John Ettelson

President and Chief Executive Officer

About Mr. Ettelson

John R. Ettelson became president of William Blair in 2003 and has been CEO since 2004. Under his leadership, the investment banking, private wealth and asset management businesses have grown to more than 20 offices globally and annual revenues have quadrupled to over $1 billion.

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

Mr. Ettelson is a respected civic leader and in 2019, received the prestigious Illinois Holocaust Museum Humanitarian Award for his ongoing commitment to the community through both philanthropy and volunteerism.

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 of the board of trustees for the Lincoln Park Zoo. Currently, he is a Life Trustee of Francis Parker School and sits on the boards of the Northwestern Medical Group, the Executives’ Club of Chicago, and World Business Chicago. Mr. Ettelson is also on the Chicago Chairman’s Council for Cradles to Crayons and is an 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 also involved in industry trade organizations where he is on the board and executive committee of SIFMA and on the board of the American Securities Association. Mr. Ettelson received his Sc.B. from Brown University and his JD/M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.


University of Chicago, JD/M.B.A.
Brown University, Sc.B.

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.*

*Includes strategic partnerships with Allier Capital, BDA Partners, and Poalim Capital Markets.