Near North President Jumps Ship

August 5, 2003

William C. Bartholomay, president of beleaguered Chicago-based Near North National Group Inc., is set to join the Chicago office of London-based Willis Group Holdings Ltd., according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

Bartholomay had been with Near North since 1991. Near North has agreed to a sale to Chicago-based brokerage Hub International, but the sale has not taken place yet. An earlier deal with the equity firm Frontenac Co. fell through after only two months.

Near North’s owner, Michael Segal, is under federal indictment on charges of embezzling more than $20 million from Near North’s premium trust fund. Segal’s accountant and the brokerage itself has also been charged. All have pleaded not guilty.

Earlier reports had indicated an exodus of Near North talent to competing brokerages, and it was speculated that the phenomenon was at least part of the reason why Frontenac changed its mind about purchasing the assets of Near North.

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