Skip to main content


Black Balsam Wealth Advisors represents three generations of financial planning and service in the Greater Asheville community and beyond. Here is a timeline of our group’s history:

  • 1978 – Don Reed starts his career at Northwestern Mutual (NM). Don begins building a client practice with a focus on complex issues for high net worth clients.
  • 1989 – Billy Cooper joins NM and begins building a successful planning practice primarily for business owners and medical professionals.
  • 1996 – Charlie Reed starts her career at NM as a recruiter and trainer and develops a specialization in the Long-Term Care industry.
  • 2000 – Billy hires Julie Lunsford to join his practice as associate representative.
  • 2009 – Billy hires Sandy Sawyer to manage client experience and schedule.
  • 2012 – Don, Charlie, and Billy work together to transition Don and Charlie’s clients as they work toward retirement.
  • 2014 – Austin Pullicin starts his financial planning practice with NM.
  • 2019 – Austin and Billy decide to work together to build out a joint practice that can better serve client’s needs in a multigenerational fashion.
  • 2020 – Billy and Austin hire Jake Bishop as their investment specialist to help with the management of investment operations.
  • 2022 – Billy and Austin hire Blair Aylor as their planning assistant to help with client projections and analysis.
  • 2022 – Billy and Austin officially combine their respective practices to create Black Balsam Wealth Advisors. Their joint vision is to have the premier financial planning firm in Western North Carolina that serves clients in a multigenerational capacity.