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William Blair Overview

Chicago, IL
1001 to 5000 employees
Company - Private
Investment Banking & Asset Management
$1 to $2 billion (USD) per year

Mission: Empower Colleagues. Deliver Client Success. Engage in Our Communities.

At William Blair, serving our clients begins with the capabilities and collaboration of our teams - making our employees our most important asset. We believe that when we create an ... Read more

William Blair – Why Work With Us?


Empower Colleagues. Deliver Client Success. Engage in Our Communities. 

Serving our clients starts with the capabilities and collaboration of our teams - making our employees our most important asset. When we create an environment where employees perform at their best, our delivery for clients will be the best it can be. As a firm, we're committed to the places in which we live and work, engaging with local communities all over the world.


Be the premier global boutique.
We strive to attract and retain the best people. As we do, we embrace skills and perspectives from around the globe – and welcome new ideas. This helps us deliver the tailored, thoughtful work our clients have known us for.


Our values articulate who William Blair is today - and where we want to be tomorrow. They help us stay true to our heritage while positioning us to innovate and find new ways to deliver exceptional results.


Honor our commitments while always upholding the highest ethical standards.
Client Focus
Driven to provide exceptional service and outcomes.
Find joy in what we do, seek balanced lives and celebrate the successes of our clients, teams, and each other.
Actively embrace diversity of thought, opinion, and background.
Set the highest bar for quality in all our pursuits.
Anticipate new opportunities, embrace change, and adapt.
Promote organizational, team and individual initiative.
Be leaders, investing together in the enduring success of our colleagues, clients, and communities.

Edgar D. Jannotta (Chairman Emeritus), E. David Coolidge, III (Vice Chairman), John Ettelson (President and CEO)

A History of Client Success

When William McCormick Blair and Francis Bonner opened their investment banking firm on January 8, 1935, the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression were still taking their toll. Across the country, the number of investment firms had decreased from 600 in 1929 to just 200 in 1935.

Amid this uncertainty, William Blair set out to build an investment firm that could help Chicago and the Midwest rebuild from the Great Depression by providing financing for the region’s most promising growth-oriented companies.

He sought to help restore investors’ confidence in financial institutions by creating a firm that was steadfastly and singularly focused on its clients’ success. “When our clients succeed, the firm’s success will follow,” Mr. Blair would say.

His would be a conservatively financed firm that stood for honest dealings, sound corporate advice, unbiased investment recommendations, and civic responsibility. His vision demanded that the firm recommend only investments that it could vouch for based on diligent research.

These uncompromising values and standards served investors and issuers well in the 1930s, and they continue to do so today. Our founder’s vision for providing unbiased investment advice and financing solutions now extends to investors, companies, and organizations across the world. Today we are a global investment banking and asset management firm based in Chicago with offices on five continents.

Throughout our history we have remained independent and employee-owned. This independence and the stability of our strong balance sheet and diversified business model allow us to put our clients first and foremost.

By building enduring relationships with our clients, we have helped institutional and private investors achieve their objectives and financed the growth of premier companies. We provide expertise and solutions to meet our clients’ evolving needs while remaining guided by our founder’s vision and values.


Community Impact

We are committed to being a long-term partner to the communities in which we live and work. This is a legacy we inherited from our founder more than 80 years ago and proudly continue today. William Blair and its foundation provide financial support to hundreds of charities every year through its grants, sponsorships, and employee matching gifts program. We are also proud to support our signature Community Partners program, through which we provide meaningful financial support and volunteerism. 

In 2019, the firm and foundation supported more than 900 organizations through nearly 1,500 charitable grants. The total donated by the firm and foundation to invest in our communities was $2.9M. Our current Community Partners in Chicago are Chicago Children’s Choir, Golden Apple, and Greenwood Project. We expanded our program to all global offices for 2020-2021 and have 11 new Community Partners around the world.


Our people make us who we are.

At William Blair, we believe that great talent can come from anywhere and that diversity of skills, capabilities, perspectives, and experiences drives innovation and success.

If you seek fresh perspectives, anticipate the changing needs of clients and markets, and strive to stay ahead of the competition, we share your ambition.

We're proud to be different.

Unlike others, we're an independent partnership that is personally committed to our people and clients.

What sets us apart is the way we do it—our culture, our values, and our commitment to local communities.

William Blair Reviews

  • "Great Company"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Equity Research Associate in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Equity Research Associate in Chicago, IL

    I worked at William Blair full-time (More than 5 years)


    Strong culture with vast learning opportunities.


    No downsides come to mind.

See All 201 Reviews

William Blair Photos

William Blair photo of: Our offices in Chicago
William Blair photo of: Networking and supporting one another
William Blair photo of: Colleagues from our Women's Alliance Business Resource Group (BRG)
William Blair photo of: Great colleagues, great conversations
William Blair photo of: Working together at William Blair
William Blair photo of: Thinking up great new ideas
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William Blair Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview





    PWM Intern Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview


    I applied through college or university. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at William Blair.


    I applied through the Career Center at my college. I had a phone interview with a Wealth Advisor, after which I went through two other phone interviews. The entire process took 3 months.

    Interview Questions

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William Blair Awards & Accolades

  • 2019 Best Place to Work in Money Management, Pensions & Investments, 2019
  • 2019 Top Workplace, Chicago Tribune, 2019
  • Top 40 Wealth Managers, Barron's, 2018
  • No. 2 in Top-10 Rankings, Vault, 2018
  • Investment Bank of the Year, Mergers & Acquisitions Magazine, 2017
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Pledges & Certifications

Diversity Commitment

Has programs that support a diverse and inclusive workforce

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