Mr. John E. Messervey

Mr. John E. Messervey

CEO, National Family Business Council ; Family Business/Wealth Advisor

John Messervey is a family business/wealth advisor who counsels high performing families throughout the United States and overseas. Among the earliest family business/wealth consultants, Mr. Messervey serves as Founder and CEO of the National Family Business Council, Inc. a private consulting group and resource center headquartered in Lake Forest, Illinois. Over the years, John has resolved numerous complex issues including LEADERSHIP, STRATEGY, SUCCESSION, GROWTH & LIQUIDITY, NEXT GENERATION DEVELOPMENT, COMMUNICATION and MEDIATION.  John also advises on family office governance, philanthropy and related issues of earned/inherited wealth. He has consulted with more than 400 families throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia since 1980. He often guides families, owners and managers through difficult conversations and is known for his consultations with complex multi generation family challenges.


John is particularly known for guiding family members through the sale of their family business to outsiders or intrafamily.  Working closely with existing business advisors, John is often called upon to coach family members through a “once in a lifetime” family event—achieving liquidity and structuring an optimal and aligned wealth transaction. He is also called upon to quietly locate potential family businesses seeking a full or partial liquidity event.


John served as a founding board member of the Family Firm Institute (FFI) and also launched the first Family Business Study Group at the Menninger Management Institute. He is one of the most experienced advisors in the field of family business and wealth. Mr. Messervey has presented cases and topical discussions to a variety of groups including the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), the Menninger Management Institute, UBS, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan/Chase, Merrill Lynch, Northern Trust, Baird, William Blair and the Tokyo LTCB Research & Management Institute. John is a featured family business advisor having appeared on ABC, CBS, CNBC, CBS radio and NPR. He is frequently quoted in national publications including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Forbes, and Fortune. Mr. Messervey has a Master’s degree in Organization Behavior from the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University; he is an Economics graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. John has served as an advisor to four philanthropic boards in the fields of education, public policy, the arts and the environment.


John is an active outdoorsman.  When he is not hiking, climbing or cycling thorough the mountains, he might be found in a Caribbean scuba adventure with lifelong friends.  John has worked in or travelled to almost fifty countries across the globe.  A lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, he did attend -- with great joy, World Series Game 7 in 2016.