Research Associate - Sustainability/ESG Generalist (Buy-Side)

Chicago, Illinois
Competitive to market rate
Mar 14, 2023
Apr 13, 2023
Industry Sector
Asset Management
Employment Type
Full Time



William Blair’s U.S. Growth & Core research team is responsible for identifying quality companies that will generate above-average results for clients over time with generally less risk than the market. The team identifies these companies through a combination of rigorous fundamental research and systematic inputs, following a disciplined process that emphasizes team collaboration.


The qualified candidate will support the U.S. Growth & Core team’s continued integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) analysis into the research process across all portfolios.  In addition, this position will help support the U.S. Sustainability strategy.

  • Develop detailed knowledge of assigned industry and companies and keep abreast of related market developments and news.
  • Gather and analyze research data related to targeted industry and companies, and maintain accurate, current research databases. 
  • Conduct research analyses on targeted companies, including analysis of financial performance, competitive industry positioning, quality of company management, etc.
  • Analyze market sectors and trends and conduct financial and accounting statement analyses. 
  • Develop and maintain financial models for revenue and income forecasts, cash flow analysis, balance sheet and quarterly projections.
  • Prepare industry and company reports, presentations and exhibits to summarize research findings for Research teams.
  • Work alongside U.S. Research Analysts and Associates to help them understand critical ESG topics.  This includes:
    • assisting with the application of frameworks to sectors or companies to better understand the materiality of ESG issues, or taking a particularly important topic for a given company and performing a thorough qualitative and quantitative review of its potential impact on the fundamentals;
    • supporting all company engagement initiatives, including maintenance of our engagement records, background research on the critical issues before a specific engagement, and assist with tracking progress post engagements; and
    • other ESG research efforts on a company specific or broader basis, as needed.
  • Support the U.S. Sustainability Analyst in activities around integrating ESG analysis into our research process.  These activities include performing research on key ESG issues and presenting findings to the Research team, and other efforts that support the team’s ESG efforts.
  • Work with the U.S. Sustainability Analyst in support of the U.S. Sustainability Portfolio, including around execution, communication and marketing, effectiveness and authenticity of the strategy.  
  • Document and maintain information pertaining to analysis activities.
  • Ensure all work activities are in compliance with applicable rules, regulations, policies and procedures.
  • Additional responsibilities as requested.


  • Bachelor’s degree required, preferably in accounting, finance, environmental engineering or ecology.
  • Progress towards CFA preferred.
  • 4+ years of related work experience in investment research or financial services highly preferred.
  • Strong financial analysis and accounting statement analysis skills required.
  • Knowledge of data gathering and analysis best practices and methodologies.
  • Knowledge of investment concepts and products.
  • Candidate should have a strong interest in topics related to ESG, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and stakeholder value creation.
  • Strong conceptual and critical thinking skills.
  • Excellent quantitative reasoning, problem solving and analytical skills. 
  • Detail oriented and able to prioritize tasks. 
  • Able to exercise independent thought and judgment and adapt to new tasks with little notice. 
  • Capable of simplifying and summarizing complex information.
  • Ability to build relationships and collaborate with investment and research teams.
  • Delivers clear, effective verbal and written communication and takes responsibility for understanding others.
  • Responds to requests in a timely manner.
  • Delivers clear, effective communication and commits to understanding others. 
  • Proficient in Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint.

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.

EOE m/f/d/v

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