James Staruck serves as the President and CEO of GreatBanc Trust Company, responsible for leading the GreatBanc team and overseeing the company’s strategic direction. A veteran of the company since 2004, he has served as GreatBanc’s President since 2010 and as its CEO since 2013. He is also a member of the organization’s Board of Directors.

Prior to joining GreatBanc, Mr. Staruck practiced at a leading law firm in Chicago, specializing in mergers and acquisitions. “Like most in the industry, I fell into the ESOP business somewhat by accident. A partner at my firm brought in some ESOP work. As a young attorney at the time, I didn’t even know what an ESOP was, so I volunteered to help. It wasn’t long before I fell in love with the ESOP concept. The model was a refreshing departure from traditional mergers and acquisitions; companies stay intact, culture is preserved, and employees are rewarded. Knowing that the work we do makes a positive impact on the everyday working person is what’s kept me in the industry all these years.”

Should you cross paths with the lifelong Chicagoland native outside the office, there’s a good chance it will be at a game rooting for his hometown teams including the Bears, the Cubs, and the Fighting Illini. Jim’s knowledge and expertise when it comes to ESOPs is second only to his uncanny ability to recall obscure sports trivia and statistics. We have yet to stump him when it comes to World Series winners of the modern era.

This fascination with minute details combined with 25+ years of experience in law and business administration give him a unique blend of acumen that has been pivotal in cementing GreatBanc as the leading ESOP trustee and independent fiduciary services provider in the country.

Mr. Staruck is an active member of the Employee-Owned S Corporations of America (ESCA), The ESOP Association (TEA), and the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO).

Mr. Staruck received his Juris Doctor (JD) from the DePaul University College of Law, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in finance from DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, and a Bachelor of Science (BS) from DePaul University.


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"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

— Theodore Roosevelt