Baird Posts Record Net Revenues For Ninth Consecutive Year

2018 net revenues total $1.78 billion

  Steve Booth
Steve Booth

Paul E. Purcell
Paul E. Purcell


MILWAUKEE – May 6, 2019
Bairdan employee-owned, international wealth management, asset management, investment banking/capital markets and private equity firm, announced today it posted record net revenues of $1.78 billion1 in 2018, a 16 percent increase over 2017. Operating income totaled $244 million, the firm’s best result to date, and up 22 percent from 2017. The firm’s 2018 return on book value was nearly 22.6 percent. Baird’s assets in client accounts grew to more than $208 billion, a 232% increase over the past decade. The 2018 results, which are available in the 2018 Baird Annual Report, mark the firm’s ninth consecutive year of record revenues.

"Baird's strong financial results demonstrate more than the strength of our balanced business platform – they speak to the strength of our team and our culture," said Steve Booth, Baird President & CEO. "Our focus on providing quality advice and service to our clients as well as managing our business for the long term resulted in another year of strong business outcomes and record strategic progress."

Some recent strategic investments include: 

  • Hilliard Lyons: In April, Hilliard Lyons and Hilliard Lyons Trust Company became wholly owned-subsidiaries of Baird. Established in 1854, Hilliard Lyons is one of the nation's oldest financial services firms.
  • M. Griffith Investment Services:  In September, 2018, M. Griffith Investment Services, Inc., an investment firm headquartered in Central New York, became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Baird.
  • Strategas: In January, 2018, this leading boutique firm, whose primary focus is macroeconomic research, became a wholly-owned, Baird company.
  • John Taft: Also in January, 2018, Baird welcomed this industry veteran as Vice Chairman and a member of Baird's Executive Committee to help drive strategic growth. John brings 35 years of financial services experience to the firm.

Baird has achieved significant success year-over-year through its balanced platform of five strategic businesses:

  • Private Wealth Management oversaw more than $137 billion in client assets as of the end of 2018. Hilliard Lyons, which joined Baird in 2019, is expected to add approximately $50 billion in additional client assets to the firm. 
  • Asset Management: Baird Advisors, the firm's fixed income investment management team, grew its assets under management to more than $66 billion. Baird Equity Asset Management also posted a year of strong growth.
  • Fixed Income Capital Markets ranked as the No. 1 municipal underwriter in the United States for the tenth consecutive year, based on number of issues, according to Ipreo MuniAnalytics.
  • Equity Capital Markets achieved strong results despite market headwinds. Our Global Investment Banking business also achieved its sixth consecutive year of record revenues.
  • Principal InvestmentsBaird Capital, the firm's private equity business which is part of our Principal Investments group, exited eight investments realizing $121.9 million. The business also invested more than $136 million in five new and 25 follow-on investments.

"As we celebrate 100 years in 2019, we are grateful for the trust and partnership we have with our clients, with the communities in which we operate and for the great work our associates do every day," said Paul Purcell, Chairman of Baird.  "As an employee-owned and independent firm, we can take a long-term view when investing in our businesses and we do that with our clients’ best interests in mind."

In February, Baird was named to FORTUNE magazine's 2019 list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, ranking No. 16. It was the firm's 16th consecutive year of being recognized for its commitment to being a great place to work.

Baird has a long tradition of giving back to the communities where its associates live and work. Baird Foundation provides support to many charitable organizations supported by our associates, and in 2018 contributed $4.1 million to non-profit organizations. Through the Baird Cares program, associates receive two paid days off each year to volunteer for the charity of their choice. Associates also organize Baird Gives Back Week annually. In 2018, nearly 1,800 associates and family members volunteered nearly 7,100 hours to 149 non-profit organizations.

About Baird
Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2019, Baird is an employee-owned, international wealth management, asset management, investment banking/capital markets, and private equity firm with offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. Baird has approximately 3,600 associates serving the needs of individual, corporate, institutional and municipal clients and $208 billion in client assets as of Dec. 31, 2018. Baird is the marketing name of Baird Financial Group. Baird’s principal operating subsidiaries are Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated in the United States and Robert W. Baird Group Ltd. in Europe. Baird also has an operating subsidiary in Asia supporting Baird’s investment banking and private equity operations. For more information, please visit Baird’s website at www.rwbaird.com. To learn more about Baird’s 100th and success over the years, please visit www.baird100.com and follow the hashtag #Baird100.

For additional information, contact:
Marianne Foster
Baird Public Relations
414-298-1906

1Financial results do not reflect the consolidation of certain private equity partnerships.