Press Release

Mesirow’s Ben Blakney Named to Savoy 2022 List of Most Influential Black Executives

  • Savoy honors an elite group of African American men and women for their executive and business leadership contributions each year 

CHICAGO, July 20, 2022 – Mesirow, an independent, employee-owned financial services firm, today announced Ben Blakney, President of Mesirow Institutional Real Estate Direct Investments (“IRED”), was named one of Savoy Magazine’s 2022 Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America. Savoy, one of the leading African American business and lifestyle magazines, published its definitive list of African American executives, influencers and achievers impacting corporate America in its summer issue. 

Savoy is proud to present the 2022 Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America. In this issue, we assembled an elite representation of African American men and women who have been recognized for their executive and business leadership in national and global-leading corporations,” said L.P. Green, II, Publisher of Savoy Magazine. “These innovative trailblazers have led efforts to foster growth for some of the country’s highest-performing companies throughout and beyond the US market.”

Ben has more than 30 years of investment industry experience as a senior executive in both the public and private sectors. He joined Mesirow in 2014 and today serves as a member of the Mesirow Board of Directors as well as the IRED Investment Committee. He also plays a key role as co-chair of the Mesirow Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council. 

“Our talented people are our greatest strength,” said Mesirow CEO Natalie Brown. “Ben exemplifies our firm’s commitment to serving clients through differentiated financial products, acting as a force for social good and sustaining our people-centric culture. We congratulate Ben on this well-deserved recognition as we celebrate his leadership and accomplishments." 

“I am honored to be recognized by Savoy and humbled for being included in the publication’s prestigious list of Black Executives,” said Blakney. “This recognition equally reflects Mesirow’s deep commitment to diverse thought and perspective as we make strategic decisions, serve our clients and engage in our communities.” 

Ben is an active member of the Pension Real Estate Association, the National Association of Securities Professionals and the Real Estate Executive Council and serves as a mentor with LINK Unlimited Scholars. Ben earned a Bachelor of Arts from Williams College and a Master in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

About Mesirow Institutional Real Estate Direct Investments

Mesirow Institutional Real Estate Direct Investments (“IRED”) is a proven team that invests in the multi-family housing sector across the top 25-30 markets within the US. Over time, the investment team has acquired, managed, repositioned and sold 34,000 multi-family units; equivalent to the average size of a publicly traded US REIT. The team looks for markets that exhibit: favorable demographic trends (population, migration and immigration growth); low unemployment rates and high job growth markets in comparison to national and regional averages; high barriers to entry for new supply, home ownership affordability (a large differential in the cost to own versus the cost to rent); extensive infrastructure in terms of freeways, ports and air service that leads to superior access for residents; and quality of life and destination areas. For more information, please visit:

About Mesirow 

Mesirow is an independent, employee-owned financial services firm founded in 1937. Headquartered in Chicago, with locations around the world, we serve clients through a personal, custom approach to reaching financial goals and acting as a force for social good. With capabilities spanning Global Investment Management, Capital Markets & Investment Banking, and Advisory Services, we invest in what matters: our clients, our communities and our culture. To learn more, visit and follow us on LinkedIn.

Mesirow was recently named one of the Best Places to Work in Chicago by Crain’s Chicago Business and one of the Top 100 RIA firms by Barron’s.

Mesirow Institutional Real Estate Direct (“IRED”) is a division of Mesirow Financial Investment Management, Inc., an SEC-registered investment advisor. Mesirow Financial refers to Mesirow Financial Holdings, Inc. and its divisions, subsidiaries and affiliates. The Mesirow Financial name and logo are registered service marks of Mesirow Financial Holdings, Inc., © 2022. All rights reserved. Nothing contained herein constitutes an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy an interest in any Mesirow Financial investment vehicle. Any offer can only be made to Qualified or “accredited” investors through the appropriate Offering Memorandum which contains important information concerning risk factors and other material aspects of the investment and should be read carefully before an investment decision is made. Mesirow Financial does not provide legal or tax advice.

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