William Blair at a Glance


  • “Great, team-oriented culture”
  • “The people I work with”
  • “Opportunities for promotion; great level of responsibility for junior members”


  • “Unpredictable hours and inconvenient travel times”
  • “We occasionally lose large mandates solely due to client perception regarding our transaction-size focus”
  • “Increasing bureaucracy”

The Buzz

  • “Top middle market sell-side bank”
  • “Sweatshop”
  • “Good research, and probably the best middle market firm”
  • “Regional”

About William Blair

William Blair is an independent and employee-owned global investment banking and asset management firm based in Chicago, with offices in 18 cities across four continents. William Blair's investment banking group enables corporations, financial sponsors, owner/entrepreneurs, and governments around the world to achieve their growth, liquidity, and financing objectives. Drawing on the collective intellectual capital and sector expertise of a global team, the investment banking group provides advice and services on corporate board advisory projects, mergers and acquisitions, and equity and debt financings. From 2011 to 2015, the team advised on more than $200 billion in completed transaction volume. During that same period, the firm was an underwriter on more than 20 percent of all U.S. initial public offerings and raised nearly $100 billion in public and private financing. 

In 2016, the firm was awarded "M&A Deal of the Year" by Buyouts magazine and named to Mergers & Acquisitions magazine list of "Most Influential Women in M&A." In addition, William Blair regularly receives M&A accolades. The firm also regularly works with household-name clients such as Google, Shake Shack, Whole Foods, and IBM. In 2015, William Blair received "M&A Deal of the Year," "Corporate and Strategic Acquisition of the Year," and "Cross-border Deal of the Year" from M&A Advisor; that same year, the firm received "Americas Investment Bank of the Year" and "Investment Bank of the Year" from M&A Atlas

The firm is also known for its equity research group, which was named the "Most Trusted Research" in Greenwich Associates' 2016 survey of small- and mid-cap portfolio managers. In the 2016 survey, William Blair ranked No. 1, No. 2, or No. 3 in 15 categories. William Blair is led by CEO John Ettelson, and of the firm's more than 1,480 employees, approximately 190 are principals.

William Blair

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


  • Employer Type: Private
  • President & CEO: John R. Ettelson
  • 2016 Employees: 1,480

Major Office Locations

  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Frankfurt, Germany
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New York, NY
  • San Francisco, CA
  • São Paulo, Brazil
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