Cara Esser, CFA

Senior Investment Research Analyst

Retirement Planning and Advisory


Cara Esser is a senior investment research analyst and investment committee member in Mesirow Financial’s Retirement Planning and Advisory group. Her quantitative and qualitative due diligence analysis skills, combined with her investment consulting expertise, helps qualified plan sponsors build and maintain a sound fiduciary process.

Cara has more than 15 years of financial services experience. Prior to joining Mesirow Financial in 2017, she served as an associate director, manager research at Morningstar, Inc., where she performed due diligence on fixed-income mutual funds across a range of strategies including core bond, high-yield bond, world bond, mortgage and securitized assets, and unconstrained bond. During her tenure with Morningstar, she also served as senior analyst, fixed income manager research, where she oversaw Morningstar’s closed-end fund research. Before that, she served as a financial analyst at the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII).

Cara is a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Chicago. She earned a BS in business administration and finance from the University of Missouri and an MBA from DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business.