Janet Robinson, former CEO of the New York Times Company, joined the board of Steward Partners, an independent firm founded by wirehouse managers and affiliated with Raymond James Financial Services.

She's the first woman to join the 8-member board of Steward Partners Holdings, the holding company for Steward Partners Global Advisory.

Robinson said she learned about Steward Partners through Michael McMahon; the two serve on the board of trustees of Salve Regina University. Robinson is a graduate of the Newport, R.I.-based university which currently has about 2,700 students, according to its website.

"In getting to know Mike, he said he was involved in a very exciting opportunity with Steward and asked if I would be interested in learning more about it," she says. "I've been very impressed with what I have seen."

Robinson, who had a 28-year career at the Times, says she joined in part because of the opportunity to be involved with an innovative firm and a long-held interest in financial services.

"Needless to say, innovation is involved in every industry nowadays. It's nice to see innovation entering in a very interesting way in the financial services sector," she says.

Steward Partners is led by several former wirehouse managers, including CEO Michael Maurer and President James Gold, both of whom were previously at Morgan Stanley.

According to the firm, it has recruited advisors managing $1.8 billion in the past 13 months. Last month, Steward Partners recruited a Wells Fargo team with $200 million in AUM. Jim Fowkes and Ben Plata joined the Washington D.C. office, where the year-old firm is based.

In addition to Robinson and McMahon, the other board members are Gary Miller, president of Patty Madden, Dan Polk, CEO of Baxter, Stinson and Polk, as well as Steward executives Maurer, Gold, Hy Saporta and Scott Abry.

"Janet not only brings to bear her know-how from running one of the world’s elite organizations, she brings a wealth of business, educational, and charitable experience to Steward. Without question, Janet adds immense value," McMahon said in a statement.

Robinson, who uses a financial advisor, says this is the first time she has served on the board of a wealth management firm. She is also currently a member of the board of trustees for the Carnegie Corporation, a philanthropic organization.

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