A Conversation With Ron Kruszewski, Chairman and CEO of Stifel Financial Corp.

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In this episode of the series – our 1st episode – we explore some of the hottest topics in wealth management today with Ron Kruszewski, Chairman & CEO of Stifel.

Ron shares his unique perspective and experience on:

  • How technology is changing the Industry – worries & concerns – Technology moving in areas that are the commoditize portions of the business.
  • How the technological evolution will impact commissions for advisors
  • How should advisors adapt to B-1 
  • Do firm names even matter?
  • Capitalism is under attack in this country – worries & concerns.


Browse additional episodes in this series

About Ronald J. Kruszewski

Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Stifel Financial Corp.

Ron Kruszewski

Ron Kruszewski

Ronald J. Kruszewski is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Stifel Financial Corp. and its principal subsidiary, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated. He joined the firm as Chief Executive Officer in 1997 and was named Chairman in 2001.

Mr. Kruszewski is the current Chairman of the American Securities Association (ASA) and serves on the Board of Directors of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA). In 2019, he was appointed by the St. Louis Federal Reserve Board of Directors to serve a sixth consecutive one-year term on the Federal Advisory Council. Additionally, he serves on the Board of Trustees for Saint Louis University and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation.

Active in community affairs, Mr. Kruszewski serves as Chairman of Downtown Now! and is a member of the Board of Directors of the St. Louis Regional Chamber. He is also past Chairman of the Board of Directors of Downtown STL, Inc. and past non-executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Angelica Corporation. Mr. Kruszewski is a member of the Regional Business Council in St. Louis and of the St. Louis Chapter of the World Presidents’ Organization. In 2018, he won the Horatio Alger Award and was selected for membership in the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, which honors individuals who have overcome adversity to achieve success and who have demonstrated commitment to higher education and charitable endeavors.



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Comments (11)
  • The best leader–or I should say the most advisor focused leader I’ve heard–beats up asset modeling in favor of FAs other ceos will be pissed–says what he wants good interview

    • This was a GREAT! – I’m looking forward to the next episodes.

  • Stuff to think about–Ron seemed all behind an advice model or at least felt that advice is the only thing they cant take away (read stop paying us for) but I still dont get how we should get there. The road is long. Go capitalism!

  • Im onboard, like the series and guests, very laidback real talk vibe not corporate speak.

  • I was a 25+ year veteran of MER, and joined Stifel recently. I was impressed with the culture and how they had only changed their comp plan twice in over 20 years. But most importantly, that the CEO, Ron, really respects what advisors do. You can’t fake that, and he is sincere in his view of this being our business to run, I feel more like an entrepreneur than an employee. Since joining, he has gone out of his way to make sure my transition was successful, which it was. They let advisors think for themselves, and do not push referrals, have unnecessary meetings or conference calls. And the platform met client expectations, and the few times it didn’t, senior management was flexible enough to come up with a solution. So glad I made the move, wish I had done it sooner tbh.

  • I recently joined Stifel from Merrill and it is like the Merrill of old, it’s fun to come to work again. No games with points, scorecards, other nonsense that has nothing to do with serving clients and giving advice

  • In an era where wire houses have worked to marginalize and neuter Financial Advisors, Stifel has promoted their seemingly unique brand of supporting the Advisors’ talents and entrepreneurial spirit. Ron understands how a wealth management practice works at the ground level. The Advisor/Client relationship needs to be at the center of all conversation.

    I moved to Stifel after a long tenure at a big bank wire house. After a somewhat stressful but very successful transition, I finally have fun going into the office again. My team has estimated we get about 25% of our time back from the BS we dealt with to now put into the client. No grid, referral, household, banking suite, mortgage, credit card, “go-forward notes” etc. talk amongst the team anymore – simply just working for the client.

    Ron’s words have always been extremely refreshing to hear and a huge reason why we chose Stifel and have never regretted it.

  • Ron’s comments ring true. While bank owned wire houses are trying to create cookie-cutter investment models and take away advisor autonomy and decision making, Stifel is empowering their advisors to think for themselves and backing them up with a client-centric platform in which to work from. The DOL was Obamacare for the financial services industry and Stifel seemed to see right through that and continued to support the advisor-client relationship and free choice. If you like your advisor, you can keep your advisor – at Stifel. But not the money center banks and large wire houses.

  • It’s actually pretty simple and straight forward, Ron and Sr leadership at Stifel not only respect advisors, but also like them. If you really look across the street, how many firms and leaders can you say that about??

    RK is right, the industry is evolving and will continue to change… BUT, personal advice and advisors will always have a place. It’s amazing what can be achieved when clients, advisors, and leadership interests are aligned.

  • Ron and the senior leaders have delivered on everything they’ve said during our transition. This is the most entrepreneurial firm on the street! It is being recognized by the high volume of recruits joining the firm.

  • Having moved from Wachovia in the fall of 2008 to Stifel. My million dollar business has more than doubled since 2009 and I would attribute that to a “true” grid, excellent technology and a trim and fit management team. If someone wants to be treated like an adult, they should speak to Ron or JZ.

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