Baird has added two public finance directors with longtime experience in public education to its Texas offices, the company said.

Former Stifel Nicolaus managing director Oscar Cardenas, a veteran school administrator, will be managing director in Baird’s San Antonio office.

Oscar Cardenas joined Baird as managing director in San Antonio.
Oscar Cardenas joined Baird as managing director in San Antonio.

Former Bastrop Independent School District superintendent Steve Murray will work as senior vice president in Baird’s new Austin office.

“Their depth of knowledge and experience serving both as leaders and bankers for Texas ISDs will be a tremendous addition to our Public Finance team in Texas,” said Brian Brewer, director of Baird’s Public Finance Group.

With the addition of Cardenas and Murray, Baird has 16 public finance professionals working in offices in Houston, San Antonio and Austin.

Steve Murray joined Baird as senior vice president in Austin.
Steve Murray joined Baird as senior vice president in Austin.

At Stifel Nicolaus, Cardenas worked with several large school districts, including Fort Bend, Northside and Richardson. Earlier in his career, Cardenas served as the deputy superintendent and chief financial officer at Northside ISD, the fourth largest school district in Texas.

At Northside, Cardenas developed a comprehensive debt management plan, which included variable rate demand obligations. He was involved in seven successful bond elections totaling over $3.1 billion and negotiated the issuance of over $4 billion in bonds, including $2 billion in VRDO transactions. Cardenas earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Murray brings more than 35 years of public school leadership experience to his new job.

At Bastrop ISD, he led debt management activities through refinancing and preparing the district for a long range capital facilities plan. Earlier in his career, Murray was superintendent for Little Elm ISD in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Murray received a bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University, a Master of Education in School Leadership from Texas State University, and a superintendent’s certification from Texas A&M University.

In October, Baird added two former Stifel Nicolaus executives to its San Antonio office.
James Steward joined Baird as managing director and Marisol Warneke as senior vice president.

Before joining Stifel Nicolaus as managing director, Stewart worked for Hutchinson, Shockey, Erley & Co., Raymond James and Banc of America Securities. Stewart also served as a school superintendent for 13 years with multiple Texas school districts and has extensive experience with Texas ISD financings, including the management of school debt and the marketing process of school bonds.

Warneke, a former vice president at Stifel, has more than 15 years of public finance experience providing banking support to municipal entities across Texas.

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