Wealth management firm Baird has developed a new way to connect with planning students at University of Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee-based firm has joined forces with the the university’s business school, based in Madison, to develop a brand-new bachelor of business administration program in wealth management and financial planning.

The new degree program focuses on a holistic approach to wealth management and financial planning; its students will be eligible to sit for the CFP exam. The link-up was the brainchild of Mike Schroeder, the president of Baird’s private wealth management group, and UW-Madison associate professor Mark Fedenia.

“The need for young, diverse, highly trained talent is of vital importance to Baird and to our industry,” Schroeder said in a statement. The new course will “help arm the next generation of financial advisors and wealth management professionals with the skills they need.”

An integral part of the new program is a case-based course, launched for the first time this fall as a pilot program. The Baird relationship will also let the business school bring in several guest mentors.

“We have partnered with Baird mainly because it’s a very diverse firm and there are many experts in the different subject areas that typical financial planners have to bring in,” says Fedenia. “All of those planning dimensions require access to people who have a lot of deep expertise in the field.”

This story has been updated after publication.

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