Team Behind the Team


Ronald J. Kruszewski
Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer

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.

Prior to joining Stifel, Mr. Kruszewski served as Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of Baird Financial Corporation and Managing Director of Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated from 1993 to September 1997. 

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). From 2014 through 2019, he served on the Federal Reserve's Federal Advisory Council. 




James M. Zemlyak

James M. Zemlyak has served as Co-President of Stifel Financial Corp. since 2014 and has led the firm's Global Wealth Management business since 2011.  He served as Chief Financial Officer of Stifel Financial Corp. from 1999 to 2018 and as Treasurer from 1999 to 2012.          

Mr. Zemlyak has been Chief Operating Officer of Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated since 2002 and Executive Vice President since 2005.  In addition, he served as Chief Financial Officer of Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated from 1999 to 2006.

Prior to joining Stifel, Mr. Zemlyak served as Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of Baird Financial Corporation from 1997 to 1999 and Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated from 1994 to 1999.



James M. Marischen
Chief Financial Officer

James M. Marischen was named Chief Financial Officer of Stifel Financial Corp. in August 2018.  From 2015 to 2018, he served as the firm's Chief Accounting Officer and Chief Risk Officer, with responsibilities including oversight of corporate accounting, financial analysis and planning, tax, treasury, and enterprise risk management.

Mr. Marischen joined Stifel in 2008, serving as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Stifel Bank & Trust from 2008 to 2015.  Prior to joining Stifel, Mr. Marischen worked in public accounting at KPMG LLP.



David Sliney
Chief Operations Officer

Since joining Stifel in 1992, David D. Sliney has worked in a number of capacities, including fixed income trading, capital markets and syndicate, investment banking, technology and operations assimilation, and leading the firm's merger integration efforts.

As Chief Operating Officer of Stifel Financial Corp., Mr. Sliney is responsible for oversight of technology, operations, and platform development.  He previously served as Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning, Technology, and Operations from 2003 to 2018.  Prior to that role, Mr. Sliney worked in the firm's Equity Syndicate department and as a trader in the Fixed Income department.



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Michael O'Keeffe, CFA
Chief Investment Officer and Global Head of Investment Strategy
New York, New York


Michael leads the team responsible for developing investment strategy and corresponding investment solutions for the financial advisors and clients of Stifel's Private Client Group.




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Lindsey Piegza, Ph.D.
Managing Director – Chief Economist
Chicago, Illinois


Lindsey researches and analyzes economic trends and activity, world economies, financial markets, and fiscal policies.




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Barry B. Bannister, CFA
Managing Director – Chief Equity Strategist
Baltimore, Maryland


Barry has been Head of Institutional Equity Strategy for Stifel since 2011.  Prior to his Equity Strategy role, he was an equity analyst covering primarily the machinery and engineering industries since 1987.




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Aimee Jacobs, AWMA®, CEP®
Managing Director, Wealth Planning
St. Louis, Missouri

Aimee oversees Stifel's financial planning, estate & tax planning, and insurance & annuity functions.  She also manages a specialized program for high-net-worth investors. 




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Andy Johnson, CLU®, ChFC®
Vice President, Insurance & Annuity Solutions Manager
St. Louis, Missouri


Andy has more than 24 years of experience in the investment services industry. He joined Stifel in 2017 as the Insurance Solutions Manager.

His responsibilities include leading the Insurance Solutions team in marketing life, long-term care, and disability insurance to Stifel's financial advisors and their clients.




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Stephen Lestmann, JD
Assistant Vice President, Wealth Strategist
Estate & Tax Planning | Wealth Planning
St. Louis, Missouri

Stephen joined Stifel in 2013 as an Estate Planning Specialist in the Wealth Planning Department. Stephen serves as a resource to financial advisors and their clients in matters of estate planning, estate and gift tax planning, and estate and trust administration.




Photo of Nataliya Popel.

Nataliya Popel, CFA
Director – Head of Structured Investments Team
New York, New York


Nataliya leads Stifel's Structured Investments team, which is responsible for developing calendar and customized Structured Investments solutions for advisors and clients of Stifel's Private Client Group, helping clients pursue strategic investment objectives, including enhanced yield, enhanced growth, and downside protection in their investment portfolios.