Baird creates college curriculum to address talent gap

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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.”

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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.

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“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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