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Brian Baker, Vestor Capital Founder, Dies in Fall at 58

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Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Brian Baker, whose Chicago-based investment advisory firm, Vestor Capital Partners LLC, was acquired two months ago by Focus Financial Partners LLC, has died. He was 58.

He died on Dec. 16 of injuries sustained in an apparent accident at his home in Wilmette, Illinois, police said.

Emergency responders found him “bleeding severely after falling backwards on a glass coffee table,” according to a press release from the Wilmette Police Department. Fire department personnel took him to Evanston Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:47 a.m.

Focus, based in New York City, describes itself as the largest partnership of independent wealth-management firms, with more than $52 billion in combined assets. It announced on Oct. 11 that it had acquired Vestor, which had client assets of more than $500 million. No price was disclosed.

Brian C. Baker was born on Sept. 14, 1954. An attorney and certified public accountant, he founded Vestor, a fee-based investment advisory firm and brokerage, in 1984 and served as president and chief investment officer, according to the firm’s website.

In the news release announcing the acquisition, Baker said, “We have set our sights on growing our business by extending our services to more clients and recruiting like-minded advisers to join us.”

Baker earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration, accounting and finance from Georgetown University, in Washington, and his law degree from Notre Dame University, in South Bend, Indiana.

Before starting Vestor, he was vice president for acquisitions at Balcor Corp., the real-estate division that American Express Inc. liquidated in the early 1990s. He also worked in the audit and tax departments at Arthur Andersen & Co.

With his wife, the former Linda Wolf, he had four children, Brian Jr., Matthew, Carolyn and Katherine, according to a death notice on the website of Donnellan Family Funeral Services in Skokie, Illinois.

To contact the reporter on this story: Laurence Arnold in Washington at larnold4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Charles W. Stevens at cstevens@bloomberg.net

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