Laura Thurow of Baird

Baird says it promoted Laura Thurow, CFA, to the role of director of wealth solutions and operations for its Private Wealth Management business; she will also join the firm’s executive committee.

Thurow is succeeding Chief Operations Officer Russell Schwei, who is set to retire in late 2019 after some 35 years with the Baird. For the remainder of his tenure, he will serve as a vice chairman and focus on several firm-level initiatives while supporting the transition.

“Under Russ and Laura’s leadership, Baird’s operations and wealth solutions groups have contributed tremendously to the ongoing success of our business,” said Mike Schroeder, president of Baird Private Wealth Management, in a statement. “We are confident that this new model will further optimize the cohesive and seamless delivery of our wealth solutions and back office support as we continue to grow our business….”

In her new role, Thurow will lead the people, platforms and back-office services that support Baird’s 850 financial advisors, who have assets of over $135 billion.

The executive joined the firm’s Institutional Equities and Research business in 1999. From 2000 to 2005, Thurow served as an equity research analyst; she later moved to the Wealth Solutions Group, which she co-led for several years before assuming sole leadership in 2016.

“One of Baird’s great strengths is our ability to retain and develop great talent,” according to Baird President & CEO Steve Booth. “Russ and Laura serve as great examples of how impactful that can be for Baird’s overall success as well as the success of our clients.”

Booth adds that Thurow is one of executive committee members of who joined the firm as interns.

Schwei became a Baird employee in 1984 after working for Arthur Andersen. In addition to serving as COO, Schwei also served as CFO in 1999 and chief information officer from 2005 to 2009.