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Mesirow Financial Investment Management Review

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Mesirow Financial Investment Management, Inc.

Recognized as one of the Best Places to Work for Financial Advisers in 2020 by InvestmentNews, Mesirow Financial Investment Management, Inc. has distinguished itself as a competitive independent firm since the early 1900s. (MFIM) is one of Chicago-based Mesirow Financial Holdings, Inc.’s businesses. Through its parent corporation, MFIM is affiliated with Mesirow Advanced Strategies Inc, Mesirow Financial Private Equity Advisors, Inc. and Mesirow Financial, Inc. MFIM also goes by Mesirow Asset Management Inc. In 2016, the corporation acquired Fiduciary Management Associates, Inc. and joined its insurance business with Alliant Insurance.

In its most recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), MFIM reported having more than $26 billion in assets under management. Roughly $9 billion of this amount belongs to individual clients. The bulk - roughly $19 billion - of the firm’s business is with institutional and corporate clients. The firm appears on SmartAsset's lists for top financial advisor firms in Illinois and Chicago.

Mesirow Financial Investment Management Background

The firm was founded in 1986, though the parent company goes back to 1937. It has offices in California, Connecticut, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas and Washington - as well as home base Illinois. It also has offices in London and Hong Kong.

According to SEC data, of MFIM’s 189 employees, 93 are investment advisors, 77 are broker-dealer representatives and 31 are insurance agents. This means that some advisors may have dual or multiple roles, which may present potential conflicts of interest that they are obligated to disclose.

Mesirow Financial Investment Management Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Most individual clients at MFIM do not have a high net worth. They number 11,851, according to SEC data, while there are only three high-net-worth clients. The firm’s Wealth Advisors and Retirement Planning and Advisory division also serves corporations, other businesses,  pension and profit-sharing plans, non-qualified plans, state and municipal government entities and charitable organizations. 

The firm does not specify a minimum for portfolio management services, though it does have a minimum annual fee of $4,000, which it may choose to waive. One of its programs, Micro Cap Strategy, requires a minimum of $250,000, which it may waive. The private funds it advises and/or manages have minimum investments that range from $25,000 to $50 million.

Services Offered by Mesirow Financial Investment Management

Through its Wealth Advisors unit, MFIM provides customized investment management and financial planning to individuals. This unit also manages a discretionary micro cap strategy and a socially conscious strategy that it calls Impact Management. Additionally, it serves as an investment manager to affiliated private funds. 

Mesirow Financial Investment Management Investing Philosophy

The firm uses quantitative and qualitative measures to evaluate securities and the performance of portfolios. Generally, it implements asset allocations using mutual funds, equities, fixed income products and alternative investments. 

Mesirow Financial Investment Management Fees

Management fees are typically an annual 1% of assets under management or advisement, though the percentage may vary, depending on account size, complexity of financial planning services and other factors. Alternately, fees can be a negotiated flat amount. As noted earlier, the minimum annual fee is $4,000. Private fund fees and other fees will be in offering and other relevant documents. According to a 2018 study of 1,500 firms by RIA in a Box, the average financial advisor investment advisory fee is 0.95% of AUM. 

*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount.
Estimated Investment Management Fees at Mesirow Financial
Your Assets Mesirow Financial Fee Amount
$500K $5,000
$1MM $10,000
$5MM $50,000
$10MM $100,000

What to Watch Out For

In its most recent SEC filings, MFIM had no disclosures of legal or disciplinary actions to report. Through its parent corporation, MFIM is affiliated with companies that sell financial products, including mutual funds and insurance products.

These relationships can present potential conflicts of interest, just as dual or multiple roles of advisors can. When receiving recommendations, be sure you understand what they are based on and whether and how the advisor and firm may benefit from your following them. As a fiduciary registered with the SEC, the firm is obligated to tell you.

Opening an Account with Mesirow Financial Investment Management

You'll have multiple options for setting up an account with Mesirow Financial. You can either visit the firm's corporate headquarters in Chicago, set up an appointment with an advisor by calling the Chicago office or visit or contact any of the firm's other offices. You can reach Mesirow Financial at (312) 595-6000.

All information was accurate as of the writing of this article. 

Tips for Finding the Right Financial Advisor 

  • Want an advisor who makes a living only from providing financial guidance? Then you need what’s called in the industry a fee-only advisor. To find one near you, use SmartAsset’s free matching tool. After answering questions about your goals and preferences, you’ll be matched with up to three advisors vetted by us.
  • Ask prospective advisors how many times a year you’ll go over your finances together. The right answer depends on your needs and expectations. But once or twice a year should be the minimum. Here are some important questions to ask a financial advisor.

How Many Years $1 Million Lasts in Retirement

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights places where $1 million will last the longest in retirement. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any city to learn about the cost of living in retirement for that location.

Least
Most
Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology To determine how long a $1 million nest egg would cover retirement costs in cities across America, we analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors. We then applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research to adjust those national average spending levels based on the costs of each expense category (housing, food, healthcare, utilities, transportation and other) in each city. Using this data, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%. This reflects the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. Then, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would cover retirement expenses in each of the cities in our study. Cities where $1 million lasted the longest ranked the highest in the study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research