William Blair & Company at a Glance


  • “Inclusive, collaborative culture with a good work/life balance,”
  • “Consistent client and senior banker interaction at the analyst level”
  • “Compensation”


  • “Long hours; tough first few years”
  • “Path to MD/partner level is somewhat unclear and seems frustratingly (and increasingly) long from the viewpoint of the associate/analyst”
  • “Associate-level talent is poor”

The Buzz

  • “The best middle market-only bank”
  • “Bow tie-wearing culture”
  • “Solid; good research”
  • “Never heard of them”

About William Blair & Company


Beyond Chicago

William Blair & Company is an employee-owned investment banking and asset management firm founded in 1935 and headquartered in Chicago. In total, it has 13 offices on five continents in cities such as Boston, Frankfurt, London, New York, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Sydney, and Zurich. Recently, it expanded its presence in Asia, taking an ownership stake in Business Development Asia, which has offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Seoul, and Tokyo. William Blair's investment banking unit focuses on the middle market, executing mergers and acquisitions, public equity offerings, private capital raises, special situations and restructuring, and general advisory projects. Cross-border transactions are a hallmark of William Blair's M&A practice; approximately 37.5 percent of the firm's M&A transactions during the first seven months of 2014 were cross-border. In 2012, the firm was named "Investment Bank of the Year" by Mergers & Acquisitions magazine, and in 2013, it was named the "Mid-Market Financial Advisor of the Year" by the Financial Times and mergermarket. In addition, William Blair regularly receives M&A and restructuring deal of the year honors, working for household-name clients such as Tumi, Pandora, Dunkin' Brands, and Caribou Coffee. For example, William Blair received "2013 North America M&A Deal of the Year" honors from M&A Atlas for advising Molex Inc. on its sale to Koch Industries for $7.2 billion. The firm is also known for its equity research unit, which was named the "Most Trusted Research" in Greenwich Associates' 2014 survey of small- and mid-cap portfolio managers. William Blair is led by its CEO, John Ettelson, and of the firm's more than 1,197 employees, approximately 175 are principals.

William Blair & Company

222 West Adams Street
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (312) 236-1600
Fax: (312) 368-9418


  • Employer Type: Private
  • President & CEO: John R. Ettelson
  • 2014 Employees: 1,197

Major Office Locations

  • Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Shanghai, China
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Boston, MA
  • New York, NY
  • Zurich, Switzerland
  • London, United Kingdom
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