Finding a Top Financial Advisor in Chicago, Illinois
There’s no shortage of financial advisor firms in Chicago. But that can make it tough to figure out which firm is right for you. SmartAsset spent dozens of hours researching to narrow it down to this list of Chicago’s top 10 firms. To figure out which financial advisor best fits your needs there are several things to consider, including account minimum, fee structure, certifications and specialties, all of which we’ve laid out in the charts and tables below. You can also use SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool to get connected with financial advisors who serve your area, then choose which one best fits your needs.
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|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Mesirow Financial Investment Management, Inc. Find an Advisor||$41,037,701,000||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|2||Fiducient Advisors LLC Find an Advisor||$37,875,893,266||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|3||Cresset Asset Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$22,967,857,515||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|4||Segall Bryant & Hamill, LLC Find an Advisor||$25,642,773,736||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|5||Gresham Partners, LLC Find an Advisor||$9,517,104,046||$180,000|| || |
|6||Gofen and Glossberg, L.L.C. Find an Advisor||$6,479,223,660||$1,000,000|| || |
|7||The Mather Group Find an Advisor||$8,579,759,071||$1,000,000|| || |
|8||RMB Capital Management Find an Advisor||$7,847,235,921||$1,000,000|| || |
|9||Brownson, Rehmus & Foxworth, Inc. Find an Advisor||$4,298,880,780||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|10||Kovitz Investment Group Partners, LLC Find an Advisor||$ 4,026,500,777|| |
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What We Use in Our Methodology
To find the top financial advisors in Chicago, we first identified all firms registered with the SEC in the city. Next, we filtered out firms that don't offer financial planning services, those that don't serve primarily individual clients and those that have disclosures on their record. The qualifying firms were then ranked according to the following criteria:
- AUMFirms with more total assets under management are ranked higher.
- Individual Client CountFirms who serve more individual clients (as opposed to institutional clients) are ranked higher.
- Clients Per AdvisorFirms with a lower ratio of clients per financial advisor are ranked higher.
- Age of FirmFirms that have been in business longer are ranked higher.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article. This list may include firms that have a business relationship with SmartAsset, in which SmartAsset is compensated for lead referrals. Such relationships have no impact on our rankings, and firms are included and ranked based strictly on the above criteria.
Mesirow Financial Investment Management, Inc.
Mesirow Financial Investment Management, Inc (MFIM) has deep roots in the financial industry. Its sole shareholder, Mesirow Financial Services, Inc., was founded in 1937.
MFIM manages assets primarily for individuals. Other clients include high-net-worth individuals, banking or thrift institutions, investment companies, pooled investment vehicles, pension and profit sharing plans, charitable plans, state or municipal governments, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds and foreign official institutions, corporations and endowments.
As a fee-based firm, some adviory professionals may get compensation based on commissions from the sale of securities, insurance and other investment products. MFIM fiduciary duty obligates all of its professionals to put the interests of their clients first.
The minimum investment requirement at MFIM is $250,000 in investable assets. The minimum annual fee is $4,000. The firm charges a percentage of assets under management for wealth management services, which is a maximum of 1.5%.
Mesirow Financial Investment Management Background
Formed in 1986, Mesirow Financial Investment Management is part of a group of affiliated financial services companies. The registered investment advisor’s sole shareholder is the independent firm Mesirow Financial Services, Inc.
MFIM’s investment strategy includes equity investments in value stocks across diversified-cap companies and fixed-income investments in short- and intermediate-term government, corporate, mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities.
Mesirow Financial Investment Management Investment Strategy
MFIM says on its firm brochure that it provides asset allocation and fund strategies by using quantitative and qualitative analysis for mutual funds and other securities. The firm also offers a series of client solutions, including advanced strategies, currency, equity management, investment banking, high-yield fixed income and more.
Fiducient Advisors - formerly known as DiMeo Schneider & Associates, L.L.C. - serves mostly high-net-worth individuals and families as well as their related trusts and estates. It delivers these services through its private client practice. Beyond that, the firm is mostly known for working with institutional clients as well as large retirement plan sponsors, charitable organizations and corporations.
The minimum initial investment depends on the type of client and the scope of services rendered. Some investment programs require a minimum of $50,000 and $500,000. Annual asset-based fees for investment advisory services range from 0% to 1.5%.
Fiducient Advisors Background
Fiducient opened its doors in 1995 after Bob DiMeo and Bill Schneider turned Kidder Peabody investment consulting firm in a new direction.
Since then, the firm has expanded its financial planning services. Individuals and families working with the firm can receive guidance on family legacy planning, tax efficiency, and estate planning.
Fiducient Advisors Investment Strategy
Fiducient takes an in-depth dive into each client’s financial background to come up with an investment approach it deems appropriate for its clients. From there, it seeks the right independent investment managers by using its own database.
Based on your needs, it can recommend the following:
- Mutual funds
- Venture capital funds
- Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
In addition, the firm periodically evaluates portfolio and investment manager performance.
Cresset Asset Management, LLC
Headquartered in Chicago, Cresset Asset Management serves clients in 10 cities nationwide. As a fee-only firm, it does not collect commissions on trades or the sale of certain products.
The advisor team holds multiple certifications, including chartered financial analyst (CFA), certified financial planner (CFP), certified public accountant (CPA), certified guest service professional (CGSP), certified investment management analyst (CIMA), certified private wealth advisor (CPWA) and chartered market technician (CMT).
The firm manages assets primarily for individuals and high-net-worth individuals. Institutional clients also include pooled investment vehicles and pension and profit sharing plans.
While Cresset generally does not impose a required minimum to open an account, the firm charges a minimum annual fee of $20,000 for investment advisory services, with a maximum of 2% of assets under management.
Cresset Asset Management Background
The firm was founded in 2017, and is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cresset Intermediate Holdco, LLC, which itself is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cresset Capital Management, LLC and was founded by Avy Stein and Eric Becker.
Cresset provides comprehensive services, including financial planning, investment planning, income tax planning, retirement planning, estate planning, education planning and insurance planning and risk management.
Cresset Asset Management Investment Strategy
Client portfolio strategies typically include investment in money market funds, mutual fund shares, corporate debt securities, hedge funds and private equity shares, municipal securities, real estate investment trust shares, options and other securities.
Segall Bryant & Hamill, LLC
Segall Bryant & Hamill (SBH) is an SEC-registered firm offering a range of advisory services. And when you take a look at its long list of client profiles, it’s no surprise. The firm manages assets primarily for both individuals and high-net-worth individuals. Other clients include investment companies, pooled investment vehicles, pension and profit sharing plans, charitable organizations and corporations.
To establish an individual relationship with SBH, you’d need a minimum investment of $1 million. However, the firm may require smaller or larger initial investments depending on the asset allocation of your portfolio. These minimums can range from $250,000 to $50 million.
The firm’s wealth management holds multiple certifications, including chartered financial analyst (CFA) and certified public accountant (CPA).
Segall Bryant & Hamill Brief Background
SBH has been in business since 1994. The majority owner of SBH is Thoma Bravo, an SEC-registered advisor. SBH is also a member of the National Futures Association.
Some SBH employees are registered representatives of Foreside Fund Services and may sell SBH securities in relation to these business practices. These individuals may receive compensation from such sales, but SBH is not officially affiliated with Foreside. Nonetheless, as a registered investment advisor, the firm works under a fiduciary standard. This means it is obligated by law to work in the best interests of the client at all times.
Segall Bryant & Hamill Investment Strategy
SBH aims for the strongest investment returns by utilizing proprietary research in addition to other resources. Its portfolios invest in a variety of asset classes including domestic and international equity, as well as alternative investments. Its footprint extends beyond Chicago. The firm also runs offices in Denver, Colorado; St. Louis, Missouri; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Naples, Florida.
Gresham Partners, LLC
Gresham Partners manages assets primarily for high-net-worth individuals and institutional clients, including pooled investment vehicles and charitable organizations.
As a fee-only firm, Gresham financial professionals could earn commissions on trades and the selling of insurance and other investment products. Nevertheless, the firm has a fiduciary duty that requires its team to act in the best interests of their clients.
Individual clients generally have a $180,000 minimum annual fee, but the firm could waive or negotiate it. This asset-based fee is calculated as: 0.75% of the first $25,000,000, 0.50% for the next $25,000,000 and 0.30% for assets over $50,000,000.
Gresham Partners Background
Gresham Partners opened in 1997, and is owned by 13 principals today. Named after Sir Thomas Gresham, an advisor to three British monarchs including Elizabeth I and founder of the Royal Exchange, the firm says it channels his 16th century entrepreneurial spirit to identify and maximize opportunities for clients.
Gresham Partners Investment Strategy
Gresham Partners conducts multiple meetings with clients to develop the right asset allocations. It considers risk appetite, net worth, philanthropic goals, liquidity requirements and more.
It then searches for and evaluates investment managers that may be appropriate for the client. According to documents that Gresham filed with the SEC, “The Company tends to select experienced managers with broad mandates who can take relatively concentrated positions based on careful fundamental analysis and tend to have a limit on the amount of capital they will accept, but other types of managers may be selected.”
The firm monitors these managers on an ongoing basis.
Gofen and Glossberg, L.L.C.
Fee-only firm Gofen and Glossberg, L.L.C. manages assets primarily for individuals and high-net-worth individuals. Institutional clients also include pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and corporations.
Featured among the firm’s advisor qualifications are the certified public accountant (CPA), chartered financial analyst (CFA) and chartered investment counselor (CIC) designations.
Gofen and Glossberg has a minimum account size requirement of $1,000,000. The firm’s advisory fees include asset-based fees and fixed fees.
Gofen and Glossberg Background
Gofen and Glossberg is a privately held firm that was founded in 1932. The firm’s advisory services include portfolio management and financial planning, and it also provides consulting services and general advice, according to its firm brochure.
Gofen and Glossberg Investment Strategy
In conducting research and offering investment advice, Gofen and Glossberg says it primarily uses fundamental research, macroeconomic analysis and technical research. The firm’s investment strategies include long-term purchases, short sales, short-term trading, margin transactions and options strategies.
Gofen and Glossberg mainly invests in exchange-traded equities, over-the-counter equities, foreign issuers, warrants, corporate bonds, commercial paper, certificates of deposit (CDs), municipal bonds, mutual funds, annuities, U.S. Government securities and securities options.
The Mather Group
The Mather Group is a fee-only firm requiring a minimum portfolio size of $1 million if you want to open an account. The firm works with individuals primarily, the majority of whom do not qualify as high-net-worth. The only institutional clients at the firm are pension/profit sharing plans and charitable organizations.
Fees for asset management are based on a percentage of assets under management, while financial planning and family office fees are generally charged a predetermined fixed fee.
Advisors at the firm have earned a variety of financial advisor certifications, including certified financial planner (CFP), certified equity professional (CEP), chartered financial analyst (CFA), accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), certified public accountant (CPA), chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC) and chartered alternative investments analyst (CAIA).
The Mather Group Background
The Mather Group was founded in 2011 and is owned by Mather Holdings, LLC. It has recently acquired three other firms with a total of more than $250 million in assets under management.
Services offered at the firm include portfolio management, financial planning, an online platform, family office services, tax planning/preparation, estate planning and executive services.
The Mather Group Investment Strategy
Nearly three-quarters of the money managed by The Mather Group is invested in individual stocks. Bonds are also used, and money is invested in mutual funds, held as cash and used to purchase annuities.
RMB Capital Management
RMB Capital Management is a fee-only firm that manages assets for both individuals and high-net-worth clients, as well as investment companies, pooled investment vehicles, pension and profit sharing plans, charitable organizations, insurance companies and corporations.
Several of the firm's advisors are accredited experts, holding mutiple certifications as certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs), certified investment management analysts (CIMAs) and certified public accountants (CPAs).
Individuals generally need a minimum investment of $1 million to open an investment account with RMB. However, the firm typically lowers that minimum to $250,000 if you invest in an internally managed private fund.
RMB Capital Management was ranked among Barron’s top 30 independent advisory firms and among the Financial Times Top 300 Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs). Financial Advisor named it #21 out of the top 50 fastest-growing firms.
RMB Capital Management Background
RMB Capital Management was founded in Chicago in 2005. The independent firm works through two business units to service its clients: The Wealth Management Unit is focused on finding solutions to clients’ financial needs, while the Asset Management Unit is centered on investment strategies.
RMB Capital Management’s investment strategy is centered around “taking a long-term view, conducting fundamental analysis, being opportunistic yet disciplined and avoiding unnecessary risk,” its website explains. All of that comes into play in RMB Capital Management’s “open architecture” model, which lets clients have assets that are managed both internally and externally.
RMB Capital Management Investment Strategy
RMB Capital Management characterizes its investment philosophy as taking a long-term approach, conducting fundamental analysis, being opportunistic, yet disciplined and avoiding unnecessary risk, according to its firm brochure. The firm also says it creates asset allocations based on each client's goals.
RMB Capital Management's primary methods of analysis are fundamental analysis and active management strategies, but the firm also employs quantitative analysis, technical analysis and passive or index strategies. The firm also uses the following investment strategies: equity strategies, fixed-income strategies, core investment-grade fixed-income strategies, tax-advantaged fixed-income strategies, treasury inflation-protected "real return" strategies, liability-driven investment strategies and private fund strategies.
Brownson, Rehmus & Foxworth, Inc.
Brownson, Rehmus & Foxworth, Inc. is a fee-only firm. That means the money it collects from your account is based on the services it provides. Neither the firm nor its advisors earn commissions from the sell of securities, insurance and other investment products.
According to SEC records, the firm manages assets primarily for high-net-worth individuals and individuals, as well as institutional clients that include charitable organizations and corporations.
Account minimums depend on the investment advisor. However, minimum annual fees tend to start at $25,000, ranging from 0.15% to 1% of assets under management.
The firm’s investment advisory staff holds multiple certifications, including certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs), certified public accountants (CPAs) and Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professionals (IACCPs).
Brownson, Rehmus & Foxworth Background
Brownson, Rehmus & Foxworth, Inc. is a privately owned corporation that started doing business in 1969. Today, nine active principals own the firm. In addition to Chicago, the firm also manages offices in New York, Atlanta and Naples, Florida.
The firm aims for a comprehensive financial planning strategy that may touch on the following, depending on your needs:
- Investment advice
- Tax planning
- Estate planning
- Charitable giving
- Debt management
- Financial management around divorce
Brownson, Rehmus & Foxworth Investment Strategy
Brownson, Rehmus & Foxworth bases its investment strategies on its client’s personal situations.
For the most part, it adheres to long-term investing. It also keeps an eye on investment managers with little turn over. Your assets may be allocated to mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), as well as real-estate and alternative investments.
Kovitz Investment Group Partners, LLC
Kovitz Investment Group Partners is a fee-based firm where some advisors earn a commission for selling insurance products. While this is a conflict of interest, when acting as advisors all employees must act in the best interest of the client.
The minimum account size at Kovitz is generally $1,000,000, though it is lowered to $500,000 in some satellite offices. Fees are based on a percentage of assets under management.
The firm's team has earned myriad certifications including certified public accountant (CPA), certified financial planner (CFP), chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC), chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA) and chartered financial analyst (CFA).
Kovitz Investment Group Partners Background
The firm was founded in 2003 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Focus Operating, LLC. That firm is in turn controlled by Focus Financial Partners, which is a public company traded on the NASDAQ.
Services include investment management and financial planning.
Kovitz Investment Group Partners Investment Strategy
Around two-thirds of money held at Kovitz is invested in individual stocks. Bonds, mutual funds, cash holdings and mortgage-backed securities are also used.