mr. Heppner moved to Dallas, Texas, to attend Southern Methodist University, where in four years he earned three bachelor’s degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and General Studies, a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance. He is a magna cum laude honors graduate. He subsequently earned a Master of Business Administration in Management and International Finance from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Mr. Heppner began his career at Goldman Sachs in New York as an analyst. From 1989 to 1993, he served as director of investments for the $3.3 billion John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in Chicago. He moved on to become a senior consultant at Bain & Company, where he focused on private equity financed companies from 1994 to 1996.
Mr. Heppner has acquired or founded ten operating companies principally in the financial services, investment and insurance sectors, each with a common business purpose of providing highly specialized solutions for alternative asset owners. Mr. Heppner founded Heritage Highland in 1996 as a family business to organize, acquire and own these operating companies as controlling or sole shareholder. Mr. Heppner has successfully completed realizations from seven of the ten Heritage Highland companies through mergers and transactions with Fortune 50 companies or institutionally backed management teams.
In the mid-1990s, Mr. Heppner bought The Crossroads Group, a Connecticut-based fund of funds firm and moved it to Dallas, Texas. He also founded Capital Analytics, an alternative asset administration company. In 1999, Mr. Heppner oversaw Crossroads’ $340 million purchase of a secondary private equity portfolio from Electronic Data Systems, believed to be the largest ever transaction of its kind. In 2003, Crossroads was purchased by the New York investment bank Lehman Brothers Holding Inc. At the time of the Lehman purchase, Crossroads had invested approximately $2 billion in more than 200 private equity partnerships involving approximately 5,200 private companies. Crossroads is now a part of Neuberger Berman. Capital Analytics is now owned by Mitsubishi Union Financial Group.
Through companies held by Heritage Highland, Mr. Heppner has been a fiduciary for over 250 institutions and served on numerous corporate boards and advisory committees.
In 2013, Mr. Heppner established Beneficient. Among its services, Ben offers unique early exit solutions enable mid-to-high net worth individuals and small-to-mid-sized institutional investors who invest in alternative assets to quickly exit from typically hard-to-liquidate assets such as private equity, venture capital, leveraged buyouts, mezzanine investments, hedge funds, real estate, natural resources and life settlements. In 2023, Ben became a publicly listed firm on the Nasdaq Market under the ticker symbol BENF.
In the wake of launching Ben and its innovative products, Mr. Heppner has been described as “a visionary” by Tom Hicks, private equity investor and founder of Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, a pioneering private equity fund based in Dallas. Ben’s board includes well-known executives in the financial sector including Mr. Hicks, Richard Fisher, the former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and Dennis Lockhart, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
Mr. Heppner owns Oaks Ranch, a 1,000-acre property in Bradford, Texas, is home to the charitable HERO program that identifies Texas university research programs that are funded by trusts established by Ben’s investor customers. In addition to ranching and corporate retreat operations, the ranch runs a wildlife education center that allows visitors to learn about and observe animals and plants found only in East Texas and promotes the importance of conserving and maintaining native wildlife and the environment. In 2014, two American bald eagle nests were discovered on the property. In 2016, Mr.Heppner received recognition from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department for contributing data on eagles to the Texas Natural Diversity Database.
Mr. Heppner currently serves on the board of the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. He and his family live in Dallas, Texas.