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Baird Taps Ex-RBC Wealth Chief as Vice Chairman

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Baird has tapped John Taft to serve as its vice chairman and a member of its executive committee. Taft led RBC Wealth Management from 2005 to 2016 and about 35 years of industry experience.

Taft also is a past chairman of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and recently worked as a consultant for Deloitte & Touche.

At Baird, his focus will be on strategic business opportunities, including Baird Private Wealth Management, where he is set to help its leadership team to advance key priorities, according to the firm.

“We are humbled that John was drawn to Baird’s privately held, employee-owned business model and strong culture, which continues to help us attract top talent across the business,” said Baird Chairman Paul Purcell, in a statement.

Baird is based in Milwaukee and has about 860 advisors with $126 billion in assets. RBC’s headquarters are in Minneapolis, and the firm has about 2,000 financial advisors and some $280 billion in assets.

Taft is set to be “a wonderful addition to Baird’s senior leadership team and we could not be [prouder] that he has chosen to continue his exemplary career at Baird,” explained President & CEO Steve Booth, in a statement.

Baird’s new vice chairman has been a board member of Columbia Threadneedle Funds, Segall Bryant & Hamill, and The Clifton Group; president and CEO of Voyageur Asset Management and Dougherty Summit Securities; and a managing director at Piper Jaffray & Hopwood, according to his LinkedIn profile.

“Baird’s independence, employee ownership, diversified business mix and tremendous momentum uniquely position the firm for strong growth,” said Taft in a statement. “There really is no other firm like Baird in America today, and I am incredibly excited to be a part of it.”

Earlier this month, Strategas, a partnership focused on macro research, became a wholly-owned Baird company.


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