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Our Extended Team

Linda Grant-Smith, CPWA® CFP®


Regional Financial Planner

Linda is a Regional Financial Planner at Baird having joined the firm July of 2017. Possessing a unique balance of compassion and wisdom, allows her to guide and support those around her. Linda’s story-like approach to Financial Planning is what sets her apart from the rest of the field. As a CFP®, she caters to all clients through her creation of visual, calculated, and proactive plans. These plans serve as a compass through the territory of taxation, investments, insurances, health care, education, final wishes, and anything else falling under the broad scope of personal finances.

Linda earned her BA from Wesleyan University in Russian Studies with a concentration in teaching, holds the Certified Financial Planner® designation, Certified Private Wealth Advisor® Certification and received a Certificate in Business Succession Planning from the American College. She currently holds the series 7, 66, 63, 51, 26, 24, life, health, annuity and property and casualty insurance licenses.

Prior to joining Baird, Linda was a financial planner and advisor at various independent firms. Throughout her tenure, she has been published in the Financial Planning magazine, received multiple writing and speaking awards, and has conducted numerous educational seminars to other professionals.

Linda and her husband, Scott, reside in Centerville, TN and enjoy the countryside activities of hiking, kayaking, and boating the Duck and Piney Rivers. They have three grown sons, of whom they are very proud.

Why Baird?

Linda is proud to be part of Baird – a fully independent, international firm serving the wealth management needs of families, businesses and organizations for more than 95 years. Nationally recognized as a great place to work, Baird attracts the industry’s best and brightest. And employee ownership gives all of us a personal stake in our clients’ success. It’s a formula that works because of the values we share: honesty, integrity and a commitment to keeping clients first – always.

Kathy Blake Carey, CFA®


Director of PWM Research & Planning

Kathy Carey is Director of Research & Planning for Baird’s Private Wealth Management group. In this role, she oversees the Asset Manager Research, Equity, Value Equity and Fixed Income Research teams as well as the Financial & Estate Planning department.

She is a co-portfolio manager for the ALIGN Strategic portfolios where she is involved in the investment, asset allocation and rebalancing decisions as well as due diligence of the portfolios. Additionally, she is a voting member of Baird’s Equity Recommended Portfolio and sits on the firm’s Investment Policy Committee.

Previously, Kathy spent 9 years as an equity analyst and sector portfolio manager at Mason Street Advisors, the public investment subsidiary of Northwestern Mutual. Before that she was a senior associate in Baird’s Equity Research Department covering Utilities and Financial Technology for 4 years.

Kathy received a bachelor of arts degree from Yale University and a MBA from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. She has earned the CFA® charter and is a member of the CFA® Society of Milwaukee. She also holds Series 7, 66 and 24 licenses.

Kathy is Treasurer of the Yale Association of Wisconsin and a member of its scholarship committee.

Kelsey Clair, CPA


Tax Strategist
Charlotte, NC

Kelsey Clair joined Robert W. Baird & Co. in 2020. Kelsey is currently the Tax Strategist for Baird’s Private Wealth Management Group. Prior to joining Baird in 2020, Kelsey was responsible for providing tax compliance and tax planning services to high net worth individuals and privately held businesses at Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP.  Kelsey graduated from the University of South Carolina with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Accountancy with a focus in taxation. Kelsey is a Certified Public Accountant with the North Carolina State Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners as well as the Virginia Board of Accountancy.

Gail S. Freeman, J.D.


Senior Estate Planner
Charlotte, NC

Gail Freeman joined Robert W. Baird & Co. in 2020. Gail is currently a Senior Estate Planner for Baird’s Private Wealth Management Group.  Prior to joining Baird, Gail was a Senior Wealth Planning Strategist for Wells Fargo Private Bank in New York City. Throughout her career in both law and financial services,  Gail has worked with individuals and families advising on a broad range of sophisticated estate planning strategies and developing customized wealth plans based on a thorough  understanding of each client’s personal values, asset growth and wealth transfer goals. Helping each client to realize their unique vision for their legacy, Gail has utilized both tax and non-tax solutions to achieve that vision. Gail graduated from the University of South Carolina and earned her J.D. from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois.