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Meristem Advisors was founded on the principle that clients want and deserve to have deeper conversations with their municipal advisors. Meristem provides traditional bond financing services, but also is available on a consulting basis for financial planning, capital planning, budgeting and revenue forecasting. We can also help you evaluate and select different strategies for achieving your capital investment objectives, including sustainability goals, energy efficiency improvements, and community security. The hallmark of Meristem Advisors is clear, understandable, and actionable communication with clients and their governing boards.

Meristem Advisors is registered as a Municipal Advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”). 

Why "Meristem" Advisors?
Every organization has potential for growth in new ways. Meristem Advisors helps its clients respond to financial challenges with better tools and decision making strategies that enhance organizational effectiveness. Similarly, the meristem is the stem cell tissue in a tree that allows it to generate leaves, roots, and branches. Mr. Rachlin is an avid forager and tree enthusiast.
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James Rachlin
Founder and President

James ("Jamie") Rachlin is the founder and President of Meristem Advisors and was a public finance banker for 25 years. During this time he covered municipal issuers ranging from state issuers to local municipalities, including school, library, airport and other special purpose jurisdictions throughout the Midwest, focusing on Illinois and Indiana. In addition to dozens of local issuers, while at prior firms he served as banker to the Indianapolis Airport Authority, Chicago Park District, Cook County, Illinois, and Chicago City Colleges, among many others.

With a knack for financial analysis and debt structuring, and a particular passion for helping his clients achieve their financial goals, Mr. Rachlin works with each of his clients to design strategies tailored to their individual circumstances. He focuses on clear communication and delivering his clients the comprehensive range of services necessary to reduce the stress related to budgeting and borrowing. Mr. Rachlin understands that clients’ needs can often be addressed with a variety of approaches, ranging from simple general obligation financings to complex revenue-backed structures, special service areas, and Tax Increment Financing Districts, and he works with his clients to identify the most appropriate approach for any given situation. 

Prior to forming Meristem Advisors, Jamie was a Managing Director at RBC Capital Markets. Previous to RBC, he was a Managing Director at BMO Capital Markets and was head of Public Finance in Chicago for Prudential Securities Incorporated. He also served as a financial advisor to developers in the alternative energy field structuring and financing projects with publicly and privately placed tax-exempt debt while working for The DJS Group.


Jamie is proud to serve on the Board of Openlands. He holds an M.B.A. in Finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, an M.S.E. in Civil Engineering from Princeton University and an A.B. in Computer Science from Brown University.

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