Beyond transactions Insightful advice and quality execution focused on our clients' interests have contributed to strong growth in client assets.
The confidence clients have in Baird's ability to help them meet their goals contributed to record performance during 2013. Revenues exceeded $1 billion for the first time to end at $1.1 billion, up 11% from a year ago. Operating income totaled $117 million, our best result ever and up 17% from 2012. Baird's 15.4% return on book value, including the cash dividend paid in December, outpaced most of the industry and did so without the significant leverage many firms in our industry employ to enhance returns. Each of our five businesses performed well, and Baird gained market share in very competitive environments.
Baird has produced 136 consecutive quarters of operating profitability - an exceptional record of performance that demonstrates the durability and consistency of Baird's platform. We have built five very strong businesses, each of which generates substantial cash flow. There are balance and diversity among them as well, so that the effects of a downturn in one business are usually offset by strength in the others. And now, more than ever, we are collaborating across businesses to bring new opportunities to clients. In just one example, we are launching a debt origination initiative that marries the skills of Investment Banking with those of Fixed Income Capital Markets to create a capability for clients that is differentiated in the middle market.
Growing with and for our clients
Baird's record of operating profitability is important because it enables us to reinvest to help clients not only reach their milestones, but also enjoy a superior experience doing so. Thanks to the strength and diversity of our businesses - and to our independence as a firm - we invested when others could not, or would not. Over the past decade, we have made substantial commitments in each of our businesses and throughout our Corporate Resource Group to deepen Baird's expertise and broaden our reach. In contrast to most of the financial services industry, employment at Baird has increased 22% in the past five years. It's noteworthy that 45% of all hires have been senior professionals at the Director level or higher. It's equally important to note that we have also expanded, and continue to broaden, the leadership opportunities available to existing Baird associates.