Company History

The Brightworth story

Independent and objective advice delivered with excellence, and a conviction that our interests are the same as the interests of our clients. This was the vision that led first-generation partners Dave Polstra, Chris Dardaman, Alan Gotthardt, and Ray Padrón to leave the CPA industry and build what is now Brightworth.  

Our story started with Dave Polstra who, over 35 years ago, left his job at a large, national accounting firm to focus on providing independent, objective advice, applying multiple financial disciplines to help wealthy individuals meet their personal and financial goals. Since that start, the firm has evolved from the four initial partners to 20 partners, 11 of whom have been employed with us for at least a decade.

Today, Brightworth helps over 1,500 individuals and families across the US build, preserve, and be generous with their wealth, letting them spend more time on the things that truly matter to them. From the beginning, we built our firm to align our interests with those of our clients, so that we are always on the same side of the table with those we serve.

A critical way in which we accomplish that is by being fee-only, selling no proprietary products, and refusing to let compensation influence the guidance we provide to our clients. We are a team of over 80 professionals in Atlanta and Charlotte who are dedicated to providing independent and objective advice, taking care of our clients in the same manner we would want our own parents taken care of. By providing an outstanding depth of expertise with a uniquely personal approach, we continue to create lasting relationships with clients to help build their financial future with confidence.


Brightworth at a glance*:

Date founded: 1997

Assets under management: $4.6 billion

Number of clients: Approximately 1,500

CEO: Ray Padrón

Number of partners: 20

Offices: Brightworth is located in Atlanta, and McGill Advisors, a division of Brightworth, is in Charlotte


*As of 12/30/2020