Veteran Lyle Fitterer Joins Baird

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After just a month into retirement, Lyle Fitterer, a veteran municipal portfolio manager will return to the investment industry next month when he joins Baird Advisors, the firm announced this week.

Fitterer, 52, who earlier this month retired from a more than three-decade stint at Wells Fargo Asset Management, will co-lead the municipal investment team along with municipal veteran Duane McAllister, according to a Baird press release Monday.

A longtime colleague who most recently worked with Fitterer at Wells Fargo as portfolio managers from 2004 to 2006, McAllister will again partner with Fitterer in his new role, which becomes effective Aug. 6, according to the release.

The pair will lead a six-person municipal team overseeing the management of more than $80 billion in tax-exempt and taxable fixed income portfolios and will help guide overall strategy and positioning across the municipal funds and portfolios. Fitterer will also join McAllister as part of the senior management team at the Milwaukee-based advisor.

They will be instrumental in the potential growth of the asset management firm’s future municipal business on the heels of McAllister’s role in broadening Baird’s municipal offerings since joining the firm over four years ago, including the Baird Short-Term Municipal Bond Fund and the Baird Core Municipal Bond Fund, which are part of the Baird Bond Funds suite.

The other fixed-income funds include the Baird Ultra Short Bond Fund, Baird Short-Term Bond Fund, Baird Intermediate Bond Fund, Baird Aggregate Bond Fund, Baird Core Plus Bond Fund, and Baird Quality Intermediate Municipal Bond Fund.

Fitterer is eager about his new career endeavor, while management is equally enthusiastic about his partnership with the firm and McAllister — who has 30 years of experience in the municipal industry and also previously worked with Fitterer at Strong Capital Management as portfolio managers.

“This represents an opportunity to serve in a senior role at an established institutional bond manager with a stellar national reputation,” Fitterer said in the release of his upcoming role at the private/employee-owned firm.

“I look forward to being part of Baird’s team-oriented, client-first culture,” he added.

Mary Ellen Stanek, chief investment officer, said she is excited to have Fitterer working alongside McAllister on the municipal team and joining the ranks of the firm as well.

As co-leaders, the pair will consider launching additional municipal funds or strategies as they share a “similar and consistent investment approach,” according to the release.

“As our business continues to grow, we remain focused on strengthening our team to assure that we continue to deliver the results our clients expect,” Stanek said in the release. “The opportunity to add an investment professional of Lyle’s caliber makes immense sense,” she added.

At Wells, Fitterer oversaw the 27-member municipal fixed income investment team — which managed $38 billion of client assets — as well as the implementation of 16 strategies into portfolios in collaboration with the other portfolio managers, according to a March 28 release from Wells announcing Fitterer’s retirement.

Jeff Weaver, senior portfolio manager and head of Wells’ short duration and money market funds assumed Fitterer’s leadership and oversight responsibility as of June 1, 2019.

From mid-2005 to early 2009, Fitterer served as head of Wells’ Customized Fixed Income team, which manages taxable longer duration strategies. He joined the firm in 2005 from Strong Capital Management, where he was appointed director of Strong’s municipal fixed income team. Prior to that, he served in a variety of other roles with the firm, including managing director of Strong’s institutional client services team, and was also a member of the Strong taxable fixed income team as an analyst, trader, and portfolio manager specializing in mortgage and asset-backed securities.

Fitterer, who is a certified public accountant, began his investment career in 1989 and holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of North Dakota.

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