Booth to succeed Purcell as CEO of Baird

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Steve Booth has been promoted to chief operating officer and will eventually serve as chief executive officer and president of Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird & Co Inc., the company announced today.

Booth is currently director of investment banking and co-head of Baird’s equity capital markets business. He will remain in those roles through the end of the year.

Booth will succeed current chairman, CEO and president Paul Purcell. Booth will work side-by-side with Purcell over the next several years to drive the company’s top strategic business opportunities and transition into the role.

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According to the plan, Booth is scheduled to take over the president position on Jan. 1, 2014. In early 2016, he will become CEO. Purcell will continue as chairman for a few years after that.

“The selection of Steve Booth as Baird’s COO is the culmination of a very thoughtful and thorough process over the past several years,” Purcell said. “Steve’s leadership qualities, business acumen and strong knowledge of our businesses make him the best fit for this important role and for helping lead Baird going forward.” 

Booth joined Baird in 1994 and has served as co-head of ECM and head of investment banking since 2006. He is a member of the company’s board of directors, executive committee and chairs the finance committee.

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Since joining the firm in 1994, Purcell has helped grow Baird’s annual revenues from $180 million to an estimated $960 million in 2012. Client assets have grown from $13 billion to almost $100 billion.

The company now has 100 office locations in the United States, Europe and Asia, and employee ownership increased from 20 percent to 94 percent under his leadership.

“I couldn’t be prouder of what we have achieved together and I couldn’t be more confident in Steve’s ability to help take Baird even further,” Purcell said.

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