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John Ettelson

John Ettelson

Chairman Emeritus

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About John

John R. Ettelson, partner, is the chairman emeritus of William Blair.

Prior to being appointed chairman in January 2022, John served as William Blair’s chief executive officer. Under his leadership as CEO for 18 years, the investment banking, private wealth, and asset management businesses expanded to more than 20 offices globally, and annual revenue grew sevenfold to over $2 billion.

During his three decades at William Blair, John has held various leadership positions within the firm, including president and chief operating officer, chief financial officer, and head of mergers and acquisitions.

John is a respected civic leader; in 2022, he received the Bertha Honoré Palmer Making History Award for Distinction in Civic Leadership from the Chicago History Museum, and in 2019, he received the prestigious Illinois Holocaust Museum Humanitarian Award for his ongoing commitment to the community through both philanthropy and volunteerism. He joined the Illinois Holocaust Museum board as a trustee in 2021.

In addition to now serving as the current chairman of the board of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, he is the past chairman of the board of the Economic Club of Chicago and the past chairman, and current member, of the board of trustees for the Lincoln Park Zoo. Currently, he is a Life Trustee of The Francis Parker School and sits on the boards of the Northwestern Medical Group and the Executives’ Club of Chicago. John is also on the Chicago Chairman’s Council for Cradles to Crayons and is a former executive advisor to the Metropolitan Planning Council. He is an active member of the Commercial Club of Chicago and is a member of its Civic Committee.

Additionally, he is involved in industry trade organizations where he is on the board of the American Securities Association and previously served on the board and executive committee of SIFMA. He is also a former board member of World Business Chicago. John received his Sc.B. from Brown University and his JD/M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.

About William Blair

William Blair is a premier global boutique with expertise in investment banking, investment management, and private wealth management. We provide advisory services, strategies, and solutions to meet our clients’ evolving needs. As an independent and employee-owned firm, together with our strategic partners, we operate in more than 20 offices worldwide.*

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Year William Blair was founded

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Employees worldwide

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142 billion+

Client assets

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89 Years

Independent and employee-owned

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Offices worldwide

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Companies under coverage

As of March 31, 2024
*Includes strategic partnerships with Allier Capital, BDA Partners, and Poalim Capital Markets.

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