Leigh Terhaar

Principal

Leigh Terhaar is a Principal at BanyanGlobal. She is experienced in business strategy and finance.

Leigh became interested in working with family businesses because of the unique opportunity to combine past experiences while focusing on relationships and generational transitions. Leigh began her career as a consultant at Accenture, where she worked with various corporate clients on a range of projects that included business strategy, process improvement, and communications.  “I learned from that experience that I really enjoyed teamwork, both internally and with client teams,” she says. “With client projects, there’s always something new to learn. And you have to work as a team to reach your goals.”

Her work consulting for a financial services client sparked an interest in gaining deeper financial expertise. This led to her taking a position as an investment analyst at the investment office of the University of Michigan’s endowment. There, her primary responsibilities involved private assets, including private equity, venture capital, natural resources, and real estate. She conducted due diligence on current and potential investment managers as well as managed the operations of the private portfolios. “Working as an investment analyst offered me an extremely valuable perspective on balancing short- and long-term views,” she says. “Long-term is obviously key to managing an investment portfolio, but often times you don’t have all the information you might ideally like to make a long-term decision. So, we had to rely heavily on our sense of the strategy and the key people – and whether that team was likely to be stable, factors that are essential for making good decisions in a family business, too.”

Leigh attended Rice University in Houston, where she received her BA in economics, psychology, and Hispanic studies, cum laude. She also holds an MBA with honors from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Leigh currently lives in Chicago. In her free time, she practices yoga (“the hotter, the better!”) and enjoys baking desserts.