Southeastern Wisconsin financial service industry news
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Baird creates college curriculum to address talent gap
November 18, 2014 10:35 AM
Milwaukee-based wealth management firm Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. has partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Wisconsin School of Business to fill an expected talent gap in its industry.

Since the demand for wealth managers is expected to increase and the average age of financial advisors is 50.9, Baird has created a course to help prepare business graduates to fill the demand as advisors retire.

"By collaborating with an industry leader like Baird, we are bringing an innovative applied learning experience for our students that will inspire and develop future wealth managers and answer this business need," said François Ortalo-Magné, WSB dean. "This type of partnership reflects our approach in addressing industry challenges."

Mike Schroeder, president of Baird’s wealth management group, and Mark Fedenia, associate professor of finance at WSB, have developed a sequence of courses for finance majors, capped by Wealth Management I, which will prepare students to take the CFP Certification Examination to become a certified financial planner.

"Baird is thrilled to be partnering with the Wisconsin School of Business to introduce a formal wealth management and financial planning track for finance majors," Schroeder said. "Attracting young, highly trained talent to careers in wealth management is vitally important to Baird and to the future of the financial services industry. I couldn't be more proud of my alma mater for embracing this opportunity and inviting Baird to be a strong partner in preparing the next generation of wealth management professionals."

The curriculum was developed and will be taught by Baird financial experts.

"This new curriculum brings the latest research with practical, hands-on learning from industry leaders to give our students the specialized knowledge to be career-ready in the wealth management and financial planning field," Fedenia said. "My goal is to train students to have the breadth and business background of an MBA at the undergraduate level." 

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Prairie Financial Group expands team
November 18, 2014 10:39 AM
Waukesha-based Prairie Financial Group, a division of Waukesha State Bank, has added three new senior wealth managers.

Anthony Preman has been named director of fiduciary services. He has more than 10 years of experience in financial services, most recently as an investment advisor at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. Preman will work with prospective clients to develop solutions for their needs. He holds a master’s from Hampton College and has held series 7, series 63 and series 65 licenses from FINRA.

Terry Doyle has been named senior director-fiduciary services. He has more than 25 years of experience in financial services, most recently as vice president/wealth advisor for BMO Private Bank. Doyle will work with prospective clients to develop directed and delegated trusts. He holds a bachelor’s in economics and an MBA, both from Marquette University.

Michele Young has been named senior trust administrator. She has more than 25 years of trust administration experience, most recently at BMO Private Bank. Young will be responsible for personal trust administration. She holds a bachelor’s in economics/finance from Augusta State University and a Certified Trust & Financial Advisor designation.

“The addition of Anthony, Terry and Michele to the team reflects Prairie Financial Group’s ongoing commitment to provide an outstanding level of service to our clients,” said Kristin Reilly, president of Prairie Financial Group.  “To have professionals of this caliber join our firm is also indicative of our ability to attract top talent, while supporting the needs and goals of our clients.”

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McCarthy Grittinger Financial Group names new partners
November 18, 2014 10:41 AM
Milwaukee-based investment advisory and financial planning firm McCarthy Grittinger Financial Group LLC has named two new partners: Matthew Miler CPA, CFP and Jacqueline Schneider, CFP.

Miler has worked at MG Group since 2012 as lead tax director and a member of the investment committee. He previously worked for 10 years in Deloitte Tax LLP’s private client advisor group. Miler is a certified public accountant and a certified financial planner. He holds a bachelor’s in accounting and management from Luther College.

Schneider joined MG Group in January 2005 and serves as director of financial planning. She develops, evaluates and presents various aspects of the financial planning process to clients and serves as a relationship manager for many of MG Group’s valued clients. Schneider holds a bachelor’s in business administration-finance from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and a certificate in business administration from Mount Mary College. She previously worked in the banking industry.

“Matt and Jackie will strengthen our service offerings and deepen our valued client relationships,” said Scott Grittinger, managing partner. “Matt will also bolster our tax expertise and capabilities. We continue to build a talented and quality team and are committed to a solid business plan which keeps the proper care of our clients - first and foremost.”

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Xten sold out of bankruptcy
November 18, 2014 10:48 AM
Kenosha-based plastic injection molding company Xten Industries LLC has been sold out of bankruptcy to Mundelein, Ill.-based Commercial Plastics Co.

Xten, valued at $25 million, filed a WARN notice with the state in October indicating it would close and lay off 120 employees if the sale did not go through.

Following the transaction, Xten will change its name to Commercial Plastics Kenosha LLC and continue business as usual in Kenosha. All 120 employees and the management team will be retained at the location.

The sale was due to a variety of reasons, said Bill O’Connor, vice president of sales at CPC.

“It was just a business decision by the old owners,” he said. “I think they maybe took on too much too fast.”

Xten was established in the 1940s in Chicago under the name Hauser Plas Tech. It changed its name to Xten in 2000. The company has a 78,000-square-foot Kenosha plant with 31 presses. It previously had a Lockport, Ill. location, which was separated and liquidated a few months ago, O’Connor said.

CPC plans to hire several new employees at Xten. The combined company will generate $60 to $65 million in sales, he said.

“What a smart play by CPC. We have worked together for years on various projects and discovered along the way our compatibilities and synergies,” said Xten co-founder Bill Renick.“I am excited about the future.”

“We are also proud that Commercial recognized the great team we have here. It is encouraging to know that our employees will continue as part of a growing company and as part of the fantastic community of Kenosha,” said Matthew Davidson, co-founder.

In recent years, Xten has been quickly growing in Kenosha. From June 2012 to June 2013, it grew by about 150 percent, reporting $50 million in revenue in 2013. Last year, Xten added a fourth shift to move to 24/7 production and partnered with Kenosha-based Gateway Technical College to offer a scholarship and internal training program.

The 73-year-old company was named to the Inc. 5000 list in October. Xten received the Employee Engagement & Commitment Award from Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce in February. It was the Kenosha Area Business Alliance’s 2011 Kenosha County Business of the Year.

“We see growth opportunity with the quality partnerships Xten has built over the years and look forward to further developing those relationships,” said CPC president Matthew O'Connor.

“Xten has the same core values that CPC has and bringing the two together only strengthens our ability to service our customers,” Bill O’Connor said.

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Seiberlich acquires V&L Tool
November 18, 2014 10:44 AM
Milwaukee business executive Kevin Seiberlich and Hamilton Henry Capital have acquired Waukesha-based V&L Tool Inc.

Seiberlich, chief executive officer of Milwaukee-based Optimus Financial Services LLC will also serve as president and chief executive officer of the company.

“It’s been around since the ’60s and it’s got a solid reputation in the industry and it’s got a great framework for us to be able to grow it,” Seiberlich said. “We’re really looking at existing customers and how we can grow with them and new customers.”

V&L, which offers advanced manufacturing and complex assemblies, has more than 65 employees, and Seiberlich plans to increase employment by 20 percent in the first quarter of 2015. The manufacturer has a 150,000-square-foot main facility with CNC manufacturing and assembly capabilities. It primarily serves the advanced medical equipment, power generation, manufacturing, hydraulics and agriculture industries.

 “V&L is at the forefront of the complex machining and assembly work that underpins a resurgence in American manufacturing,” Seiberlich said. “That’s a testament to the remarkable expertise and dedication of the V&L team, which has been running at full capacity since our purchase.

 “V&L is positioned extremely well to grow with our new and current customers due to our strong market position and talented employee base. Add our positive financial position and the potential for value-add acquisitions and the company’s prospects are very bright.”

 “Growth at the company is already driving new hiring and we will hold a job fair in the near future to meet the need,” said Jenny Schlut, human resources manager. “We’re actively recruiting experienced CNC set-up operators, particularly candidates who have turning and machining center experience.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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Fiserv names Schultz group president
November 18, 2014 10:52 AM
Brookfield-based Fiserv Inc. announced Kevin Schultz has been named group president of a newly formed group comprised of the firm's consumer-focused electronic payment platforms and digital channel solutions.

Schultz has 30 years of payments and financial services experience, most recently as president of global financial services at First Data Corp., where he managed payment processing services for financial institutions across the world. Schultz previously served as global head of processing services at Visa Inc.

“Kevin brings a strong payments background and intense client focus to his new role,” said Jeffery Yabuki, president and chief executive officer. “We believe his industry knowledge and leadership experience will help us to deliver on the opportunities we see to create new value for financial institutions and their customers.”

Fiserv, which develops technology products for financial institutions, this month reported record sales performance in the third quarter.

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State report estimates impact of 'jock tax' for new arena
November 18, 2014 10:59 AM
If the state designated income tax paid by National Basketball Association players and team employees to cover the public's costs for building a new arena in Milwaukee, the funds could support approximately $150 million in state general obligation bonding, according to a new Legislative Fiscal Bureau report.

The report was requested by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester).

The report outlined the impact of a so-called “jock tax.”

The Bucks have generated commitments for at least $300 million from the private sector. The additional $150 million in public funding would likely be enough to finance the costs of building a new arena, which have been estimated at about $450 million.

Vos issued the following statement: “For months, I have had thoughtful discussions with the Milwaukee Bucks and was gathering information from the organization. Like any business considering moving out of Wisconsin, it’s important to first examine the business’ impact on the state’s bottom line. Unfortunately, over the past few days, liberals are attempting to smear the process. In the end, the facts will rule the day and not politics…NBA players paid $10.7 million in income taxes to the state of Wisconsin in 2012. The memo also points out how much the state could support in general obligation bonding. This is one viable option that the Legislature could consider. One fact that hasn’t changed is that any option that includes taxpayer resources will be a tough sell in the conservative Assembly Republican caucus. I continue to hear from members and my own constituents who are hard-pressed to giving away precious taxpayer dollars with so many demands on our resources. Moving forward we will examine all the options and ultimately do what’s best for Wisconsin and its taxpayers.”

However, the notion of using state income tax dollars, even if they would be collected by NBA players in Milwaukee, drew immediate opposition from Assembly Majority Leader Elect Jim Steineke (R–Kaukauna).

Steineke issued the following statements: “Earlier this week, Speaker Vos indicated that state funding for a new Milwaukee Bucks arena would be a tough sell to our caucus members. I agree with the Speaker. When you examine this issue and how it has played out in the past with public funding for Lambeau Field and Miller Park, local or regional taxpayers footed the bill. In this case, the new Bucks owners are asking the entire state to pick up a portion of the tab. This is a vast departure from the way we have operated in similar circumstances in the past. Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature who live well outside of the Milwaukee area would have an extremely difficult time explaining to our constituents why they should give their hard-earned tax dollars to billionaire owners of a sports franchise when they will likely never even attend one of their games. It is my sincere hope that we are able to find a way to keep the Milwaukee Bucks in Wisconsin as the existence of a sports franchise in the community does add value to the local economy. I’m sure the Legislature will be open to look at options that will help accomplish this, but it is much more likely to get support if taxpayers from outside of the region are not stuck with the tab.”

Vos recently criticized Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry for showing up at General Mitchell International Airport to greet President Barack Obama in Milwaukee on Oct. 28.

Vos said Lasry's appearance "did not make my job easier" in terms of convincing Republican lawmakers to support a possible financial plan to build a new arena in Milwaukee.

"It's a tough sell when you're asking for millions of dollars," Vos said.

To view the memo from the LFB, visit

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BizTimes launches new BizTracker news service
November 18, 2014 10:54 AM
BizTimes Media has launched BizTracker, a new Wisconsin business news data digital streaming service for its readers.

The new service is available directly at and streams in real time across the home page at

The BizTracker will aggregate the latest business data reports of interest for BizTimes readers.

“This new feature will add value to the breadth of coverage we provide to keep Wisconsin business executives apprised of the latest and greatest information to help them make more informed decisions,” said BizTimes publisher Dan Meyer.

The BizTracker will provide data in the following news sub-categories:  the economy; employment; manufacturing; finance; health care; real estate; entertainment; retail; and transportation.

The BizTimes BizTracker is presented in partnership with Associated Bank.

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Molly Dill This exclusive news bulletin is compiled by BizTimes Milwaukee reporter Molly Dill. This bulletin is published every Tuesday morning. Send financial services industry news and tips to or call her at (414) 336-7144.

Additional Resources

» Wisconsin Association of Accountants
» Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants
» Wisconsin Association for Financial Professionals

Financial Institutions

» Wisconsin Bankers Association
» The Wisconsin Credit Union League
» Community Bankers of Wisconsin
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Financial Planning

» Financial Planning Association of Southern Wisconsin
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» Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin
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Mergers & Acquisitions

» Midwest Business Brokers and Intermediaries
» Association for Corporate Growth - Wisconsin
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Other Resources

» Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
» Wisconsin Government Finance Officers Association

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