Mesirow Financial Promotes Three Execs

Mesirow Financial said Wednesday that it promoted three professional in the investment strategies group and made a hire. Chris O’Neill, who currently servies as chief investment officer and director of research, was made an MD. Jonathan Dues, who oversees business development and client relationships, was named a senior VP. Lavanya Batchu was also named a VP. And, Matthew Nowlin recently joined the firm as a relationship manager.


Mesirow Financial announced today that the Investment Strategies group has promoted three of its professionals and added a recent hire. The Investment Strategies group provides a variety of offerings to the defined contribution space, including third-party fiduciary and managed portfolio services, and has seen significant growth in the space over the past several years. Over the last year alone, nine retirement providers have successfully launched the Mesirow Financial Fiduciary Partnership Services, further fortifying Mesirow Financial’s position as the thought leaders of investment fiduciary solutions in the defined contribution industry.

Chris O’Neill, Ph.D., serves as chief investment officer and director of research, and has been promoted to managing director. O’Neill is the creator of the team’s exclusive Precision Alpha© process, which is the foundation for the team’s manager due diligence and selection process, as well as Investment Strategies’ retirement income initiative. He received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, magna cum laude, and his master’s and doctor of philosophy degrees from Cornell University. O’Neill has more than 20 years of experience in finance and scientific research, is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA©) Charterholder and holds Certified Financial Planner (CFP©), Financial Risk Manager (FRM©) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC©) designations.

Jonathon Dues, who oversees the business development and client relationship aspects of the team, has been promoted from vice president to senior vice president. He leads the team’s strategic growth initiatives with defined contribution providers, broker/dealers and third-party administrators. He received his bachelor’s degree from Hillsdale College.

Lavanya Batchu has been promoted from senior consultant to vice president. She provides extensive quantitative and qualitative fund research for institutional due diligence engagements and plan sponsor consulting relationships, and is a key contributor to the reporting process. Batchu received her bachelor’s degree from Nagarjuna University, her master’s degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and her master’s in business administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Matthew Nowlin recently joined the firm as a relationship manager. He focuses on growth opportunities with existing clients, as well as supporting business development efforts with defined contribution providers, broker/dealers and third-party administrators. Prior to joining Mesirow Financial, he served as an assistant vice president at Incapital LLC, where he focused on sales efforts in the fixed income and Registered Investment Advisor groups. Nowlin received his bachelor’s degree from Miami University.

The Investment Strategies team has grown significantly since its inception in 2006, when Michael Annin left his position as managing director at Ibbotson Associates with O’Neill and Dues to launch the business at Mesirow Financial. All joined Mesirow Financial for its entrepreneurial culture, independence, employee-ownership, diversification and strong capitalization.The Investment Strategies team at Mesirow Financial is an independent, third-party consultant that provides robust asset allocation strategies and manager selection to defined contribution providers, broker/dealers, insurance companies and mutual fund companies. The team is a leading provider of flexible fiduciary solutions to the defined contribution industry, including ERISA 3(21) and 3(38) services.

Mesirow Financial is a diversified financial services firm headquartered in Chicago. Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, the firm remains independent and employee-owned with approximately 1,200 employees globally. The firm is well capitalized and has been consistently profitable, with capital of $302 million, revenues totaling $510 million for fiscal 2011 and $61.7 billion in assets under management, of which $35.6 billion are in currency and commodities as of March 31, 2012. With expertise in investment management, global markets, insurance services and consulting, Mesirow Financial strives to meet the financial needs of institutions, public sector entities, corporations and individuals. For more information about Mesirow Financial, visit its website at