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Wisconsin 275
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Steve Booth

Banking and Finance
Chairman and CEO
Baird |  Milwaukee

Steve Booth leads Baird, a Milwaukee-based international financial services company that posted record revenues of $3.4 billion last year. With roughly 4,700 employees, it is the second-largest investment management firm in the area. Booth also serves on the boards of The Water Council, United Performing Arts Fund, United Way of Greater Milwaukee &  Waukesha County, and Carmen Schools of Science and Technology.

Education: Bachelor’s, Southern Methodist University; MBA, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

First job: “Working at the biggest commercial bank in Texas in the 1980s. For five years, I had a front row seat in the boom and bust of oil and gas followed by commercial real estate. I learned that the highs are too high, and the lows are too low.”

Career advice: “One piece of advice (former Baird chairman and CEO, the late Paul Purcell) gave has been really instrumental: ‘Strategy is not only what you do, but just as importantly, what you intentionally don’t do.’”

Fun fact: “I was a drummer in a rock band when I was a kid growing up in the Chicago area. A couple of the other guys were pretty good, and we actually played a fair amount of gigs.”

Biggest recent accomplishment: “A significant success is that Hefren-Tillotson, a privately held, full-service wealth management firm with a nearly 75-year legacy in Pittsburgh, agreed to join Baird as a wholly owned subsidiary earlier this year.”

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