Director - Advanced Technologies

Areas of Interest:

Information Technology


Chicago, Illinois

Date Posted:


Job ID:


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Company Description:

William Blair is a premier global boutique with expertise in investment banking, investment management, and private wealth management. We are committed to building enduring relationships with our clients and providing expertise and solutions to meet their evolving needs. An independent and employee-owned firm, William Blair is headquartered in Chicago and, together with its strategic partners, operates in more than 20 offices worldwide.

Job Summary & Responsibilities:

Lead new effort to better support the data analysis needs as well as help to set strategic direction around the firm’s use of advanced technologies. 

Key responsibilities include:

  • Assist firm’s business units (Investment Banking, Sales & Trading, Private Wealth Management, and Institutional Investment Management) with setting the strategic direction around newer technologies, with a primary emphasis on data analysis, machine learning, and artificial intelligence
  • Coach the business units on the application of newer technologies to help automate and improve their processes
  • Create a better understanding of how to apply innovation and agile methods to our business processes
  • Develop use cases, conduct POC engagements, and evaluate tools that have the potential to significantly impact business unit’s capabilities
  • Perform ad hoc analysis and achieve results in the effective use of data analysis, machine learning, and artificial intelligence leading to the creation of a firmwide capability in this discipline
  • Identify new external vendors that will increase our capabilities around data analysis, machine learning, and artificial intelligence
  • Evaluate build vs. buy decisions around new tools
  • Participate in the routine reporting and analysis of strategic initiatives [and other performance aspects] to business users as well as upper management


  • Demonstrated experience as a leader in a data science team or innovation function
  • 8+ years in a data analysis role with a broad working knowledge of equity capital markets and financial statistics.
  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree a plus, either in (1) Business/Finance with a secondary focus in Data Science/Math or (2) Computer Science or similar discipline with a Business/Finance minor.
  • Candidates without those specific degrees but have 7 years in a development / analyst role using development technologies and techniques in a financial services environment would also be considered.
  • The applicant should have demonstrated experience using the following technologies:
    • R required; Matlab a plus
    • Tableau or other BI tools
    • Excel
    • Experience using database software is preferred; SQL is a plus
    • Working knowledge of Advanced Excel/VBA
  • Must be able to manage and prioritize requests for information from multiple sources
  • Extreme detail orientation and commitment to meeting identified quality standards
  • Delivers clear, effective communication and takes responsibility for understanding others
  • Experience working with technology professionals and ability to communicate technology requirements concisely, yet thoroughly
  • Commits to satisfying internal customers
  • Ability to work independently, self-motivate, and drive projects to conclusion
  • The candidate must have a positive attitude. Interpersonal and communication skills are essential for cross-collaboration with many different teams across the organization.

As a William Blair associate, you’ll enjoy Medical, Dental, Life and AD&D Insurance, along with a generous profit sharing program that includes a 401K plan in addition to a firm contribution. We also offer three weeks of vacation, flexible spending accounts, a business casual dress code, a 75% discounted commissions on trades, and discounts at restaurants, museums, parks and retailers.

William Blair is an equal opportunity employer. It complies with all laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in employment practice because of race, color, religion, creed, ancestry, marital status, gender, age, national origin, sexual orientation, unfavorable discharge from the military service or on the basis of a physical or mental disability that is unrelated to the employee's ability to perform the duties of the job applied for.

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