Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Illinois
One of the ways you can plan for your future is by finding a financial advisor who will help you figure out your financial goals and set up a plan to achieve them. If you use a financial advisor, it’s important that it’s someone who you feel comfortable with and who has a similar investing philosophy. With that in mind, here is SmartAsset’s list of the top 10 financial advisor firms in Illinois. Determined through hours of research, this list outlines each firm’s fee structure, investing approach, services and more so you can better differentiate which firm might suit you. You can also use SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching tool to be paired with an advisor in your area.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||HighTower Advisors LLC Find an Advisor||$42,288,906,016|| |
No existing account minimum
| || |
No existing account minimum
|2||Mesirow Financial Investment Management, Inc. Find an Advisor||$24,270,497,421||Varies|| || |
|3||Segall Bryant & Hamill Find an Advisor||$19,329,398,352||$1,000,000|| || |
|4||Capital Strategies Investment Group Find an Advisor||$13,650,057,251||None|| || |
|5||DiMeo Schneider & Associates, L.L.C. Find an Advisor||$ 13,338,712,251||Determined on individual basis|| || |
Minimum AssetsDetermined on individual basis
|6||Brownson, Rehmus & Foxworth, Inc. Find an Advisor||$11,241,411,000||Depends on advisor|| || |
Minimum AssetsDepends on advisor
|7||RMB Capital Management Find an Advisor||$9,168,915,505||$1,000,000|| || |
|8||Gresham Partners, LLC Find an Advisor||$ 6,935,122,645||Minimum annual fee of $180,000|| || |
Minimum AssetsMinimum annual fee of $180,000
|9||Savant Capital, LLC Find an Advisor||$5,617,303,696||Minimum annual fee of $500,000|| || |
Minimum AssetsMinimum annual fee of $500,000
|10||Zacks Investment Management, Inc. Find an Advisor||$4,774,778,847|| |
| || |
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Illinois
We examined all of the firms in Illinois registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for this list. All of these firms are bound by fiduciary duty to act in their clients’ best interests. Any firm with disclosures was eliminated. Below are the top 10 firms in Illinois sorted by total assets under management, starting with the highest.
HighTower Advisors LLC
Hightower Advisors, LLC has more than $42 billion in assets under management, making it by far the largest firm on this list. The Chicago firm is fee-based and is also ranked first on SmartAsset’s list of the top 10 financial advisor firms in Chicago. In addition to fees, advisors may receive commissions for the sale of certain securities. The firm is still bound by fiduciary duty to make decisions in the best interest of the client though.
Hightower employs more than 300 investment advisors, which helps its team dwarf that of others on this list. Hightower’s advisory team is split up into 87 investment teams, located in 32 states.
The firm mostly works with individuals, though it also does plenty of business with high-net-worth individuals. Hightower also advises pension plans, charitable organizations and corporations. There generally isn’t a minimum investment required to open or maintain an account. However, the firm states, "Some services and fee structures may not be beneficial for portfolios below $500,000 due to the impact that trading and transaction costs may have on performance."
Hightower Advisors, LLC Background
Hightower Advisors, LLC was founded in 2008. As of January 2018, more than 50% of the firm is owned by Thomas H. Lee Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm.
The services offered by the firm are varied. Financial planning, estate planning, retirement planning, education planning, insurance and investments are all part of the package. The firm can also advise ERISA-retirement plans, though it does not act as a plan sponsor or administrator.
Hightower Advisors, LLC Investing Strategy
A relationship begins with a meeting between the advisor and the client to figure out what the client wants out of the relationship. After the client’s financial situation and goals are determined, the advisor will come up with a plan to help the client meet them, including figuring out what types of asset classes and investments will be used.
A variety of investment types are used by Hightower. These could include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), real estate investment trusts (REITs), options and warrants.
Mesirow Financial Investment Management, Inc.
Mesirow Financial Investment Management, Inc. is a large investment advisor headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The firm currently holds more than $24 billion in assets under management. Mesirow provides financial services to a wide range of clients including individuals, corporations, retirement plans, charitable organizations and institutional clients.
On the individual side, the firm’s Wealth Advisors program delivers financial planning and investment management services.
Wealth Advisors with the firm aim to build a long-term and perhaps multi-generational financial plan for its clients. Depending on your needs and objectives, the firm may cover the following:
- Debt management
- Retirement savings
- Short-term investing
- College funding
- Building emergency funds
- Tax situation
- Estate planning
- Social Security
The client’s lead advisor can draw from experts within and outside Mesirow. The Mesirow Wealth Advisors team from its Illinois base includes 17 certified financial planners (CFPs), four chartered financial analysts (CFAs), seven accredited investment advisors (AIF), and two chartered financial consultants (ChFC)
Mesirow Financial Investment Management, Inc. Background
Mesirow Financial Investment Management can trace its roots all the way back to the 1930s, making it one of the oldest firms on our list. Since then, it has built a massive financial services unit delivering support to everyone from individuals to institutional clients.
Its story began when Norman Mesirow purchased a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. Today, the firm has offices in more than 20 cities throughout the globe. More than 500 employees keep the company running, according to the firm’s website.
Mesirow Financial Investment Management, Inc. Investing Strategies
Mesirow advises its clients on creating a goals-based investment plan and a customized portfolio with an asset allocation deemed appropriate. It monitors these portfolios on an ongoing basis. However, the firm allocates the majority of its client’s assets into registered third-party portfolio managers.
The firm kicks off its investment services by helping clients develop a goals-based investment plan that takes into account the client’s entire financial picture. It then builds a customized investment portfolio with an asset allocation it deems appropriate. The firm also monitors this portfolio on an ongoing basis.
According to the firm’s website, Mesirow “believes this combination creates the best foundation for attractive long-term rates of return, helping our clients meet their wealth management objectives.”
Segall Bryant & Hamill
Segall Bryant & Hamill (SBH) has more than $19 billion in assets under management. The firm provides financial consulting and investment advisory services to a range of clients including individual clients, businesses, charitable organizations, foundations and corporate retirement plans.
To establish an individual relationship with SBH, you’d need a minimum initial investment of $1 million. However, your minimum may range from $250,000 to $10 million depending on your portfolio’s asset allocation.
According to documents recently filed with the SEC, SBH has more than 143 full-time employees including 79 investment advisors. These advisors hold some impressive credentials.
The firm’s wealth management division alone consists of more than a dozen investment professionals including 13 certified financial analysts (CFA), four certified financial planners (CFP), and five chartered investment counselors.
Segall Bryant & Hamill Brief Background
SBH was founded in 1994. The firm is principally owned by a number of its own employees as well as affiliates of Thoma Bravo, LLC, an SEC-registered investment advisor.
SBH is headquartered in Chicago. It also manages offices in Denver, Colorado; Naples, Florida; Chesterfield, Missouri; and Ardmore, Pennsylvania.
Some SBH employees may sell or recommend certain securities as registered representatives of Foreside Fund Services. They may earn commissions through these business practices. Nonetheless, SBH has a fiduciary duty and is legally obligated to work in your best interests at all times.
Segall Bryant & Hamill Investing Strategy
When it comes to building and managing your portfolio, SBH may utilize a number of investing strategies based on several factors such as your risk appetite and investment goals. Your portfolio may be constructed with equities, fixed income, mutual funds, alternative investments or a mix of all.
SBH considers a broad pool of the securities universe when building your portfolio. For instance, its equity portfolios can be built with small, mid or large-cap stocks.
Capital Strategies Investment Group, LLC
Capital Strategies Investment Group (CSIG) has more than $13 billion in assets under management. Although it works with institutional clients and large retirement plans, the firm does extend its private wealth practice to high-networth individuals and families.
These services can touch upon a number of factors including retirement planning, trust and estate planning, and legacy evaluation.
CSIG doesn’t require a minimum initial investment. But be aware that all of its current individual clients fall in the scope of high-networth individuals. That level roughly begins at $1 million.
Capital Strategies Investment Group Background
CSIG was founded in 2009 by Will Woodall, Barbara Best and Nancy Rizzuto. The firm’s leadership features three chartered financial analysts (CFAs), two accredited investment finducairies (AIFs) and one certified private wealth advisor (CPWA).
Capital Strategies Investment Group Investment Strategy
When it comes to investment advice through its private wealth program, CSIG aims to develop a long-term plan for you, your family and even the next generation. It plans to meet this goal by devising a custom portfolio tailored to your individual risk appetite, restraints and needs. Based on these and other factors, your portfolio may invest in the following.
- No-load mutual funds
- Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
- Collective trusts
- Limited partnerships
- Cash equivalents
- Fixed income
- Equity securities
The firm focuses on long-term investments and places diversification above all. According to official documents filed with the SEC, the firm relies on a long-term investment philosophy that hinges on a diversified portfolio to net the best return based on a client's risk tolerance.
DiMeo Schneider & Associates, L.L.C.
Unlike most of the firms on our list, DiMeo Schneider & Associates, L.L.C. serves ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families including company executives. It also extends its services to institutional clients, large retirement plan sponsors, corporations, trusts and estates.
The leadership of this Chicago-based firm features 11 certified financial planners (CFPs), three chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one certified public accountant (CPA), five certified investment management analysts (CIMAs), and one chartered alternative investment analysts (CAIA).
Minimum account sizes depend on the type of private client and services deployed. But annual fees for investment advisory services can range from 0.02% to 1.50% of assets under management.
DiMeo Schneider & Associates, L.L.C. Background
DSA was established in 1995 when Bob DiMeo and Bill Schneider directed Kidder Peabody’s investment consulting firm in the Midwest into a new venture. Today, the firm boasts nearly 100 employees, including 40 consultants and 30 performance and research analysts.
The firm deploys the same analytical tools it does for institutional clients as it does for its private clients which includes individuals, families and related investments such as trusts. According to the firm's website, it advises prominent families, including some on the Forbes 400 list.
When receiving financial consulting from the firm, private clients can expect the following.
- Family legacy planning
- Cash-flow projection
- Tax-efficiency analysis
- Asset allocation studies
- Investment manager/fund search
- Fee analysis and negotiation
DiMeo Schneider & Associates, L.L.C. Investment Strategy
DSA advises its clients on investment management by recommending independent investment managers from those that are in its database and deemed appropriate based on the client's needs and goals. The firm may also recommend mutual funds and other investments such as venture capital funds if it’s deemed right for your risk appetite and financial needs.
Brownson, Rehmus & Foxworth, Inc.
Brownson, Rehmus & Foxworth, Inc. is a fee-only advisory firm with more than $42 million in assets under management (AUM). The firm currently employs at least 49 investment advisers. Collectively, the staff boasts 16 certified financial planners (CFPs), five chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one chartered alternative investment advisor (CAIA), one fund research manager (FRM) and three certified public accountants (CPAs).
The firm offers investment advice, tax planning, estate planning, charitable giving, and debt management. The company can also help clients with major purchases and life changes like marriage, children or divorce.
Brownson, Rehmus & Foxworth, Inc. Background
Brownson, Rehmus & Foxworth, Inc. was founded in 1969. The firm is employee-owned by 10 of its active principles. Beyond the firm’s Chicago office, it operates branches in San Francisco, Atlanta and New York.
All of the firm’s individual clients are high-net-worth individuals. The account minimum depends on the investment advisor. But keep in mind that the firm’s minimum fees can range from $15,000 to $200,000.
Brownson, Rehmus & Foxworth, Inc. Investing Strategy
Brownson, Rehmus & Foxworth aims to develop investment strategies based on its client’s personal situations. It generally focuses on long-term investing and highly diversified portfolios. It also generally steers clear from active investing that tries to beat the market. In addition, the firm seeks to allocate your assets into managers with small turnover. It also utilizes real estate and alternative investments as well as equity and fixed-income.
RMB Capital Management
RMB Capital Management collects fees based on its investment services, but different programs do have different rates, which the firm acknowledges can create conflicts of interest. Still, the firm is bound by fiduciary duty to act in the client’s best interest.
The firm has 86 investment advisors on staff throughout the country. Notably, its staff has an impressive list of financial certifications. That includes 29 certified financial planners (CFPs), 31 chartered financial analysts (CFAs), nine certified public accountants (CPAs), four certified public wealth advisors (CPWAs), two certified plan fiduciary advisors (CPFAs) and two chartered institute of management accountants (CIMAs).
RMB has a roughly even split of individual and high-net-worth individual accounts. The firm also services investment companies, pooled investment vehicles, pension plans and charitable organizations, among other entities. A minimum investment of $1 million is required.
RMB Capital Management Background
RMB Capital Management was founded in 2005. The firm’s principal owners are Richard M. Burridge, Frederick Paulman, and Walter H. Clark, all of whom work at the firm. Burridge is the CEO and co-chief investment officer, Paulman is the president and Clark is the chief operating officer. The firm has satellite offices in Skaneateles, New York; Rochester, New York; Irvine, California; Oak Brook Terrace, Illinois; and Atlanta, Georgia to name a few.
Services offered by the firm include retirement analysis, compensation and benefits, estate planning, asset allocation, tax planning, insurance analysis, education funding and charitable giving strategy. It also offers services to employers and institutional clients relating to asset management.
RMB Capital Management Investing Strategy
RMB Capital Management says its advisors are “custodians of our clients’ trust.” The firm starts a client-advisor relationship by developing a personal, individualized plan for each client. It takes into consideration a client’s goals, life situation, personal relationships and other concerns. From there, it puts together a holistic plan focused on long-term growth.
The firm has a variety of portfolios for clients to consider. These include:
- Taxable fixed income
- Tax-exempt fixed income
- Core equity
- Dividend growth
- Special situations
- Strategic fixed income
Assets used in client portfolios could include stocks, hedge funds and real estate.
Gresham Partners, LLC
Gresham Partners has accumulated more than $6 billion in assets under management (AUM). The firm currently employs 17 investment advisors, according to recent documents it filed with the SEC.
These professionals advise high-net-worth individuals as well as their related retirement plans, trusts, estates and family offices. According to SEC documents, the firm’s entire private or individual client base consists of high-net-worth investors.
But due to the firm’s fee structure, clients with at least $25 million to invest may be better serviced by Gresham. The firm collects fees based on a percentage of assets under management. These annual fees dip to 0.30% for those with more than $50 million in their accounts.
Gresham Partners Background
Gresham Partners began doing business in 1997. Today, Gresham is wholly owned by more than a dozen principals. On its associates team, Steve Czocher, manager of family office services, is the only certified financial planner (CFP). He is also a chartered financial analysts (CFA).
Gresham Partners begins its investment advisory services by having several meetings with clients to velop a proper strategy around topics like asset allocations. It considers factors like a client’s risk appetite, net worth, philanthropic goals, liquidity requirements and more.
It then seeks a proper investment manager and evaluates it by gaging the manager’s investment approach among other points. 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.
Savant Capital, LLC
Savant Capital, LLC currently holds more than $5 billion in assets under management (AUM). According to SEC documents, the firm serves about as many high-networth individuals as they do clients who fall outside that pool. The firm also extends services to businesses, pension-sharing plans and charitable organizations.
The firm aims to provide holistic financial planning through what it calls a financial roadmap. Based on your situation, it may entail money management around periods such as marriage, childbearing and retiring. It would also help you build an investment portfolio based on your needs.
Savant does not have a set minimum initial investment to open an account. However, the firm currently charges a minimum annual fee of $5,000 for wealth management services program clients. And if your account falls below $500,000, you’d pay a higher percentage annual-based fee than the 1.00% maximum for other clients.
Savant Capital, LLC Background
The firm first opened its doors in 1986 as the Savant Planning Group. It began offering investment advisory services in 1993.
Today, it stands as a fee-only investment management firm. Therefore, Saviant charges fees for its own investment advisory services based on a percentage of your assets under management. It doesn’t earn commissions or other sources of revenue from outside firms for the recommendation of certain investments or securities.
When you work with Savant out of its Illinois base, you’d have access to wide range of professionals. These include certified financial planners (CFPs), certified public accountants, certified divorce financial analysts (CDFA), accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs) and more.
Savant Capital, LLC Investing Strategy
Savant aims to help clients build and rebuild investment portfolios that focus on the long term and aim for maximum returns with managed risk.
The firm has developed several proprietary resources to help meet this goal. An example is the Ideal Futures Portfolio. It constructs this for individual clients based on a review of current portfolios or it starts from scratch. Then, it utilizes its Evidence-Based Investing (EBI) approach to determine which investments are more likely to succeed and which may draw unnecessary risk. Afterward, it develops your Ideal Futures Portfolio. The firm continuously monitors this portfolio and systematically rebalances the investments, while also managing tax liability.
According to its website, the firm’s investment philosophy revolves around the following points:
- Responsibilities of a fiduciary
- Evidence-based investing
- Investment Maxims
- The Ideal Futures Portfolio
Zacks Investment Management, Inc.
Zacks Investment Management, Inc. is based in Chicago. The fee-only firm has more than $4.2 billion in assets under management and 11 advisors on staff. Two staff members hold the chartered financial analyst (CFA) distinction.
The firm’s biggest group of clients are individuals, though it also has high-net-worth individuals as clients. It also serves banks, investment companies, pension plans, government entities and other investment companies. The firm requires a minimum investment of $500,000.
Zacks Investment Management, Inc. Background
Zacks Investment Management (ZIM) was founded in 1992 by Ben Zacks. Previously, Ben Zacks co-founded Zacks Investment Research (ZIR) in 1978. ZIR still wholly owns ZIM. Ben Zacks and Mitch Zacks own ZIR. Both still work at the firm as principals and senior portfolio managers.
Services the firm offers include financial planning, asset allocation and investing. It uses its parent company, Zacks Investment Research, as a resource. The firm also has a regularly updated blog where its principals offer their thoughts on the stock market and the world of investing.
Zacks Investment Management, Inc. Investing Strategy
Zacks Investment Management operates under a simple principle: Buying stocks and bonds will help clients build value, whereas other investments tend to dilute the value of a client’s portfolio. The firm takes asset allocation seriously and wants to build portfolios that are going to actually help clients grow their net worth.
There are five core portfolio strategies offered by the firm:
- Mid cap core
- Small cap core
- Dividend strategy
- Focus growth
- All cap core
If you want to expand your search for the top financial advisor in Illinois, you can use our advisor matching platform. It connects you with up to three advisors in your area based on your answers to a few questions. You can then review their profiles and set up interviews before working with one.