Michelle Seitz, CFA, Partner, is the chief executive of William Blair Investment Management, the $62 billion money management operation of William Blair & Company. She is directly responsible for the institutional, mutual fund, and private wealth management businesses. She has been a member of William Blair’s executive committee since 2001 and is Chairman of the Board of Trustees and President of the William Blair Funds, a suite of funds encompassing 26 US open-end mutual funds and 8 offshore funds. Michelle has 27 years of investment experience and 16 years of executive leadership responsibility. She has led William Blair Investment Management for 12 years, transforming it from its regional, high net worth heritage into an internationally recognized global asset management firm with expertise in Non-US, Global, Emerging Markets, and US equity, as well as Multi-Asset and Alternatives strategies and US Fixed Income. Under Michelle’s leadership, assets under management have increase 5-fold from $12 billion to $62 billion, institutional assets up 22-fold from $2.3 billion to $54 billion, mutual funds up 6-fold from $2.5 billion to $15 billion, and assets invested outside the US up 70-fold from $500 million to $35 billion. IM’s total employee base has risen from 128 to 327, with growth of investment professionals from 55 to 111 and geographic expansion in London, Zurich, and Sydney. Michelle has successfully navigated the business through unprecedented growth and financial market crisis to its current record levels of performance, with 90% of institutional strategies outperforming their respective benchmarks over the past 10 years. William Blair has also been named as one of the best places to work in money management in 2012 and 2013 by Pensions & Investments.
Prior to assuming leadership of William Blair Investment Management in 2001, she led Private Wealth Management, which comprised two thirds of the asset management business at that time. Her previous experience includes senior portfolio management roles with Nationsbank in North Carolina. Michelle has a B.S. degree in Accounting from Indiana University, received her Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1990, and has her Series 7, 9, 10, 24, and 63 licenses.
Michelle serves on the board of the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) which is responsible for the oversight, administration, and finances of the FASB and GASB. She is a long-standing advisory board member of the US Institute, an association of asset management CEOs, and actively involved in the sister organization, The European Institute. She is an advisory board member of Indiana University’s Investment Management Academy in the Kelley School of Business. Michelle is a regular speaker at industry conferences and has guest lectured at the Kellogg School of Management. She has been profiled in in Forbes, Pensions & Investments, the Financial Times, the Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business, Investment Pensions Europe (IPE), and a business book, Investment Leadership, by James Ware.
An active civic participant, Michelle is a founding co-chair of The Chicago Council’s Women in Global Development Forum, a member of The Chicago Network, Young President’s Organization (YPO Chicago Chapter), The Economic Club of Chicago, and The Chicago Council on Global Affairs.