Baird Chief Financial Officer Rush to Retire, Zarcone, Baird Banking Veteran, Named CFO

MILWAUKEE, Jan. 31, 2011
Baird, an international employee-owned financial services firm, announced today that Leonard Rush, the firm’s Chief Financial Officer, will retire March 31 after a career of more than 11 years at Baird. Dominick “Nick” Zarcone, a Managing Director in Baird’s Investment Banking group since 1995, has been selected as Baird’s next CFO, and will work closely with Rush through the first quarter of the year in order to ensure a smooth transition.

Rush joined Baird in 2000 and during that time the firm’s revenues grew from $556 million to an estimated $850 million in 2010 and the book value of Baird stock grew at a compounded annual growth rate of nearly 11%. He oversaw the evolution of the Baird’s Finance function from a few accountants and support staff in the U.S. to a department that today includes more than 50 finance professionals around the world working in strategic partnership with each of Baird’s business units. He also played a significant role in Baird’s 2004 buyback from Northwestern Mutual. Prior to joining Baird, Rush spent nine years at Fidelity Investments where, in addition to other roles, he served as CFO of its four broker dealers. In 2010, Rush was named one of the Business Journal Serving Greater Milwaukee’s CFOs of the Year.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Len as he led our Finance Department through a very dynamic period in Baird’s history,” said Baird Chairman, President & CEO Paul Purcell. “That period included considerable expansion of our global reach and capabilities and our once again becoming an independent, associate-owned firm. We also increased associate equity in the business by more than four times.”

Given the ever-increasing reach and complexity of the firm’s business and the importance of the CFO role, Baird underwent a thorough search process for indentifying Rush’s successor. “Nick was found to be an excellent fit for the role, something that was further validated through interviews with Baird senior leaders, associates and clients,” said Purcell.

Zarcone joined Baird as a Managing Director in 1995 and became Chief Operating Officer for Investment Banking in 2004. He played a key role in helping grow Baird’s Investment Banking group from approximately 35 bankers in 1995, to more than 175 bankers in 13 offices in four countries today. In 2008, Zarcone received Baird’s Kasten Equity Capital Markets Award - the highest client service honor a Baird associate can receive. He earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BS in Finance, with highest honors, from the University of Illinois.

About Baird
Baird is an employee-owned, international wealth management, capital markets, private equity and asset management firm with offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. Established in 1919, Baird has more than 2,600 associates serving the needs of individual, corporate, institutional and municipal clients. Baird oversees and manages client assets of nearly $79 billion. Committed to being a great place to work, Baird ranked number 14 on FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2011 – its eighth consecutive year on the list. Baird’s principal operating subsidiaries are Robert W. Baird & Co. in the United States and Robert W. Baird Group Ltd. in Europe. Baird also has an operating subsidiary in Asia supporting Baird’s private equity operations. For more information, please visit Baird’s Web site at