Baird Leadership Team

 Steve Booth and Paul Purcell

Steve Booth, President & CEO,
with Past Chairman, Paul Purcell.


Baird’s commitment to integrity and outstanding performance begins at the top. The continuity of our leadership team is a key strength in building our expertise and enhancing client relationships. 

Executive Committee

Steven Booth
President & Chief Executive Officer: toggle

Steve BoothPresident & Chief Executive Officer 

Steve Booth is President & Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Baird Financial Group and affiliated entities including Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated. Steve joined Baird’s Investment Banking group in 1994, went on to lead its Industrial and Global M&A teams and, in 2004, became head of Investment Banking, a position he held until January 2014. Steve was named Chief Operating Officer of Baird in early 2013, became President & COO in 2014 and President & CEO in 2016.

Prior to joining Baird, Steve was at Kidder, Peabody & Co. in its Chicago Corporate Finance Office. Steve received his MBA degree from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance and a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Southern Methodist University. He serves on the Board of Directors of The Water Council, the United Performing Arts Fund, United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County, and the Carmen School of Science and Technology. Steve also serves on the Executive Board of Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences at SMU, the Executive Board of the Cox School of Business at SMU, and the Board of Regents of the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

James R. Allen, CFA
Vice Chairman: toggle

Jim Allen

Jim Allen is 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 has devoted his entire working career to J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, LLC, since joining the firm in 1981. He has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the company since 2004 and also served as President from 2003 to 2017.

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. He 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).

Timothy Byrne, CFA
Chief Information Officer: toggle

Tim ByrneManaging Director

Tim Byrne is Baird’s global Chief Information Officer (CIO). He is a member of the Executive Committee of the firm, and participates on the Information Security, Information Technology, and Talent & Human Capital committees.

Before becoming CIO, Tim was a member of the management team of Baird’s Private Wealth Management business, responsible for Research, Products and Services. Previously he was Baird’s Senior IT Services Analyst in Institutional Equity Research. Prior to joining Baird in 2002, Tim was at Mercer Management Consulting, Inc., most recently as a partner in Mercer’s strategy group where he focused on high-tech industries and helped to launch Mercer’s digital strategy practice.

Tim is on board of directors of the Milwaukee Public Museum (where he is Board Chair and chairs the Executive Committee), Marquette University High School (where he chairs the Development Committee), Fairfax Publishing Company, Inc. and the Harvard Business School Club of Wisconsin (of which he is a past President). He is a member of the Finance Council of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Tim and his family live in Shorewood, Wisconsin.

Tim has an AB magna cum laude with honors in Chemistry from the College of the Holy Cross and a MBA from Harvard Business School, and has earned his CFA charter.

Erik Dahlberg
Executive Director – Private Wealth Management Branch System: toggle

Erik DahlbergManaging Director

Erik Dahlberg is the Executive Director of Baird’s Private Wealth Management branch system. In addition to leading and executing on the strategic vision of Baird’s Private Wealth Management business, Erik oversees all of the firm’s wealth management branches and provides resources and support to the business’s divisional and market directors.

Prior to his current role, Erik was a Regional Director for Baird’s Private Wealth Management group and Branch Manager of Baird’s largest wealth management office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He joined Baird in 1987 as a Financial Advisor in the firm’s Janesville, Wisconsin, branch and became the location’s Branch Manager in 1993.

Erik earned a bachelor’s degree in business management with an emphasis on finance from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.

Leslie Dixon
Chief Human Resources Officericon: toggle

Leslie DixonManaging Director

Leslie Dixon has more than 30 years of human resources experience. She has held numerous positions in human resources and training and development, primarily in the financial services industry.

Leslie joined Baird in 1987 and currently serves as the firm’s Chief Human Resources Officer. She focuses on strategic issues, and works with President & CEO Steve Booth and Chairman, Paul Purcell and other members of senior management to further organizational effectiveness and associate development. She oversees Human Resources, Real Estate & Facilities, the Travel Department  and assists with the administration of the Baird Foundation. She is most proud of Baird’s recognition as one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For for the past 16 consecutive years.

Leslie holds a Bachelor of Science in philosophy, with concentrations in business, communications and psychology, from Miami University of Ohio. She has been actively involved in the human resources committee for the Securities Industry Association (now called SIFMA) since 1999, assuming the role of chair in 2005-2006. In 2009, the group spun off from SIFMA after some reorganization and under Leslie’s leadership, they continue to meet and network throughout the year. In 2017, Leslie became Board Chair for Schools That Can Milwaukee.  She is on the board of directors for the Milwaukee College Preparatory School, formerly the Marva Collins Preparatory School. She is a member of Professional Dimensions, a Milwaukee-based professional women’s organization.

Brian Doyal
Co-Head of Global Investment Bankingicon: toggle

Brian DoyalManaging Director

Brian Doyal is Co-Head of Baird’s Global Investment Banking business where he jointly oversees the firm’s global corporate finance and M&A activities. In addition, Brian is a member of the executive committee of Baird’s board of directors. Previously, Brian was the Head of the Technology & Services and Healthcare Investment Banking teams at Baird.

Before joining Baird in 2004, Brian worked 14 years at Credit Suisse First Boston where he was co-head of the Global Services group. From 1992 to 1994, Brian worked for the Corporate Finance group of General Electric Capital Corporation, where he was responsible for making equity investments and loans to highly leveraged companies.

Brian received a BA in Economics from Northwestern University and an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Rodney L. Jones-Tyson
Chief Risk Officericon: toggle

Managing Director
Rodney currently serves as Baird’s Chief Risk Officer. Rodney joined Baird in 1998 as an investment banker and has been responsible for originating and executing merger and acquisition and equity financing transactions. Rodney also spent several years working in Baird's London office developing our transatlantic M&A practice. From 2011-2018, Rodney served as Chief Operating Officer for Baird’s Global Investment Banking group and was a member of the department’s management committee.

Prior to joining Baird, Rodney worked in the consumer finance and commercial lending areas of Citibank, Chase Manhattan Bank and First Chicago NBD. He is a member of Baird’s Executive Committee, Audit Committee and Diversity Steering Committee. Rodney received his MBA degree from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and holds a BS degree in Finance from the University of Maryland.

Jon Langenfeld, CFA
Head of Global Equities, Director of Equity Researchicon: toggle

Jon LangenfeldManaging Director

Jon Langenfeld is Head of Global Equities with responsibilities for Equity Sales, Trading, Research, and Equity Origination. The Baird equity research platform includes Institutional Equities and Research (IER) and Strategas.  IER’s coverage universe includes stock equity research in industry verticals including Consumer, Financials, Healthcare, Industrial and Technology. Strategas offers thematic and macro-driven research in the areas of Investment Strategy, Economic, Fixed Income, Government Policy, Quantitative and Technical Analysis.  

Jon is a member of Baird’s Executive Committee.  He serves on the Baird Venture Partner Investment Committee.  Jon is also a member of the firm’s Human Capital Committee and Finance Committee.  

Jon serves in various capacities on non-profit boards focused on improving education.  He is currently on the board of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School and Marquette University High School.  Jon joined Baird in 2000, starting in Equity Research.  Prior to joining Baird, Jon was a senior manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers, providing supply chain consulting services. Jon graduated with a BS in mechanical engineering and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.

Patrick Lawton
Director of Fixed Income Capital Markets icon: toggle

Patrick LawtonManaging Director
Pat Lawton serves as Director of Fixed Income Capital Markets at Baird. He is responsible for all areas of Fixed Income Capital Markets, including Public Finance and Sales and Trading.

Prior to joining Baird in 1988, Pat spent seven years with Merrill Lynch Capital Markets group, with the last three in Chicago. He is a member of Baird's board of directors and serves on the Executive committee. Pat also is a member of Baird's Audit, Finance and Fixed Income Capital Markets committees, and chairs the IT committee. Outside of the firm, he serves as Chairman of the board of WaterStone Financial Inc. (WSBF) and is on the board of the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Pat is also a member of the Marquette University board of trustees. Pat earned his Bachelor of Arts in 1978 and MBA in 1980 from Marquette University.

C. H. Randolph Lyon
Vice Chairmanicon: toggle

Randolph Lyon

Randy Lyon is Vice Chairman of Baird.  He is a member of Baird's Executive Committee and the Management Committee of Baird’s Investment Banking group.  Before joining Baird in 2006, Randy was a Managing Director and Head of Chicago Investment Banking for Lehman Brothers.  Previously, he was head of the Chicago offices of J.P. Morgan & Co. and The First Boston Corporation.  Randy worked for First Boston in New York and London before moving to Chicago.

Randy has acted as financial advisor to companies in a broad range of industries.  He has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions and a wide range of debt and equity transactions for clients.  Advisory clients have included Alcoa, Cincinnati Bell, Cox Enterprises, FMC Corporation, Gould Inc., Mallinckrodt, The Marmon Group, Milacron, Pillsbury, Quaker Oats, R.R. Donnelley, Sears Roebuck, Vigoro and Wendy's.

Randy is a member of The Commercial Club of Chicago and The Economic Club of Chicago.  He currently serves as a Director of Teach for America – Chicago and on the Investment Committee of the endowment fund of Woodberry Forest School. Randy is a former Trustee of both The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association and Ravinia Festival Association.  He is a graduate of Princeton University and The Darden School at The University of Virginia.

Terrance Maxwell
Chief Financial Officer icon: toggle

Terry Maxwell Managing Director
Terry Maxwell is Baird’s Chief Financial Officer and a member of Baird’s executive committee. He is also actively involved in Baird’s strategic investment and acquisition activities. Terry joined Baird in 1986, eventually becoming Head of Investment Banking and a member of Baird’s executive committee and Board of Directors. He left Baird in 2006 to pursue an academic career as a corporate finance lecturer at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and to pursue private investment interests. He rejoined Baird in 2014.

Terry is a member of the board of Investors Real Estate Trust (NYSE:IRET) and Greenhouse Funds, a private investment management company in which Baird is an investor. He received an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Science in economics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Brian McDonagh
Co-Head of Global Investment Bankingicon: toggle

Brian McDonaghManaging Director
Brian McDonagh is Co-Head of Baird’s Global Investment Banking business where he jointly oversees the firm’s global corporate finance and M&A activities. In addition, Brian is Co-Head of the firm’s M&A practice, playing a senior role on many transactions involving Baird's key banking clients. He is chairperson of Baird's fairness opinion committee.

Brian has over 25 years of experience in the global M&A market, through which he has developed extensive experience in originating and executing a broad range of strategic transactions for publicly traded, sponsor-owned and privately owned middle-market companies across a wide variety of industries.

Prior to joining Baird in 2008, Brian spent almost 13 years at Wachovia Securities in Charlotte, N.C., where he served as Head of the Industrial Growth M&A Group and as a member of the firm's fairness opinion committee. He also spent over a decade in New York in the Global Mergers & Acquisitions Group of a predecessor firm to J.P. Morgan Chase, ultimately leading the origination and execution of domestic and cross-border advisory transactions with the firm's key industrial clients in his role as Co-Head of the Global Industrial M&A effort.

Brian received his undergraduate degree from Haverford College.

Gordon Pan
Managing Partner, Baird Capitalicon: toggle

Gordon PanManaging Director
Gordon Pan is the global head of Baird Capital, the direct private investment group of Robert W. Baird & Co. Drawing on more than two decades of experience in the financial services industry, Gordon concentrates on acquisition opportunities in the Products sector, with a particular focus on consumer and healthcare companies. In addition to serving as chairman of the investment committees for Baird Capital's U.S. Private Equity and Venture Capital groups, he also oversees the firm’s U.K. Private Equity, Asia Growth Equity and Portfolio Operations teams.

Prior to joining Baird in 2001, Gordon was a principal with One Equity Partners. He also founded and served as CEO of The Pangaea Group, an international consulting firm that specialized in assisting the portfolio companies of private equity firms to establish strategic alliances in China. Gordon earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics and Asian studies from Colgate University and an MBA with concentrations in finance and management strategy from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

In addition to his duties at Baird Capital, Gordon serves on the boards of directors of PharMedium, Backyard Leisure Holdings, Ellman International, NAC Marketing (New Vitality) and Ecklers Industries. He is also a member of the board of directors and finance committee of Near North Montessori School in Chicago.

Michael Schroeder
President - Private Wealth Managementicon: toggle

Michael SchroederManaging Director

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.

Paul Schultz
General Counsel, Secretary icon: toggle

Paul SchultzManaging Director
Paul Schultz, Managing Director, is General Counsel and Secretary of Baird. He previously served as Deputy General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer of Baird’s Legal and Compliance departments. Paul joined Baird as Associate General Counsel in 2000 and has had broad exposure to all of Baird’s businesses along with primary legal responsibility for corporate and employee holding matters. Paul is a member of Baird’s finance committee, associate holdings committee, risk management credit committee, and healthcare and retirement subcommittees.

Prior to joining Baird, Paul was an attorney in the Corporate Finance and Securities practice group at Quarles & Brady LLP.

Paul earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota and a JD from William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota. Paul is a member of the Wisconsin Bar Association.

Mary Ellen Stanek, CFA
Chief Investment Officericon: toggle

Mary Ellen StanekManaging Director

Mary Ellen has 42 years of experience managing a broad range of fixed income portfolios. She is responsible for the formulation of fixed income strategy as well as the development and implementation of all fixed income asset management services. Mary Ellen serves on the board of Baird Financial Group, is President of the Baird Funds and is chair of the Baird Diversity Steering Committee. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Marquette University and her MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Mary Ellen earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1983 and is currently a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Milwaukee. Prior to joining Baird Advisors, Mary Ellen was President and Chief Executive Officer of Firstar Investment Research and Management Company (FIRMCO) and was Director of Fixed Income.

John Taft
Vice Chairmanicon: toggle

John Taft

John Taft is Vice Chairman of Baird and a member of the firm's Executive Committee. John's focus is on advancing strategic opportunities across Baird's platform, including the continued expansion of Baird's Private Wealth Management business. Prior to joining Baird, he served as CEO of RBC Wealth Management, a full-service brokerage firm with nearly 2,000 financial advisors and over $280 billion in assets, for more than 10 years (2005-2016). He is a past chairman of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), where he advocated for responsible financial reform. More recently, John served in a consulting capacity for Deloitte & Touche. He is a director of RiverFront Investment Group and a senior advisor to LFE Capital.

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. Investment Advisor magazine named him to its 2013 IA 25 list of the most influential people in the financial industry and he made the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business list by Trust Across America in 2014 and 2015.

John is a frequent public speaker and media contributor, and has authored 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 and many other important issues, John credits his family, including his great grandfather, 27th U.S. President William Howard Taft, for instilling strong core values that shape his definition of business success and belief in the importance of treating all people with dignity.

Laura Thurow, CFA
Executive Director of Wealth Solutions and Operations icon: toggle

Laura Thurow

Laura Thurow is Executive Director of Wealth Solutions and Operations for Baird’s Private Wealth Management (PWM) business. 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.

As part of the PWM Leadership Team, she is also involved in various strategic initiatives in support of Baird’s overall wealth management platform.  Additionally, Laura serves as a member of Baird’s Executive Committee.

Laura received a bachelor of arts degree in Economics from Trinity College and an 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.