Crash claims lives of high-powered Barrington-area business couple
Judson Bergman and Mary Miller-Bergman, were a high-powered Barrington-area business couple who started companies and built them from the ground up.
Bergman, 62, and his 57-year-old wife died Thursday in San Francisco when the taxicab they were riding in was struck head-on by what police say was an impaired driver heading the wrong way on an expressway.
Bergman was a co-founder and CEO of Envestnet, Inc., a publicly-traded Chicago-based financial services firm that provides technology and other services for financial advisers and institutions. Miller-Bergman founded Hanover Hill Wealth Advisors, an independent wealth management firm based in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. They lived in an unincorporated area near Barrington.
California Highway Patrol officials said Bergman and Miller-Bergman were passengers in a taxi driven by Berkant Ramadan Ahmed, 42, of San Mateo County, heading north on Highway 101 in San Francisco around 12:30 a.m. when a woman driving a Volkswagen the wrong way stuck the taxi head-on, killing the couple and the driver.
The driver of the Volkswagen, Emilie Ross, 34, of Hillsborough, California, was also killed and was believed to be intoxicated at the time of the crash, police said.
Bergman and Bill Crager co-founded Envestnet in 1999 and built the Loop-based firm into a company that provides data aggregation and analytics to more than 25 million customers, according to its website. The company manages more than 88,000 advisers and supports more than $2.6 trillion in advised assets.
Officials at Envestnet said Friday that Crager, the company president, would assume the role as interim CEO.
"We have all experienced a great loss at Envestnet," said Ross Chapin, lead independent director of Envestnet's board of directors. "While it is difficult to imagine anyone replacing Jud's vision and presence, we have the utmost confidence in the ability of his colleague, co-founder and dear friend, Bill Crager, to carry on in Jud's place.
"Bill and Jud worked closely over the last 20 years and have built a resilient team that will see us through these dark days. Jud was a giant as a businessman and human. We will miss him immensely," he added.
Before starting Envestnet, Bergman was managing director for mutual funds at Nuveen Investments and also directed Nuveen's product and corporate development. He's been recognized as an "Icon and Innovator" in financial technology by InvestmentNews, and was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young. Bergman also was on the board of trustees for the Field Museum of Natural History.
"The Field Museum community is deeply saddened by this tragic news and our thoughts go out to Jud's family," museum officials said in an emailed statement. "Jud was passionate and curious about science, active with our board of trustees' collections committee and personally generous to the museum. His good spirit and natural curiosity made him an ideal trustee leader, and he was popular among his peers and the Field Museum staff who knew him. He will be greatly missed but his impact on the museum will continue."
Bergman received a bachelor's degree in English from Wheaton College and a master's in business administration from Columbia University, with a concentration in finance and accounting. Miller-Bergman earned a bachelor's in finance from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a master's in business administration in finance from the University of Chicago.
Bergman's first wife, Susan Bergman died in 2006 of brain cancer at age 48 in her Barrington house. She was a noted author and her sister is actress Anne Heche. The Bergmans' daughter, Natalie Bergman, is the lead singer of the acclaimed Chicago-based band Wild Belle, which she and her brother, Elliot, started together.
• Associated Press contributed to this report