Mary Josephs

Founder and CEO

Mary is our Founder and CEO and a nationally recognized expert in ESOPs with more than 30 years of experience advising, structuring, and closing over 300 transactions for the ownership transition of middle-market companies.

Professional experience

Mary founded and built the ESOP group at Chicago’s LaSalle National Bank into the nation’s leading middle-market ESOP advisory team. Mary also co-founded and launched a leading ESOP Advisory practice for ABN AMRO LaSalle Corporate Finance. Upon LaSalle’s acquisition by Bank of America, Mary led the ESOP Solutions Group for all of Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, before going on to form her own advisory firm, Verit Advisors LLC.

During her career, Mary has continually held leadership positions throughout the ESOP community including: member of the ESOP Association’s Board of Directors, chair of their Advisory Committee, chair of their Finance Advisory Committee, and a lifetime membership on the ESOP Association’s Board of Governors. She has been a board member of the National Center for Employee Ownership and currently is an Advisory Board member for Employee Owned S Corporations of America (ESCA) and is a member of Rutgers University NJ/NY Center for Employee Ownership Advisory Board.

Mary has spoken at hundreds of conferences nationally, and frequently authors pieces on issues related to succession and liquidity alternatives for closely-held businesses, including ESOPs, ESOP financing, ESOP M&A, and other corporate finance solutions. She was also selected as one of the most influential women in mid-market M&A by Mergers & Acquisition magazine in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Named to  Chicago Crain’s list of Notable Entrepreneurs 2019 and Private Company Director 2019 Directors to Watch.


Board of Big Shoulders, member of the Economic Club of Chicago, board member of Hisco, Inc., board member of Manson Construction, board member of Performance Contracting Inc., ACG, ESCA, NCEO, The ESOP Association, and The International Women’s Forum, The Chicago Network, alumnus of Leadership Greater Chicago.


Bachelor of Arts in Economics and French from Marquette University; Master’s of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business; member of FINRA: Series 24, 7, 63 and 79.

Follow Mary’s regular articles on entrepreneurs’ exit strategies, ESOPs and M&A on FORBES.

senior advisors