the team behind prairie capital advisors

Our Team

Robert Gross

Senior Managing Director

Robert Gross provides more than three decades of experience engaged solely in valuation, ownership transition, capital management, financial transactions and more. He co-founded Prairie Capital Advisors with Kenneth Serwinski in 1996 after the pair of industry veterans recognized a universally underserved need for objective financial advisory consultation for closely held businesses. Since then, Mr. Gross and his colleagues at Prairie Capital Advisors have given closely held companies access to the guidance and expertise so critically needed for their most vital business decisions.

As one of the most trusted and well respected financial advisory experts in the industry, Mr. Gross focuses on helping business owners understand the best options available to them for their ownership transition needs. He breaks down complex corporate finance scenarios and translates them into understandable options to provide his clients with customized, actionable solutions to achieve their unique ownership transition goals.

A nationally-recognized industry thought leader, Mr. Gross is a frequent speaker on valuation, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), ownership transition planning and other topics. He is also a frequent author in industry trade publications, business publications and technical journals. He has qualified as an expert witness in State Courts, Federal District Court and other venues and has also given deposition testimony on numerous occasions.


Prior to forming Prairie Capital Advisors, Mr. Gross was a First Vice President with Merrill Lynch Business Advisory Services. He focused on matters involving closely held companies, with a particular emphasis on the structuring and implementation of various ownership succession strategies. Mr. Gross played an important role in the strategic definition of both the valuation and ESOP Advisory practices of Merrill Lynch. Before joining Merrill Lynch, Mr. Gross spent ten years with American Appraisal Associates, Inc., an international valuation consulting firm. During his tenure, he held a variety of positions, culminating in the assignment as Manager in charge of the Chicago-based professional staff.
Mr. Gross holds a Master of Business Administration Degree in finance and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin in Whitewater. He has also taken several other post-graduate courses and has hosted and attended seminars on a wide variety of business subjects. He occupies the senior executive position within Prairie’s Broker-Dealer, Prairie Capital Markets, LLC, and also serves as its Chief Compliance Officer. Mr. Gross currently holds FINRA Series 24 and 79 securities licenses. 
  • The ESOP Association
  • National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO)
  • Employee-owned S Corporations of America (ESCA)
  • ESOP Association Interdisciplinary Committee on Fiduciary Affairs
  • The American Society of Appraisers
  • The Business Valuation Association

Mr. Gross also teaches on a part-time basis at two institutions. He has been a member of the faculty at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management since 2013, where he teaches an MBA course in Global Finance. He has been an Adjunct Professor of Finance at DePaul University's Driehaus School of Business since 2014, where he teaches two undergraduate Finance courses; Financial Statement Analysis and International Finance.

Middle - Market Focus

Middle - Market Focus

Prairie Capital Advisors is dedicated to serving the investment banking and financial advisory needs of middle - market business owners

Ownership Transition

Ownership Transition

A successful transition needs a well-thought- out strategy. We will help define, shape, and implement a plan that meets your short-term and long-term objectives

Corporate Growth

Corporate Growth

Build or buy? It could be both. Prairie Capital Advisor’s strong relationships with debt and equity capital sources will help you realize your corporate growth strategies

Business Sustainability

Business Sustainability

Sustainability requires strategies that grow the enterprise and minimize risks. Prairie advises companies on strategies that result in long-term shareholder value