Meet the Team

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James Hartwell - MBA, President

Jim started Essex Financial in 1991. In 1997, along with Art Freedman, he started Essex, L.L.C. Jim received both his undergraduate degree and his MBA from Mankato State University in 1988 and 1994, respectively. He received his CFS, Certified Funds Specialist designation in 1994. In 1995 he helped create the Advisors Forum with other top investment advisors. He is a member of the Investment Committee for Essex as well as the Little City charity.

jhartwell@essexllc.com | 847-777-7820


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Arthur Freedman - MBA, CPA Chief Operating Officer

Art is a CPA and the Chief Operating Officer of Essex, L.L.C. Prior to joining Essex in 2000, he was a senior partner in the Chicago accounting firm of Friedman, Eisenstein, Raemer, and Schwartz where he headed their Personal Financial Planning division. He has an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois (1971) and an MBA from Northwestern (1973). He is a member of the AICPA and the Illinois CPA Society. Art also serves as a member of the Investment Committee.

afreedman@essexllc.com |  847-777-7830


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Robert Tutela - Chief Compliance Officer & Portfolio Manager

Rob joined Essex in 2016 from JP Morgan Asset Management in New York providing trading, compliance and operational services for a variety of products to both retail and private bank clients. His experience provides him invaluable knowledge for portfolio management and the overall nature of the Investment Advisory business. He is a graduate from Montclair State University with a B.S. in Finance and Business Administration. He is the Chief Compliance Officer and a Portfolio Manager for Essex, as well as a member of the Investment Committee.

rtutela@essexllc.com | 847-777-7847


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Debbie Gray - Chief Administrator

Debbie joined Essex in 2004. She has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry and is the head of Administration. Her previous work experience included her service at Rodman & Renshaw, Mesirow Financial, and Gardner Rick & Co.

dgray@essexllc.com | 847-777-7827


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Benjamin Cairns - CFP Financial Advisor

Ben joined ESSEX, LLC in 2014. In addition to earning a bachelor of business administration from Western Michigan University, he is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. The rigorous educational requirement for the CFP® exam has prepared Ben to facilitate clients through all aspects of the financial planning process. Prior to joining ESSEX, he enjoyed a 20-year career in publishing. Ben also serves as a member of the Investment Committee.

bcairns@essexllc.com | 847-229-0355

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.


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Justin Nolan - Financial Advisor

Justin joined Essex in 2016 from JP Morgan Private Bank where he created and executed financial plans that ensured individual and family wealth preservation and growth. As a third generation member of the CBOT for over 20 years, Justin built and ran the largest order execution business on the financial floor at the exchange. Since then, Justin’s focus has been private investment and wealth management. With over 35 years of experience in equities, fixed income and alternatives, Justin brings a vast depth of knowledge in market strategy to Essex.

jnolan@essexllc.com | 847-340-0961