Hillary Hughes

Chartered Financial Analyst

Prairie Capital Advisors, Inc

Topic: Practice Transitions and Developing an ESOP

Topic Description:

Hillary’s Bio:

Hillary Hughes is a trusted advisor on ownership transition. She provides strategic insights to assist business owners and board of directors to address long term ownership transaction goals. Ms. Hughes has been highly involved in the structuring and valuation related to Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) on behalf of ESOP Trustees as well as business owners. Based out of Prairie Capital Advisors’ Cedar Rapids office, Ms. Hughes has provided financial advisory services to clients ranging from small family owned businesses to large multi-national conglomerates. She specializes in the valuation of businesses and business interests for purposes of mergers and acquisitions (M&A), ESOPs, gift and estate planning, and strategic planning.

In addition, Ms. Hughes is a frequent speaker in forums around the country on topics including valuation, ESOPs and ownership transition planning. She is a member of The ESOP Association Valuation Advisory Committee and the immediate past president of the Iowa/Nebraska Chapter. Ms. Hughes was recognized as a Top 40 Under Forty honoree by the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA). Ms. Hughes is also active in her community and is a member of the Linn County Conservation Board. She is also a Board member for two private companies.


Prior to joining Prairie Capital Advisors, Ms. Hughes was a Senior Associate for Columbia Financial Advisors, Inc. Her duties included project management and assistance on all aspects of appraisal engagements. Prior to joining Columbia Financial Advisors, Inc., Ms. Hughes was an intern with RSM McGladrey, Inc., in their valuation consulting group.


Ms. Hughes holds two Bachelor of Science degrees in Finance and Agriculture, Business and Economics, from Iowa State University. Ms. Hughes currently holds FINRA Series 79 and 63 securities licenses.


  • Accredited Senior Appraiser of the American Society of Appraisers (ASA)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder
  • National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO)
  • The ESOP Association