H. Robert (Bob) Holmes ’66, a political science major, began his professional career as a stock broker with Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, and later progressed rapidly through a series of promotions with the firm Blyth, Eastman, Dillon & Company.
In 1979, Holmes founded Gilford Securities along with other senior officers of the former Blyth Eastman Dillon & Company. Gilford Securities is one of Wall Street’s few remaining private investment banking firms, with ownership shared by its founders and many of the firm’s more than 150 employees. Today, Gilford Securities is a full-service, national investment firm and maintains offices in Irvine, Calif.; New York City; and in White Plains, Melville and Westhampton, N.Y.
Holmes was elected to North Central’s Board of Trustees in 1979 and was a member of the Board’s Public Affairs and Development Committee. He has also served the College as a class representative, Phonathon caller and has been a contributor to the Linda Gross Holmes Memorial Scholarship in memory of his first wife, Linda Gross ’67 Holmes.
In 1982, he received the College’s first Alumni Recognition Award and in 1989 became a life member of the Presidents Club. Most recently, Holmes honored his late grandparents, Ben ’12 and Bess Turner ’12 Kiekhofer, with a naming gift toward the renovation of Kiekhofer Hall and Koten Chapel. This gift is a celebration of the strong ties between his grandparents and North Central College.
Holmes resides in La Quinta, Calif., with his wife, Debbie, and five-year-old daughter, Megan.