The members of our Wealth Management Leadership Team are listed below.
Michael J. Schroeder, President: toggle
Michael J. Schroeder
After joining Baird in 1986, Mike built a successful practice as a Financial Advisor, serving families and individual’s wealth management needs. In 1995, he became Regional Director and was named Chief Operating Officer of Private Wealth Management in 1999. Since 2001, Mike has held the position of President of Private Wealth Management (PWM) – Baird’s largest business unit – and oversees more than 1,300 advisors in approximately 150 locations coast-to-coast.
In addition to his role on the firm’s Executive Committee, Mike is a member of Baird’s Board of Directors and the Marketing and IT Committees. Mike is also actively involved in his community and serves on multiple boards, including Riverfront Investment Group, Hilliard Lyons Trust Co., Baird Foundation and Baird Insurance Services, Inc. Passionate about giving back to his community, Mike served as past member of the Froedtert Hospital Foundation and has volunteered for numerous charities such as Ducks Unlimited, United Way, Boys & Girls Club of America and more.
Mike received a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance, investments and banking from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He continues to be active with the University and has guided Baird’s efforts to become the Founding Partner of the Wealth Management Program at UW. He is also an Alumnus of the Securities Industry Institute at The Wharton School of Business.
Erik Dahlberg, Executive Director icon: toggle
Erik Dahlberg is Executive Director of Baird’s Private Wealth Management Branch System, a role in which he leads and executes the shared strategic vision for the firm’s Private Wealth Management business. He is responsible for oversight of all wealth management branches, with his primary focus being on ensuring a client-first mindset by providing support and resources to Baird’s Divisional Directors.
Previously, Erik was a Regional Director for Baird’s Private Wealth Management group and Branch Manager of Baird’s largest wealth management office in Milwaukee, Wis. He joined Baird in 1987 as a financial advisor in the Janesville, Wis., office and took over as branch manager in 1993.
Erik is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business management with an emphasis on finance.
James Allen, Vice Chairman icon: toggle
James Allen, CFA
Hilliard Lyons President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Jim Allen has devoted his entire working career to J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, LLC, since joining the firm in 1981. Jim has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the company since 2004. He also served as President from 2003 to 2017. When the merger is completed, Jim will serve as a Vice Chairman of Baird and a member of Baird’s Executive Committee out of Louisville. Jim is active in the financial services industry and is Chairman of the Board of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.
Jim holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from DePauw University and an MBA in finance from the Ohio State University. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst
Jim is married with one daughter. Jim is involved civically in Louisville, where he is the immediate past Board Chairman of the Jefferson County Public Education Foundation and the 2018 board chair of Greater Louisville, Inc., Louisville’s Chamber of Commerce. He is the former Chairman of the Fund for the Arts and he chaired the 2016 Metro United Way Campaign for Greater Louisville. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the College of Business at the University of Louisville, the Board of Trustees of Bellarmine University, and the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. In October of 2017, Jim received the Women 4 Women Heart of Louisville Award. He was inducted into the Junior Achievement Kentuckiana Business Hall of Fame in 2015. He received the 2013 Joseph W. Kelly Award, presented annually by the Kentucky Board of Education for support in promoting school improvement. In 2009, Jim was awarded the YMCA Spirit of Louisville Award, and in 2008, he was named the Business First Business Leader of the Year (large-company category).
John Taft, Vice Chairman icon: toggle
John Taft is Vice Chairman of Baird and a member of the firm's Executive Committee. Prior to joining Baird, he served for more than a decade as CEO of RBC Wealth Management with nearly 2,000 financial advisors and over $280 billion in assets. He is a past chairman of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), where he advocated for responsible financial reform. Most recently, he served in a consulting capacity for Deloitte & Touche.
John's other past roles include president and CEO of Voyageur Asset Management; president and CEO of Dougherty Summit Securities; a member of the board of directors of Segall Bryant & Hamill, The Clifton Group and Columbia Threadneedle Funds; and a managing director at Piper, Jaffray & Hopwood.
John is the author of two books, "Stewardship: Lessons Learned from the Lost Culture of Wall Street" and "A Force for Good: How Enlightened Finance Can Restore Faith in Capitalism." He graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University, and earned a master's degree in public and private management from the Yale School of Organization and Management.
As a member of the board of directors and as a volunteer, he has served a wide range of not-for-profit and public service organizations. Currently he is an active member of the Itasca Project, and serves on the boards of The Minneapolis Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Deeply committed to community involvement, inclusion and diversity, John credits his family legacy, including his great grandfather, 27th U.S. President William Howard Taft, for instilling strong core values that shape his belief that, ultimately, business success involves improving the lives of others.
Laura Thurow, Managing Director icon: toggle
Laura Thurow, CFA
Director of Wealth Solutions and Operations
Laura Thurow is Director of Wealth Solutions and Operations for Baird’s Private Wealth Management (PWM) group. In this role, she is responsible for the people, platforms and back office services that support Baird’s financial advisors in all aspects of their wealth management practices.
This includes investment research and portfolio management, financial and estate planning, advisory solutions, credit and cash management, corporate and executive services and various other products and programs, as well as the technology strategy.
She is also responsible for business process, capital markets operations, client reporting, client services, enterprise initiatives, product support and strategic change management.
As part of the PWM Leadership Team, Laura is also involved in various strategic initiatives in support of Baird’s overall wealth management platform. She also serves as a member of Baird’s Executive Committee.
Laura received a BA in Economics from Trinity College and a MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She has earned the CFA charter and is a member of the CFA Society of Milwaukee.
Laura and her husband Jason have two daughters, eleven year old Elizabeth and nine year old Alexandra. Laura is also Past President of the Board of Directors of The Gathering, a local non-profit meal program.
R. Cory Colvin, Managing Director icon: toggle
R. Cory Colvin, CFA
Director of PWM Growth Strategy | Market Director
Cory Colvin joined Baird in 2005. A member of the PWM senior leadership team, he is responsible for leading the growth strategy for Baird's Private Wealth Management business. He also leads a Midwest region focused on the Twin Cities, Western and Southern WI and Northern IL. In addition, he is responsible for Baird’s Client Resource Team and Institutional Consulting group. Cory has 22 years of experience in the financial services industry.
Cory began his career with Strong Capital Management (now Wells Fargo Asset Management), where he was responsible for marketing and product strategy for mutual funds. He then worked in Strategy Consulting focusing on the asset management industry, and then later at a US based hedge fund where he focused on institutional sales and client service. Before moving into his current role at Baird, he served in numerous leadership roles, including Director of Mutual Funds Sales & Analytics, and later as Director of Business Development Consulting.
Cory earned his MBA from Marquette University’s Graduate School of Management and his BBA in Finance & Marketing from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh. Cory earned the CFA charter, and is a member of the CFA Society of Milwaukee. Cory also holds the FINRA Series 3, 6, 7, 9, 10, 24 and 63 licenses.
Cory and his wife Megan have been married for 15 years. They have a 14 year old daughter, Isabel and a 9 year old son, Osbourne. In addition to spending time with his family, Cory snowboards and is a competitive triathlete and races Cyclocross having completed over 50 events in various distances. He has served on the Board of the Southeastern Wisconsin, Wisconsin Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and is active in the United Way. As an undergraduate, Cory was a three time letter winner in football and was invited to participate in the Collegiate All Star Bowl in Louisville, Kentucky.
Katie Costigan, Managing Director icon: toggle
Director of PWM Recruiting Strategy | Market Director
Katie is the Director of PWM Recruiting Strategy and a Market Director for Baird’s Private Wealth Management business. She has 15 years of experience with the firm and provides executive-level leadership of a robust talent strategy that drives attraction, development and retention of professional level talent within the organization. The scope of her responsibility includes Financial Advisor Acquisition, Onboarding and Integration, Next-Gen Talent Strategies, Branch Support Strategy, Professional Development, Organizational Design, Succession Planning and Human Resources. Katie is also a member of Baird’s Health Care and Talent Committees.
In addition to her time with Baird, Katie spent several years leading the Talent Management practice of a regional public accounting firm. As a Senior Manager, she was a partner and advisor to her clients, focused on developing and guiding their Talent strategy. She led a dynamic team of professionals that focused on the following areas: Talent Management, Employee Relations, Performance Management, Talent Acquisition and Onboarding, Organizational Design and Total Rewards.
Katie and her husband Patrick live in Elm Grove, WI with their four children. Outside of work, Katie enjoys spending time with family, volunteering at community events and exploring farmers’ markets throughout Wisconsin.
Scott Falk, Managing Director icon: toggle
Chief Operating Officer of Private Wealth Managementt
Scott Falk joined Baird in 2002, and has over 25 years of experience in the services industry.
“My role at Baird is to ensure that Private Wealth Management associates are equipped with the tools, technology, and other operations support they need in order to focus on what they do best, to provide top-notch service to our clients. I am also dedicated to Baird remaining competitive in the marketplace with our compensation and incentive program offerings for Financial Advisors and Client Relationship Associates.”
Prior to joining Baird, Scott was a Partner at Arthur Andersen, an international public accounting firm, where he was employed for nearly 20 years.
Scott is a member of the Board of Directors for the MACC Fund.
Scott earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Accounting from Iowa State University. He is a Certified Public Accountant and holds the FINRA Series 7, 9, 10, 24, and 66 industry licenses.
Scott and his wife, Wendy, reside in Wauwatosa and enjoy spending quality time with their two children, Benjamin and Megan. .
Laura Callahan, Director icon: toggle
Director of PWM Talent Management
Laura Callahan is responsible for PWM’s Talent initiatives. She and her team provide human resource and professional development consulting to PWM leaders and associates, including performance and succession management, leadership development and engagement and inclusion practices. In addition, Laura leads the teams that are focused on developing and executing PWM’s Financial Advisor Teams and Next Gen initiatives, including the Financial Advisor Foundations Program.
Laura originally joined Baird’s Human Resources team in 2005 as an Associate Relations Manager. She rejoined Baird as a PWM HR Business Partner in 2016 after a short departure to work in the healthcare industry.
Laura has worked in HR for organizations such as Manpower, The Bank of New York and The BloodCenter of Wisconsin.
Laura earned her BA from Mount Mary University and MS in Management from Cardinal Stritch University.
Laura enjoys watching her three children in their many athletic activities. She, her husband and children live in the North Shore area.