Saying Goodbye to Bruce McLagan

Published: August 2019


We are saddened to share that one of our founders, Bruce McLagan, passed away Thursday, August 1, 2019.

Bruce was more than just an incredible leader—he was a financial services industry expert, exceptional consultant, and consummate gentleman. Very early on, Bruce recognized the need and value for analytic tools to improve business performance. He developed performance and reward before it was a recognized term in the retail and institutional brokerage businesses. Whether you were an analyst or a partner, Bruce always carved out time to help develop colleagues, while also teaching valuable professional and life lessons. On his last day, he expressed his gratitude for each person who “chose to cast his or her lot with us.”

Bruce always struck the perfect balance of being both professional and personal, which undoubtedly helped him build the business that we have today. The fact that all these years later, some of our long-time clients still unfailingly ask about him speaks volumes to the lasting impression he made. Many of our colleagues who have worked with Bruce over the years say he was probably the smartest person in a lot of rooms, but never once felt the need to prove this. Despite his immense professional achievements, Bruce was a humble man through and through, staying true to his midwestern values.

Bruce was born October 22, 1933 and was raised in Colorado. He lived a majority of his life in the Chicago suburbs with his wife, Jane, and three children, Douglas, Meg, and Charles. Bruce was a lover of the arts and regularly attended and financially supported the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. While he golfed, he always had a humorous remark about how unskilled he was at golf. Bruce was disciplined in all areas of his life. He had a goal to lose one pound each year for 30 years. While he did not need to do that as a tall, lean man, this was his way of keeping himself disciplined—he even ate a cup of soup and Jell-O for lunch at work every day as a part of this goal. This carried into his professional life as well.

Our teams at McLagan aim to continually honor Bruce’s work ethic and outlook in everything that we do. We believe that if you work hard and do the right thing, you will be rewarded. With this foundation, Bruce helped to build an incredible team that has stood the test of time for over 50 years. Please join us in honoring the life of Bruce McLagan, and let his memory live on not only through our firm’s name, but the values that go along with it.

And, one final note that we know Bruce would chuckle at, as a final reminder and tribute to the man that founded McLagan, straight from the man himself, “…for those who ask, it’s pronounced McLagan like wagon.”

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