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Mr. John E. Messervey

Private Advisor to America’s Leading Families

John Messervey is a family business/wealth advisor who counsels high performing families throughout the United States and overseas. Among the earliest family business consultants, Mr. Messervey serves as Founder and CEO of the National Family Business Council, Inc. a private consulting group and resource center headquartered in Lake Forest, Illinois. Over the years, John has resolved numerous complex issues including LEADERSHIP, STRATEGY, SUCCESSION, GROWTH & LIQUIDITY, NEXT GENERATION DEVELOPMENT, COMMUNICATION and MEDIATION.  John also advises on family office governance, philanthropy and related issues of earned/inherited wealth. He has consulted with more than 400 families throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia since 1980. He often guides families, owners and managers through difficult conversations and is known for his consultations with complex multi generation family challenges.

John is particularly known for guiding family members through the sale of their family business to outsiders or intrafamily.  Working closely with existing business advisors, John is often called upon to coach family members through a “once in a lifetime” family event—achieving liquidity and structuring an optimal and aligned wealth transaction. He is also called upon to quietly locate potential family businesses seeking a full or partial liquidity event.

John served as a founding board member of the Family Firm Institute (FFI) and also launched the first Family Business Study Group at the Menninger Management Institute. He is one of the most experienced advisors in the field of family business. Mr. Messervey has presented cases and topical discussions to a variety of groups including UBS, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan/Chase, Merrill Lynch, Northern Trust, Baird, William Blair and the Tokyo LTCB Research & Management Institute. John is a featured family business advisor having appeared on ABC, CBS, CNBC, CBS radio and NPR. He is frequently quoted in national publications including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Forbes, and Fortune. Mr. Messervey has a Master’s degree in Organization Behavior from the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University; he is an Economics graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. John has served as an advisor to four philanthropic boards in the fields of education, public policy, the arts and the environment.

John is an active outdoorsman.  When he is not hiking, climbing or cycling thorough the mountains, he might be found in a Caribbean scuba adventure with lifelong friends.  John has worked in or travelled to almost fifty countries across the globe.  A lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, he did attend — with great joy, World Series Game 7 in 2016.

The National Family Business Council is a private research and consulting group quietly serving family businesses and high wealth families worldwide. NFBC applies a breadth of resources to resolve family issues that directly affect the creation and continuity of wealth. The Council also develops strategies for successful management, succession and growth of closely held businesses. NFBC has assembled a client resource list that is broad and deep; some of the finest and most experienced resources in the field are readily available to clients of NFBC. These clients are among America’s leading families; including winners of the Horatio Alger Award, America’s Best Places to Work, multiple members of the Forbes 400, the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Business Award and the Inc. Magazine’s 500 Fastest Growing Businesses in the U. S. The Council provides on-going family consultations, mediation, coaching and mentoring of the succeeding generations, facilitation of family educational gatherings/retreats.  and guidance for the sale of family owned businesses. NFBC is at the forefront in facilitating Harvard’s internationally recognized Leading Change vision/mission/values program for families in business.

Each year, NFBC sponsors the widely acclaimed, invitation only FEW (family/enterprise/wealth) Conference in Chicago. FEW is the highest rated conference in the field of family wealth.