Press Release

Mesirow’s Leo Harmon recognized as one of Crain’s 2023 Notable Leaders in DEI

  • Leo Harmon is Senior Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer in Mesirow Equity Management
  • Crain’s Notable Leaders in DEI recognizes senior leaders who make significant and recent contributions to advancing equality in the workplace
  • Harmon is the immediate past Chair and current head of the nominating committee for the Mesirow DEI Council, which leads Mesirow’s DEI efforts

CHICAGO, October 3, 2023 – Mesirow, an independent, employee-owned financial services firm, today announced Leo Harmon, Senior Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of Mesirow Equity Management (“MEM”), was named one of Crain’s Chicago Business’s 2023 Notable Leaders in DEI1. Crain’s Chicago Business Notable Leaders in DEI recognizes best-in-class executives across a range of industries making a significant contribution to advancing equality in their workplace, in the greater Chicago community, and demonstrating leadership in community engagement initiatives.

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

As Chief Investment Officer of MEM, Harmon oversees all aspects of the investment process, is a Portfolio Manager for the Small Cap and SMID Cap strategies and implements portfolio strategy within the Financial Services sector. He has been integral to the growth of business operations, growing assets from $400M to $2B at their peak. Leo is also the immediate past Chair and current head of the nominating committee for the Mesirow DEI Council. As the inaugural Chairperson, Leo drove the strategic direction of the Council and developed a more deliberate and disciplined methodology. This work has resulted in employees citing DEI as one of Mesirow’s key strengths.

Leo is a member of the National Association of Securities Professionals, the Economic Club of Chicago, and the CFA Society of Chicago where he was appointed to the board of directors and served as Chairman. Leo has served as Chairman on the External Investment Committee for the Office of the Illinois State Treasurer. He facilitates the firm’s curriculum in the Big Shoulders Fund’s “Stock Market Program,” which provides education on the concepts of investing to eighth grade students in the neediest areas of inner-city Chicago. He is also a Board member for Thrive Scholars-Chicago Region and serves on the Board of Trustees for Bradley University.

Leo earned a Bachelor of Science in finance from Bradley University and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in finance from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He is a CFA® charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute.

About Mesirow 

Mesirow is an independent, employee-owned financial services firm founded in 1937. Headquartered in Chicago, with offices 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’s2.

Mesirow refers to Mesirow Financial Holdings, Inc. and its divisions, subsidiaries and affiliates. The Mesirow name and logo are registered service marks of Mesirow Financial Holdings, Inc., © 2023, Mesirow Financial Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved. Investment management services provided through Mesirow Financial Investment Management, Inc., Mesirow Institutional Investment Management, Inc. and Mesirow Financial Private Equity Advisors, Inc., all SEC-registered investment advisor, a CFTC registered commodity trading advisors and member of the NFA, or Mesirow Financial International UK, Ltd. (“MFIUK”), authorized and regulated by the FCA, depending on the jurisdiction.

1. 2023 Crain’s Notable Leaders in DEI (received October 2023), profile top Chicago area leaders that are demonstrating a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. To qualify, individuals must be nominated and work full-time or hybrid from a Chicago area office. Criteria considered includes: executives in a senior leadership role, have 10 years of experience in the field, make significant and recent (with the last two years) contributions to advancing equality within the workplace and/or within the Chicago area; demonstrate leadership in professional organizations and civic/community initiatives. 

2. Award recognition disclosures:

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