William Blair Continues Investment Banking Growth With Addition of Managing Director in Chicago

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–William Blair, the premier global boutique with expertise in investment banking, investment management, and private wealth management, today announced the addition of Jim Conniff as a managing director in the firm’s investment banking group. Based in the firm’s Chicago office, Conniff joins the industrial growth products (IGP) team, bringing more than 25 years of experience focused on large industrial growth companies from a broad spectrum of specialized verticals, delivering advice and representation for clients on M&A and capital-raising assignments. Conniff also has extensive experience working with industrial clients owned by founders/entrepreneurs and private equity.

“I am excited to welcome Jim, a veteran investment banker with a respected background across a wide variety of industrial companies. Jim will provide a unique perspective and added expertise to the IGP group,” said Elliot Farkas, head of IGP for William Blair. “Jim’s experience will further elevate the senior leadership within our growing team, offering even more strategic insight for our clients, and providing an enhanced range of expertise.”

Conniff’s career spans more than two decades, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, corporate divestitures, fairness opinions, anti-raid/defense, growth equity and debt offerings, and strategic advisory assignments in the industrial sector. Working closely with corporate clients and private equity firms, Conniff’s experience covers the industrial products landscape, with particular focus on highly engineered products, specialized components, and systems. Conniff has held senior roles at Goldman Sachs and Robert W. Baird & Co. and most recently served as co-head of the industrials group at Lazard Middle Market LLC. Conniff received his B.S. with honors in finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Conniff’s addition further contributes to the firm’s rapid growth in investment banking. William Blair recently added four managing directors across sectors—Dan Polsky (New York) as co-head of syndicate in the equity capital markets group, Mike Nelson (Denver) in fintech, Neha Motwani and Rizwan Velji (New York) in life sciences—as well as Shantha Ozgen (New York) as a healthcare sector specialist in institutional sales.

William Blair’s IGP group provides solutions for growing, market-leading, and tech-enabled industrial businesses. The group’s team draws on deep expertise across a range of industrial-related subsectors, including building technologies, chemicals, diversified industrials, engineered components, industrial technology (including robotics and automation, machinery and equipment, motion and flow control, sensors and instrumentation, and energy and power), packaging, and specialty materials.

About William Blair Investment Banking

William Blair’s investment banking group enables corporations, financial sponsors, and owner/entrepreneurs around the world to achieve their growth, liquidity, and financing objectives. Drawing on the collective intellectual capital and deep sector expertise of a global team that reaches over 20 cities on four continents, the investment banking group brings a rigorous and innovative approach to corporate board advisory projects, mergers and acquisitions, and equity and debt financing. From 2016 to 2020, the team advised on more than $430 billion in completed transaction volume.

About William Blair

William Blair is the premier global boutique with expertise in investment banking, investment management, and private wealth management. We provide advisory services, strategies, and solutions to meet our clients’ evolving needs. As an independent and employee-owned firm, together with our strategic partners, we operate in more than 20 offices worldwide.*

*Includes strategic partnerships with Allier Capital, BDA Partners, and Poalim Capital Markets.


Tony Zimmer


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