John R. Ettelson, partner, is the chairman of William Blair.
Prior to being appointed chairman in January of 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; head of mergers and acquisitions; chief financial officer; and chief operating officer.
John 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. 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 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. John 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 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. John received his Sc.B. from Brown University and his JD/M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.
Year William Blair was founded
Independent and employee-owned
Companies under coverage
As of March 31, 2022
*Includes strategic partnerships with Allier Capital, BDA Partners, and Poalim Capital Markets.