Baird Announces Partnership with Ellevate
DENVER, Oct. 1, 2014 –Baird hosted Sallie Krawcheck, chair of the Ellevate Network and former president of the Global Wealth & Investment Management division of Bank of America, as the keynote speaker of its annual Baird Women Advisors Summit held Sept. 25 in Denver. Krawcheck spoke candidly to an audience of approximately 150 people, which included Baird women financial advisors and others in the wealth management industry, along with professional women from the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Ellevate, business graduates and students from Colorado State University and the University of Denver, and Baird clients about the very personal lessons she’s learned throughout her career as a senior corporate executive, a research analyst and now an entrepreneur.
Krawcheck also discussed her leadership of the Ellevate Network, a global professional women’s network dedicated to the economic engagement of women worldwide. At the event, Baird also announced it is partnering with Ellevate, extending opportunities to get involved with their local chapters to some of its most successful women advisors.
“Baird has made a very strong commitment to increasing the diversity throughout our firm. The landscape of wealth management is changing, and we need a demographic shift in our workforce in order to better understand and meet the needs of our clients,” said Michael J. Schroeder, President of Baird Private Wealth Management. “Events like the Baird Women Advisors Summit help us to connect with the current and next generation of successful women who may be in need of expert financial and investing advice and guidance, or who may be interested in exploring a fulfilling career in wealth management with one of the best middle market wealth management firms in the world.”
Established in 2008, Baird Women Advisors is a group comprised of women financial advisors at Baird. By bringing these advisors together to network and share best practices, the group is committed to promoting the profession and making Baird the best place to work for women in wealth management. The group’s annual summit includes networking, panel discussions on issues of importance to women advisors, social time with Baird senior executives and a guest speaker.
To attract younger and more diverse talent to careers in wealth management, Baird launched the Private Wealth Management Foundations Program in 2012. The two-year program provides an entry way into the world of wealth management for both new and established professionals by providing structured rotations through Baird’s wealth management business. In addition, Baird recently announced its partnership with the Wisconsin School of Business to develop a course of study that prepares undergraduate business majors for a career in wealth management.
Following are excerpts from Krawcheck’s remarks at the Baird Women Advisors Summit.
On the importance of diversity
I’ve thought about the causes of the downturn and how it could have been different. We talk about greed and how that was a contributor. We talk about how there was too much leverage in the system. What we don’t talk about is that there were too many people who thought the same way – who grew up together and had the same type of backgrounds and who stopped questioning each other. One of the significant causes of the downturn was group think. So, how do you break group think? The answer is diversity – diversity of thought, diversity of perspective, diversity of background, diversity of gender, diversity of color … any and all kinds of diversity. Diversity of gender is a very important factor – I believe and the research shows – in business success. Companies that have more women in management roles, in their ranks and on their boards, tend to have higher returns on equity, lower risk, lower volatility, greater client focus, lower gender pay disparity, and greater innovation. Yet, while corporate America has gone sideways on diversity, Wall Street has gone backwards since the downturn.
I never set out to buy a professional women’s network. Yet networking is the number one unwritten rule of success in business. I thought I could have an impact by bringing women together, by helping all of us get past the ‘Queen Bee’ syndrome, or the idea that only a few of us can be successful. If women were as economically engaged as men, our economy would be nine percent larger. So, in order to provide the network and the education, I bought Ellevate.
On life lessons learned the hard way
- Ask for the order, ask for the raise. First impressions are so powerful. Bringing forth the positive and asking for the order makes a difference. For most women, the highest return investment we can make is to ask for a raise. We earn $.78 for every dollar men earn. We retire with two-thirds the money of men. We live 6 to 8 years longer. Please invest in yourself and ask for that raise.
- Ask for the promotion. Soft biases do exist. Don’t let thinking you’re not all the way ready stop you.
- Ask for the feedback. Men receive significantly more feedback at work than women do. Although I felt like a quivering ball of hurt, I reached out to every member of the Bank of America board of directors after I left to thank them for the opportunity and ask what I could do better. Knowledge is power.
- Put the best team in place. As managers, we need to shift our focus to putting the best team versus the best person in place. The problem with putting the best person in the job is that best person often looks like us. If we work at seeking out people who have diverse sets of skills and capabilities, and different ways of looking at things, then we can really outperform.
- Network. Your next business opportunity is more likely to come to you from a loose connection than a close connection. Your loose connections know different things than you do. If you have a strong network, you know about the start up that’s threatening your business, about the young person who’s looking for a job, about the acquisition opportunity, about the board opportunity, and so on. With my network, I try to deepen or make one new relationship a month, and I try to do a favor for someone in my network every week.
- Live your values. Don’t work for people or a company whose values don’t align with yours. Life is way too short for that.
- Be on social media. Professionals who are not on LinkedIn are viewed by other professionals as being older and less technologically savvy. Why? Because they’re older and less technologically savvy. I will tell you, another part of staying young is seeing what’s going on and being part of that flow.
- Keep learning. The key to a perception of a longer life is to keep learning all the time.
- The key to success is resilience. Getting knocked down is part of life. What’s important is that you keep getting back up.
- The key to resilience is gratitude. I fully recognize that my worst day is better than most of the world’s best day. It’s all about how you frame it. We are so fortunate. Yes, it’s because we work hard, because we have the grit and because we keep going, but underlying it is a big roll of the fate dice that we have had these opportunities at this point in this lifetime.
Baird is an employee-owned, international wealth management, capital markets, private equity and asset management firm with offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. Established in 1919, Baird has approximately 3,000 associates serving the needs of individual, corporate, institutional and municipal clients. Baird has more than $125billion in client assets. Committed to being a great place to work, Baird ranked No. 9 on FORTUNE’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2014 – its 11th consecutive year on the list. Baird’s principal operating subsidiaries are Robert W. Baird & Co. and McAdams Wright Ragen, Inc. in the United States and Robert W. Baird Group Ltd. in Europe. Baird also has an operating subsidiary in Asia supporting Baird’s investment banking and private equity operations. For more information, please visit Baird’s Web site at rwbaird.com.
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