Remembering William Hornell

It is with sadness and a heavy heart that we report the passing of Bill Hornell. Bill was many things, not least of which being a beloved managing director in Mesirow Financial’s Investment Banking group – smart, competitive, honest, and loyal, he was an innately intuitive man, both personally and professionally.

William J. Hornell died on November 2, 2019 from colon cancer. He was born in Jacksonville FL on July 21, 1955. Bill received a degree in Finance from Indiana University in 1977 and, following a stint as a banker in Louisville and after earning an MBA from Harvard Business School, moved to Chicago to begin what would become a 31-year career in investment banking in Chicago.

Bill joined Mesirow in June 1988 and quickly became instrumental in the growth of our Investment Banking group. He established Mesirow’s mergers and acquisitions advisory practice in the paper, plastics and packaging sector and ultimately grew Mesirow into one of the most active investment banks to the sector. 

The entire Mesirow family extends our deepest sympathies to his wife, Deb, his children, Laura, Lindsay and Matt and his grandchildren, Will and Addison. 

Bill was known for his generosity to charitable causes and for mentoring countless young professionals in his field. The family has established “The Bill Hornell Memorial Fund” to continue his legacy through contributions to healthcare and education organizations. Online contributions can be made to the Bill Hornell Memorial Fund; contributions in check form can be made to The Chicago Community Foundation (noting The Bill Hornell Memorial Fund in the memo line), 225 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60601.