Mary Ellen Stanek

Managing Director, Chief Investment Officer, Baird Advisors, President of Baird Funds

Mary Ellen Stanek, CFA, has over 41 years of investment management experience. She currently serves as Managing Director of Robert W. Baird & Co. and Chief Investment Officer of Baird Advisors responsible for over $109 billion in assets under management. Additionally, she serves as President of the Baird Funds.  Previously she had served as President and CEO of Firstar Investment Research & Management Company. 

In 2019 and 2020, Mary Ellen was a finalist for Morningstar’s Outstanding Portfolio Manager Award. Under her leadership, the Baird Advisors team was also named a finalist for the Morningstar, Inc.’s 2016 Fixed Income Fund Manager of the Year Award and has also been recognized multiple times as a “Best Place to Work in Money Management” by Pensions & Investments. In 2020, she was named to Barron’s inaugural list of the 100 Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance.

Mary Ellen is a member of The CFA Institute, the CFA Society of Milwaukee, the Greater Milwaukee Committee (past Board Chair), Milwaukee 7 (past Co-Chair), Tempo (past President), Professional Dimensions and Milwaukee Women inc.

Mary Ellen serves on the boards of Baird Financial Group, Northwestern Mutual, and WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC). She also serves on the boards of All-In Milwaukee, Boys and Girls Clubs (past Board Chair), Children’s Hospital Foundation, Faith In Our Future Trust, Froedtert Health, Greater Milwaukee Committee, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Medical College of Wisconsin (past Board Chair), and Milwaukee World Festival. She served on the Board of Marquette University where she chaired the Board and was elected Trustee Emerita. She has co-chaired annual campaigns for the United Performing Arts Fund and the United Way.

Mary Ellen has received the Marquette University Alumna of the Year (2010) recognition, the Marquette University College of Arts and Sciences Person for Others Award, Marquette University High School’s Spirit of St. Ignatius Award, The St. Francis Children’s Service Award, The Tempo Mentor Award, The Business Journal Women of Influence Award, The Point of Light Award, Professional Dimensions Sacagawea Award, Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame Distinguished Executive Award, Baird’s Brenton H. Rupple Citizenship Award and the Herb Kohl Champion Award. She and her husband were named “Parents of the Year” by COA Youth and Family Centers (2011). In 2012, she received the MVP Award from Boys & Girls Clubs. 

She received her undergraduate degree from Marquette University (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and her graduate degree from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Mary Ellen and her husband, Scott, have three children: Peter (Erin), Katie (Tim), and Patrick and four grandchildren: Emme, Abigail, Kathryn and Henry.