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headshot of Stifel advisor Stephen Strauss killed on July 4, 2022, in Highland Park, Illinois

Industry Spotlight > Broker Dealers

Stifel Broker Killed in Highland Park Shooting

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What You Need to Know

  • Stifel broker Stephen Straus was one of the seven people killed by a shooter at a July 4th parade in Highland Park, Illinois.
  • He was with the firm for over 24 years and worked as a broker for 54 years overall.

A Stifel broker who was with the firm for more than 24 years was one of the six people killed in the mass shooting during the July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois. A seventh shooting victim died on July 5, according to the Highland Park Police Department.

At least 24 people were injured, Highland Park Mayor Nancy R. Rotering said in a statement.

Stephen Straus, 88, of Highland Park, joined Stifel in March 1998 and was with the firm until his death, according to his report on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s BrokerCheck website.

In 54 years, there were no disclosures on his BrokerCheck report.

It is with great sadness that I inform you Stephen Straus, a financial advisor in our Chicago office, was among the seven individuals killed in the tragic mass shooting in Highland Park … on July 4,” said Stifel CEO Ron Kruszewski in remarks sent to staff via email Wednesday afternoon. 

“Steve began his career in 1968 and joined the Stifel family in 1998. He continued to serve his valued clients at age 88, not because he had to, but because he wanted to, commuting to the office each morning by train,” Kruszewski explained. “He was always willing to share ideas … [and] was kind and gentle, warm hearted, and had a great sense of humor.”

“Steve looked out for the whole family,” said his niece, Cynthia Straus, in a statement shared by Stifel. “He was like a big, big oak tree, an umbrella of well-being for all of us. It’s a big loss.”

Before joining Stifel, Straus was a broker for Rodman & Renshaw from 1974 until he left in 1998 to work for Stifel, according to BrokerCheck. He was a broker with four other firms prior to Rodman, starting with Glore Forgan Staats in 1968.

During a media briefing on Tuesday, Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek identified the initial six victims as: Straus; Katherine Goldstein, 64; Irina McCarthy, 35; Kevin McCarthy, 37; Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63; and Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78. All were Highland Park residents with the exception of Toledo-Zaragoza, who was from Morelos, Mexico.

Police quickly identified Robert E. Crimo III, 21, of Highland Park as a “person of interest” and apprehended him after an hours-long manhunt on Monday. He was charged with seven counts of first degree murder on Tuesday.

“Our thoughts are with the Straus family, as well as with the families of the other victims,” Kruszewski said.

Colleagues of Straus at Stifel’s downtown Chicago office did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.

(Photo of Stephen Straus courtesy of Stifel Financial)