Women in Business

Abacus Planning Group

2500 Devine Street

Columbia, SC 29205

Phone: 803.933.0054

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Cheryl Holland

Bringing Success Home

Cheryl Holland launched Abacus Planning Group 25 years ago with one client — still a client — and two clear aspirations.

One: The Freedom to Be a Client’s Advocate. Cheryl wanted to create and then follow a path that was a rare species at the time: a fee-only business model. As she explains, “I wanted to be independent. I wanted to always, and I do mean always, put the clients and their goals and dreams first.” While the fiduciary concept has gained traction and is more widely embraced these days, she and Abacus were among its earliest pioneers.

Two: The Flexibility to Establish a Singular Culture. A parallel passion was Cheryl’s desire, in her words, “… to have the professional chance — and personal challenge — to create a unique culture centered on listening, creativity, and collaboration.” The result? A talented, diverse, thriving team that translates into thriving clients.

A Vision That Worked. Today, Abacus manages $1.7 billion in assets, serves 220 clients, and employs more than 35 people in offices in Columbia and Greenville, including 14 certified financial planners and two charter financial analysts. Abacus’ focus has sharpened over time, and the majority of current clients are families with shared assets — particularly those with family held businesses or real estate.

Where Was Never a Question. Theoretically, Cheryl could have headquartered her new company anywhere. After all, she had lived, worked, and made connections in other markets. But her choice was Columbia. “Yes, there was a comfort level in setting up shop in my hometown,” she says. “But the more important reason was the respect I have for the Columbia business community. This is a place where ideas are brought to life, where excelling is an expectation, and where contributing to the community is a given.”