Missouri Minute: Public defenders seek funding; Coal revival means big stock bonuses at Peabody

Here are today’s top business headlines from across Missouri:

Missouri State Public Defender seeks funding boost, warns of cuts

Missouri’s top public defender has been seeking more money for his office for years, to no avail. Now, he says it’s crucial: Outposts around the state may have to close. For the coming fiscal year, Michael Barrett asked for $67 million — an increase over the current state allocation of $41 million. But Gov. Eric Greitens’ proposed budget only allots $40 million for next year. Read more

Coal revival means big stock bonuses at bankrupt Peabody

A year ago, Peabody Energy Corp.’s chief executive was presiding over $2 billion of losses as the world’s largest private sector coal miner spiraled into bankruptcy. Now, CEO Glenn Kellow and other top executives stand to reap tens of millions of dollars in stock bonuses under Peabody’s bankruptcy exit plan, which sets aside 10 percent of newly minted shares for employees. The executives would collect a big portion of that stock when the company exits bankruptcy, expected in April. Read more

Wells Fargo robo-adviser to target young, first-time investors

Wells Fargo & Co.’s wealth management business said on Tuesday it would launch its new robo-adviser Intuitive Investor later this year in a bid to develop a new revenue stream from existing millennial customers who may be looking to open their first investment account in a crowded online market. The head of digital and direct investing for St. Louis-based Wells Fargo Advisors said the digital advice platform would be marketed to Wells Fargo customers who have savings and are comfortable taking big life steps online. Read more

St. Louis pitches itself as tourist groups convene at America’s Center

A travel industry convention in St. Louis this week has local tourism officials and those from around the state hoping to get booked for national sightseeing. The National Tour Association, whose members reach a combined 15 million travelers annually, is bringing more than 1,000 attendees to downtown St. Louis this week for its annual Trade Exchange. Read more

U.S. News puts Missouri 37th in ‘Best States’ ranking

When it comes to how well states serve their residents, the inaugural best states ranking issued by U.S. News & World Report on Tuesday puts Missouri 13th from the bottom of the 50 states, primarily for falling short in categories such as crime, the economy and transportation. The report evaluated all 50 states across a range of criteria, from education and health care to infrastructure and economy, to capture how states best serve their residents. Read more

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