Top company by employee – 14 – Robert W. Baird & Co. – Wisconsin US
Industry: Financial Services & Insurance – Investments
Previous rank: 21
2011 revenue ($ millions): $925
What makes it so great?
Seventy-eight percent of this financial services firm is owned by non-senior management. All all hourly and salaried associates enjoy annual profit-sharing contributions from a pool that represents 10% of Baird’s pretax net operating income.
|Founder(s)||Robert W. Baird|
|Headquarters||U.S. Bank Center
Milwaukee, Wisconsin United States
|Key people||Paul Purcell
(Chairman) & (CEO)
|Products||Private Wealth Management
Equity Capital Markets
Fixed Income Capital Markets
|Revenue||US$ 847 million (2010)|
Robert W. Baird & Co. is the principal U.S. operating subsidiary of Baird, an international, employee-owned financial services firm providing wealth management, capital markets, private equity, and asset management services to individuals, corporations, institutional investors, and municipalities.
With more than 2,600 employees, Baird has offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia, and is one of the largest privately held, full-service investment firms in the United States. Baird manages and oversees over $101 billion in client assets.
Baird’s principal operating subsidiary outside the United States is Robert W. Baird Group Ltd. in Europe. In Asia, Baird has an operating subsidiary supporting its private equity operations, as well as an investment banking team.
Baird was founded in 1919 as the securities arm of the First Wisconsin National Bank in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1934, the firm became an independent entity called The Securities Company of Milwaukee, Inc.
From 1982 to 2004, Northwestern Mutual Life owned a majority interest in Baird. In 2004, Baird became a fully independent, employee-owned financial services firm. Its headquarters remain in Milwaukee.
Baird is organized into five business units: Private Wealth Management, Asset Management, Equity Capital Markets, Fixed Income Capital Markets and Private Equity.
Private Wealth Management (PWM)[edit source]
Baird Financial Advisors provide financial advice, planning strategies, and investment solutions to high-net-worth individuals and institutional clients, managing and overseeing more than $66 billion in client assets.
An in-house team of investment research and other specialists provide clients with services including portfolio management, retirement planning, philanthropic gifting, and risk management. The group also provides retirement plans, stock option exercise programs, hedging strategies and business transition planning to executives and corporate clients.
PWM operates from over 70 branch offices in 24 states across the United States.
Asset Management[edit source]
Equity and fixed income money managers serve investors—including public and private retirement plans, corporations, foundations, and other institutional clients—and high-net-worth individuals. In 2008, Baird Public Investment Advisors was formed specifically to advise and assist public entities. Together, Baird Advisors, Baird Investment Management and Baird Public Investment Advisors have more than $16.1 billion under management.
Baird offers mutual funds through Baird Funds, including fixed income mutual funds managed by Baird Advisors and equity mutual funds managed by Baird Investment Management.
Equity Capital Markets[edit source]
The global investment banking team serves primarily middle-market companies and has advised on more than 360 M&A transactions representing more than $50 billion in transaction value since 2001. The team has served as lead or co-manager on over 370 equity offerings raising more than $86 billion over the last 10 years. Additionally, equity sales and trading professionals make Baird’s equity research available to institutional investors in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Fixed Income Capital Markets[edit source]
Baird’s Public Finance group within Fixed Income Capital Markets serves schools, counties, municipalities and other public-sector clients nationwide to finance debt and provide budget advice. Baird was the lead manager for more municipal bond issues in 2010 than any other firm in the country, according to Thomson Reuters.
Baird’s Fixed Income Sales & Trading team is active in the primary and secondary markets for taxable and tax-exempt securities. The firm’s trading desks traded $233 billion in face value of taxable and tax-exempt bonds for institutional and individual clients in 2010.
Private Equity[edit source]
Baird Private Equity makes venture capital, growth equity, and buyout investment in three specific industry sectors through a series of partnerships in the United States, Europe, and Asia. In the United States, Baird Capital Partners makes buyout investments in lower-middle-market companies in the business services, manufactured products, and healthcare sectors. Baird Venture Partners invests in early-stage and expansion-stage U.S.-based companies in the areas of business services and life sciences.
Operating in the United Kingdom, Baird Capital Partners Europe provides change-of-control capital to lower-middle-market companies with a particular interest in business services, healthcare, and manufactured products.
Baird Capital Partners Asia provides capital to companies with substantial operations and growth opportunities in China.
Baird Private Equity and its affiliates have raised and managed over $2.7 billion in capital and invested in more than 240 companies since the group’s inception in the 1980s.
Industry achievements[edit source]
- Baird has been recognized as one of the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For ten consecutive years, 2004-2013. In 2012, it ranked No. 21. 
- Recognized for four consecutive years by Acquisitions Monthly in Europe, including receiving the “Support Services Adviser Award” for 2010 (awarded in 2011). 
- Received “Deal of the Year” recognitions from The M&A Advisor (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. In 2011, Baird was recognized for “Equity Financing Deal of the Year” for the initial public offering of Vera Bradley. 
- Honored as advisor of the “Nontraditional Financing Deal of the Year” by The Bond Buyer in 2009 
- In 2010, Baird Capital Partners was named among the top 10 “Consistent Performers” for buyout managers by Private Equity Intelligence Ltd., which analyzed performance since inception for more than 572 funds internationally. 
- Baird research analysts have been recognized repeatedly as “Best on the Street” by The Wall Street Journal (since 1993) and as StarMine “Top Equity Analysts” (since 2004). 
- Baird Financial Advisors were named among Barron’s “Top 100 Financial Advisers” from 2006–2012. 
- Baird was ranked No. 34 on Barron’s 2010 list of Top Wealth Managers in the United States. Firms are ranked by private banking assets under management based on individual clients with accounts of $5 million or more and $10 million or more.