Mesirow, an independent, employee-owned financial services firm announced the appointment of Natalie A. Brown as CEO following a unanimous vote by the firm’s Board of Directors. Brown becomes the 6th CEO of Mesirow in its 85-year history and the first woman to serve in this role.
As part of this succession plan, Richard S. Price transitions from Chairman and CEO to the role of Executive Chairman. Over the course of 50 years with Mesirow, Richard has been a key driver of the firm’s vision and success, serving in prior years as President and Chief Operating Officer and President of Insurance Services. He has been a member of the Mesirow Board of Directors since its inception in 1987 and, as Executive Chairman, will remain actively involved in organizational strategy, civic and community engagement, and the firm’s focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.
“Natalie’s track record, depth of experience and excitement about the future make her the ideal leader to guide the firm’s continued growth while sustaining our prized culture,” said Price. “I look forward to continuing to partner with Natalie and the Board on our corporate strategy and to an active role in our firm’s longstanding commitment to corporate social responsibility.”
Brown joined Mesirow in 2018, most recently serving as the firm’s President. Prior, she was Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer. In recent years, Brown has advised the firm’s Board of Directors and businesses on financial, operational, and organizational strategy, playing a pivotal role in recent lift-in acquisitions, key senior hires and technological innovation. She has also acted as liaison between Mesirow business leaders and Corporate Services to drive strategic alignment with key firm initiatives.
“I am excited to assume this new role and build on the firm’s many decades of exceptional leadership,” said Brown. “Mesirow has successfully navigated market cycles over time by adhering to a traditionally disciplined and conservative approach. I am confident that this approach, combined with our differentiated capabilities; our community-minded culture; and our inclusive workplace will continue to set Mesirow apart as we serve our clients’ needs and our people as an employer of choice.”
In their new roles, Richard and Natalie will continue to work closely together, and with the Mesirow Board of Directors, in establishing firm vision and direction, investing in existing businesses, seeking strategic acquisitions and seeding new ventures. With no debt on its balance sheet and a broad set of capabilities, Mesirow is well positioned to offer clients broad, strategic diversification, risk mitigation, and the ability to grow through changing market cycles.
Brown is currently a member of the Mesirow Board of Directors and is deeply involved in the firm’s Employee Resource Groups and community engagement initiatives.
Before joining Mesirow, Brown, 51, spent 18 years at Nuveen, where she held senior accounting, finance, and investor relations roles. She spent the early part of her career in finance and accounting at Kraft Foods and KPMG. She has a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and a Master of Business Administration from University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.