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Baird Capital announces promotions

Baird Capital said March 14 that John DiGiovanni, Alex Kessel and Tom Smith were promoted to principal from vice president, while Michael Holgate was promoted to investment director from investment manager.


CHICAGO, March 14, 2017 – Baird Capital, the direct private investment arm ofBaird, announced today that John DiGiovanni, Alex Kessel and Tom Smith were promoted to Principal from Vice President, and Michael Holgate was promoted to Investment Director from Investment Manager.

John DiGiovanni joined Baird Capital in 2007 and concentrates on investments in the Technology & Services sector. DiGiovanni is a current member of the Board of Directors at R2integrated and Myelin Communications, and has a current focus on the digital marketing and information solutions sub-sectors. Prior to joining Baird Capital, DiGiovanni worked in investment banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, and equity and debt offerings. DiGiovanni earned an MPA from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and a BA from the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University, where he graduated with honors. He has served as an Education Pioneers Fellow and has held Board roles at the Chicago Children’s Museum and The Cara Program. In November 2016, DiGiovanni transferred to Baird Capital’s London office from Chicago as part of a one year global transition program with Michael Holgate.

Alex Kessel joined Baird Capital in 2011. With a focus on the Healthcare sector, Kessel is responsible for sourcing, evaluating, and executing new investments and supporting portfolio company management teams. Kessel has also been instrumental in developing and leading Baird Capital’s focus in the behavioral health sector (with a particular focus on Autism therapies as well as substance use disorder treatment providers) as well as outsourced hospital services (including clinical and non-clinical services). He serves as a board member of Alpha Source, Inc. and Workforce Insight. Kessel has spent much of his career in private equity, though was also a co-founder of Lincoln Renewable Energy, a successful renewable energy development platform. Kessel is on the NorthShore University HealthSystem associate board. Kessel received an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with concentrations in finance, entrepreneurship & strategic management and a BS from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, graduating with distinction.
Tom Smith joined Baird Capital in 2012 and is a member of Baird Capital’s Portfolio Operations Team where his main responsibilities include portfolio monitoring, financial integration, KPI development & measurement, and M&A due diligence. Prior to joining Baird Capital, Smith spent six years in KPMG’s Transaction Services department providing financial due diligence services for private equity and strategic clients. Smith’s previous experience also includes audit and internal control compliance. He graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with bachelor’s degrees in finance and accounting.
Michael Holgate joined Baird Capital in 2014 and his responsibilities include sourcing investment opportunities, deal execution and portfolio management. Prior to joining Baird Capital, Holgate spent four years working in financial due diligence and corporate finance. Holgate primarily works with businesses in the Technology & Services sector and has a particular focus on identifying investment opportunities in the global education services market. In November 2016, Holgate transferred to Baird Capital’s Chicago office from London as part of a one year global transition program with John DiGiovanni. He is currently active in Baird Capital’s investments in bfinance, Myelin and Vitalyst. Holgate is a Chartered Accountant and has a First Class Masters in Chemistry.
About Baird Capital
Baird Capital makes venture capital, growth equity and private equity investments in strategically targeted sectors around the world. Having invested in 300 companies over its history, Baird Capital partners with entrepreneurs and, leveraging its executive networks, strives to build exceptional companies. Baird Capital provides operational support to its portfolio companies through teams on the ground in Asia, a proactive portfolio operations team and a deep network of relationships which together strive to deliver enhanced shareholder value. Baird Capital is the direct private investment arm of Robert W. Baird & Co. For more information, please visit