Looking for the best financial advisors in Chicago? Residents of the Windy City love sunny days on Lake Michigan, the Chicago Cubs, deep dish pizza — and knowing that their assets are being safely managed by a qualified financial professional.
To help start your search for an advisor off on the right foot, MagifyMoney’s done the hard work for you. Through extensive research, we’ve curated this list of the best financial advisors in Chicago. All the advisors on our list work with individuals and offer comprehensive financial planning. You can check out all the criteria we used to make our list by reading up on our methodology.
Thankfully, finding a talented financial pro to help you build your financial future isn’t as big a task as hoping the Cubs win another World Series sometime soon.
|Firm||Minimum assets required||Fee structure|
|Hightower Advisors, LLC||No set account minimum|| |
|Mesirow Financial Investment Management (MFIM), Inc.||Not specified|| |
|Fiducient Advisors LLC||Not specified|| |
|Segall Bryant & Hamill||$1 million for individuals|| |
|Cresset Asset Management, LLC||No set account minimum|| |
|Wintrust Investments||No set account minimum|| |
|Great Lakes Advisors, LLC||$10,000|| |
|The Mather Group, LLC||$1 million|| |
We’ll launch our list of the best financial advisors in Chicago with Hightower Advisors, LLC. Founded in 2008 by attorney and financial services executive Elliot Weissbluth, Hightower Advisors, LLC is a private equity-backed registered investment advisor that offers financial advisory services through its network of advisory firms across the country, with more than 100 offices in total. The firm’s majority owner is the private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners, although some advisors and employees also have ownership stakes.
The firm offers investment advisory and financial planning services. Its client base includes individual investors, including those who meet the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) definition of high net worth (at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of at least $1.5 million), as well as institutional investors, such as businesses, pension and profit-sharing plans and charitable organizations.
Hightower Advisors predominantly manages portfolios on a discretionary basis, meaning that it does not consult with clients before making every trade. The portfolios created by Hightower Advisors may include a range of investment strategies, including long- and short-term purchases, options, shorting and margin transactions.
The firm uses several methods of analysis to determine which investments to include in client portfolios, including the following:
Hightower Advisors does not disclose any disciplinary actions, meaning it has a clean record. For reference, the SEC requires all registered investment advisors to disclose any legal or disciplinary actions on their Form ADV paperwork. This includes any actions against the company, an employee or an affiliate that have occurred in the past 10 years. For more information on Hightower Advisors, visit the firm’s Investment Advisor Public Disclosure (IAPD) page.
Norman Mesirow founded Mesirow Financial, the parent company of Mesirow Financial Investment Management (MFIM), Inc., in 1937, when he purchased a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. Mesirow Financial Investment Management was founded in 1986.
Today, the firm provides investment management, financial planning and retirement plan advisory services. The firm primarily works with non-high net worth individuals, though its client base also includes high net worth individuals and various types of institutional investors.
Headquartered in Chicago, the firm has nine additional offices located throughout the country. This includes two additional offices in Illinois, in Highland Park and Oakbrook Terrace.
Mesirow Financial Investment Management develops individual investment policy statements for each of its clients based on their financial goals, risk tolerance, time horizon, asset allocation targets and preferences.
To choose potential investments, the firm uses several methods of analysis, including looking at historical performance and at company fundamentals, which include financial and economic factors. Typical investments used in client portfolios include mutual funds, equities, fixed income and alternative investments.
Mesirow Financial Investment Management has no disciplinary actions to disclose. This includes any civil, criminal or regulatory events within the last 10 years involving the firm, its employees or its affiliates. For more information, visit Mesirow Financial Investment Management’s IAPD page.
Fiducient Advisors LLC opened in 1995. The firm is a joint venture with two membership classes: Class A interests are owned by 35 individual partners, and Class B interest is owned by NFP Corp, which has maintained a relationship with Fiducient since 1995.
Fiducient offers investment advisory services to retail investors, and their portfolio management is offered on a discretionary or non-discretionary basis (most of the assets managed by the firm are on a non-discretionary basis). Fiducient also works with charitable organizations, pension and profit-sharing plans, corporations and banking or thrift institutions.
The firm is headquartered in Chicago and has 10 offices throughout the country.
Clients who enter a relationship with Fiducient can expect their asset management to be guided by an investment research team with the firm, which includes an investment committee of 17 voting members and an extensive database of managers.
Fiducient structures its portfolios according to its clients’ investment objectives and eligibility and chooses investments from securities like fixed income assets, global equities, real estate, hedge funds and private equity.
Fiducient Advisors LLC has no disciplinary disclosures to report on its Form ADV. Disciplinary disclosures include regulatory, civil or criminal actions taken against a firm or any of its employees or affiliates within the last 10 years. For more information, visit the IAPD page for Fiducient.
Founded in 1994, Segall Bryant & Hamill is owned by CI Financial Corp, a company that offers global asset management and wealth management advisory services. Co-founders Ralph Segall and C. Alfred Bryant remain principals with the firm, while the firm’s third founder, Jonathan C. Hamill, has retired.
The firm offers portfolio management and, as part of its wealth management services, goals-based financial planning. It works with a wide range of clients, including individuals who both are and are not high net worth, as well as a variety of institutional investors. The firm generally requires a minimum investment of $1 million for individual relationships.
Segall Bryant & Hamill has four locations in addition to its Chicago headquarters in Denver, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Naples, Fla.
Segall Bryant & Hamill takes a “bottom-up” approach to security analysis, focusing on fundamental factors to guide its choice of securities for client portfolios. The firm’s research team also values environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and integrates them into its analysis.
Segall Bryant & Hamill has more than two dozen strategies that it may recommend to investors, depending on their individual financial situation and goals. This includes domestic and international equity, domestic fixed income and balanced portfolios, as well as alternative investments.
Segall Bryant & Hamill does not report any disclosures on its Form ADV, meaning it has a clean disciplinary record. As a registered investment advisor, the firm is required to report any civil, criminal or regulatory events against the company, its employees or its affiliates. You can learn more about the firm by visiting Segall Bryant & Hamill’s IAPD page.
Private equity investors and entrepreneurs Eric Becker and Avy Stein founded Cresset Asset Management in 2017 as a means of managing their own family wealth. Becker and Stein remain co-chairmen of the firm, which is owned by holding company Cresset Capital Management.
Today, the firm provides investment management, financial planning and family office services. It primarily works with individuals and high net worth individuals, with a focus on entrepreneurs. It also serves pooled investment vehicles and state or municipal government entities.
The firm has 16 offices throughout the country, including its Chicago headquarters.
The team at Cresset Asset Management generally creates portfolios designed to meet each client’s goals, with a focus on long-term wealth compounding. Cresset uses several methods of analysis, including fundamental, technical, quantitative and qualitative analysis. It also focuses on asset allocation to design an appropriate ratio of securities for its clients.
The firm uses a wide range of investments in its portfolios, including cash, money market funds, stocks, bonds and funds. It may also include alternative investments, such as hedge funds or private equity, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and others.
Cresset Asset Management has no disclosures. As a registered investment advisor, the firm must report any civil, criminal or regulatory actions on its paperwork filed with the SEC. For more information on Cresset Asset Management, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
Wintrust Investments was founded in 1931. The firm is entirely owned by Wintrust Bank, N.A., a subsidiary of Wintrust Financial Corp. Another subsidiary of the holding company is Great Lakes Advisors, LLC, which is also featured on this list of the top Chicago financial advisors.
Wintrust offers investment management services to a range of clients, including retail investors, banking or thrift institutions, corporations, pension and profit-sharing plans and charitable organizations. The firm provides personalized services as part of these programs:
There are several Wintrust services conducted through the separately managed account (SMA) programs with Wells Fargo Advisors. Wintrust advisors help craft a client’s financial plan, which is executed through Wells Fargo Advisors.
Some of Wintrust Investments’s AUM are non-discretionary, and some are discretionary. Wintrust uses fundamental and quantitative research, as well as independent research, for programs in which it maintains discretionary authority or makes investment recommendations. The firm synthesizes an investor’s goals (growth, income or speculation, for example) and risk tolerance to set their investment strategies.
Investing strategies differ from program to program, as do fees. Most of the programs through Wells Fargo Advisors are covered by an all-inclusive fee, while Wintrust’s financial planning services have different hourly fee tiers for ongoing financial planning, as well as an up-front fee.
Wintrust Investments reports a disciplinary disclosure from the last 10 years on its Form ADV, indicating that a self-regulatory organization or commodities exchange found the firm or an advisory affiliate to have been involved in a violation of its rules. Visit the firm’s IAPD page to learn more about its disciplinary disclosure and other information.
Founded in 1981, Great Lakes Advisors, LLC is entirely owned by Wintrust Financial Corp., which acquired the firm in 2011.
Great Lakes Advisors, LLC offers investment advisory services to retail investors and personalized investment advice and portfolio management for their clients. Among the services offered by the firm are wrap fee programs, separately managed account programs and unified management account (UMA) programs.
Most of the individual investors who are clients of Great Lakes Advisors, LLC are not high net worth individuals, though some clients are. GLA also works with pension and profit-sharing programs, charitable organizations, state and municipal government entities, corporations, investment companies and other kinds of clients. In addition to its Chicago office, the firm also has locations in Lake Forest, Ill. and Tampa, Fla.
Great Lakes Advisors, LLC takes a fundamental approach to investment management and relies on certain principles to guide its investments, including diversification, active asset management, tradeoffs between risk and return and customization of client portfolios.
The firm manages its fixed-income products with a conservative, long-term approach. However, some clients favor riskier investments, and Great Lakes Advisors, LLC establishes a risk budget for each investment objective to begin its analysis of the risk factors facing each element of the client’s portfolio.
GLA participates in SMA programs sponsored by various financial firms as well.
Great Lakes Advisors, LLC does not report any disciplinary disclosures — which include regulatory, criminal or civil actions taken against the firm or its employees — for the last 10 years on its Form ADV. Visit the firm’s IAPD page to learn more about GLA.
Wrapping up our list of the best financial advisors in Chicago is The Mather Group, LLC. The firm was established in 2011 and is a LLC owned by Mather Holdings. The firm was founded by Stewart Mather.
TMG tailors its financial planning, investment management, family office, tax planning and estate planning services for high net worth individuals. The Mather Group, LLC manages portfolios using equity and fixed income products, and the firm does not have proprietary products. Clients can choose whether assets are managed on a discretionary or non-discretionary basis.
In addition to high net worth individuals, TMG works with some individuals who aren’t considered high net worth, as well as pension and profit sharing plans and charitable organizations.
There are five risk-based asset allocations used by The Mather Group, LLC: conservative, moderately conservative, moderate, growth and aggressive growth. The firm uses fundamental, quantitative and systematic analysis for tax and seeks to provide tax optimized returns.
TMG customizes its investment strategies for clients according to investment objectives like maximizing tax returns, minimizing downside market risk, creating tax-efficient income, preserving capital and liability management. Client portfolios are diversified across asset classes.
The Mather Group, LLC has no disciplinary disclosures to report on its Form ADV, which means that the firm has not faced any civil, criminal or regulatory actions. Visit the firm’s IAPD page to learn more.
You deserve a financial partner you can trust on your wealth-building journey. That’s why we focused on specific criteria that mean the most to investors like you. Not only did we review each firm’s website and most recent Form ADV on file with the SEC, but we only considered firms for this list that:
Of the firms that made the cut, we ranked those firms based on AUM. Assets under management can be a significant trust factor, as it shows the amount of money others have entrusted the firm to manage.
And we know that you will ultimately be the best judge of which financial advisor is best for you. If you want to verify any of our information first-hand, visit the SEC’s IAPD website. You can search for any firm’s Form ADV — filed annually by March 31 — and explore the firm’s most recent updates. All information on our list of the best financial advisors in Chicago is accurate as of May 2, 2022.
The “Find a Financial Advisor” links contained in this article will direct you to webpages devoted to MagnifyMoney Advisor (“MMA”). After completing a brief questionnaire, you will be matched with certain financial advisers who participate in MMA’s referral program, which may or may not include the investment advisers discussed.