Mary Josephs

Founder and CEO | Verit Advisors LLC

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.

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).

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 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Board member of Big Shoulders, Hisco, Inc., Performance Contracting, Inc, and Manson Construction. Member of ACG, ESCA, NCEO, The ESOP Association, The International Women’s Forum, The Chicago Network, and 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.


This session will dive deep into the tax and accounting attributes of an ESOP including examples and discussion on when the ESOP can be an attractive liquidity strategy for private businesses, More