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 local financial advisors, then choose which one best fits your needs.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Mesirow Financial Investment Management, Inc. Find an Advisor||$26,693,197,000||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|2||DiMeo Schneider & Associates, L.L.C. Find an Advisor||$28,304,259,860||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|3||Segall Bryant & Hamill Find an Advisor||$22,890,772,422||$1,000,000|| || |
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|4||IHT Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$3,544,895,360||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|5||Cresset Asset Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$11,677,076,288||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|6||Gresham Partners, LLC Find an Advisor||$8,098,410,623||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|7||Brownson, Rehmus & Foxworth, Inc. Find an Advisor||$6,024,774,223||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|8||Gofen and Glossberg, L.L.C. Find an Advisor||$5,555,829,642||$1,000,000|| || |
|9||RMB Capital Management Find an Advisor||$8,438,728,335||$1,000,000|| || |
|10||Kovitz Investment Group Find an Advisor||$6,440,240,944||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
How We Found the Top Financial Advisors in Chicago, Illinois
To find the top financial advisors in Chicago, Illinois we first identified all firms registered with the SEC in the state. 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:
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.
DiMeo Schneider & Associates, LLC
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%.
DiMeo Schneider & Associates Background
DSA 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 DSA can receive guidance on family legacy planning, tax efficiency, and estate planning.
DiMeo Schneider & Associates Investment Strategy
DSA takes in-depth dive into a 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.
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 four chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and one 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, the firm works under a fiduciary standard.
Segall Bryant & Hamill Investment Strategy
As a registered investment advisor (RIA), SBH works under a fiduciary standard. This means it is obligated by law to work in the best interests of the client at all times. And its footprint extends beyond Chicago. The firm also runs offices in Denver, Colorado; St. Louis, Missouri; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Naples, Florida.
In addition, it 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.
IHT Wealth Management, LLC
IHT Wealth Management manages assets primarily for individuals and high-net-worth individuals. The Chicago headquarters advisor team holds multiple certifications, including seven certified financial planners (CFPs), two chartered retirement planning counselors (CRPCs), two certified investment management analyst (CIMAs), one chartered SRI counselor (CSRIC) and one chartered retirement plans specialist (CRPS).
As a fee-based firm, some of IHT’s advisory professionals receive commission-based compensation for the sale of securities, insurance and other investment products. While this may pose a conflict of interest, the firm’s fiduciary duty mandates that all of its professionals put client interests first.
IHT may charge an annual fee as a percentage of assets under management, which is a maximum of a 3%. While there is no minimum requirement to open an account, clients with smaller accounts could pay higher fees. Hourly fees typically range between $250-$500, and are negotiated with clients individually.
IHT Wealth Management Background
Formed in 2014, IHT is a limited liability company. The primary owner is the president Steven J. Dudash. The firm is headquartered in Chicago, and has offices in 13 states.
IHT provides comprehensive services in financial planning, investment management, retirement planning, estate planning, insurance planning and risk management.
IHT Wealth Management Investment Strategy
IHT’s portfolio is based on an investment philosophy that buys “quality stocks deemed to be out of favor.”
As part of its wealth management strategy, the firm reviews book value, cash flow, low debt, insider ownership, and previous market performance.
Client assets could be invested with independent managers, ETFs, and mutual funds, as well as material holdings in U.S. Treasury instruments or cash equivalents.
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 17 chartered financial analysts (CFAs), nine certified financial planners (CFPs), five certified public accountants (CPAs), three certified guest service professionals (CGSPs), two certified investment management analysts (CIMAs), two certified private wealth advisors (CPWAs) and one 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 itslef 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 security types.
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-based 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.
Gresham collects annual asset-based fees that can dip to 0.3% for those with more than $50 million in their accounts, and 0.75% for clients with $25 million. Individual clients generally have a $180,000 minimum annual fee, but the firm could waive or negotiate it.
Gresham Partners Background
Gresham Partners opened in 1997, and is owned by 14 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.
Brownson, Rehmus & Foxworth, Inc.
Brownson, Rehmus & Foxworth, Inc. holds a significant amount money in assets under management. It also serves as 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.
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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), 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.
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.
Kovitz Investment Group Partners, LLC
Kovitz Investment Group Partners, LLC (KIG) is a fee-based firm that manages assets for high-net-worth individuals, non-high-net-worth individuals, investment companies, pooled investment vehicles, pension and profit sharing plans, charitable organizations and corporations.
KIG’s staff also presents a variety of backgrounds and qualifications, including the certified public accountant (CPA), certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial analyst (CFA) and chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC) designations.
The firm generally requires clients to have an account minimum of $1,000,000 to establish an advisor relationship. However, KIG’s Wisconsin and California offices generally require $500,000. If assets fall below the $1,000,000 minimum, the firm charges clients an annual 1.25% fee on all assets.
Kovitz Investment Group Background
KIG is an independently managed registered investment advisor (RIA) serving individuals, institutions and financial professionals. The firm is part of the Focus Financial Partners, LLC partnership, and it’s also a wholly-owned subsidiary of Focus Operating, LLC. Focus LLC owns Focus Operating, LLC, and Focus LLC is a subsidiary of Focus Financial Partners, Inc.
KIG has two other offices in Madison, Wisconsin and Aliso Viejo, California.
Kovitz Investment Group Investment Strategy
KIG says on its website that it focuses on long-term investment solutions and that its investment philosophy is built on discipline, patience and perspective. The firm strongly relies on an equity selection philosophy, and it mainly invests in individual equities, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and fixed income securities.
The firm also strives to maximize return while minimizing loss. KIG says on its firm brochure that it generally invests in industry leading and prudently capitalized companies with a competitive advantage.