Discipline, Longevity Drive Growth

October 20, 2014

Baird Asset Management celebrates growth of business and assets under management

Baird’s Asset Management team knows successful investing requires a disciplined approach, ongoing collaboration and exemplary client service. This commitment to providing outstanding money management, combined with a strong value proposition and seasoned portfolio managers, has contributed to the business’ growth. On September 30, the business had $28 billion in assets under management (AUM) – up 23% from year-end 2013. This figure includes $25.2 billion managed by Baird Advisors and more than $2.6 billion managed by Baird Investment Management (BIM).

"There’s been explosive growth on the asset side of our business, which has been paced by the growth team,” explained Mary Ellen Stanek, Director of Asset Management. “Our Asset Management team has worked together for a long time, and our focused approach to investing enables us to provide high-quality solutions that meet our investors’ needs. We’re dedicated to continuing to build our portfolio of businesses and offering our clients world-class capabilities."

Baird Advisors: Building the business in a changing market

Asset Management’s largest team had $25.2 billion in AUM at the end of the third quarter, including $11.6 billion in its six bond funds. This nationally recognized fixed-income portfolio management team leverages its long history together and strives to drive competitive results.

"We have a very talented team that has worked together for a long time," explained Warren Pierson, Senior Portfolio Manager, Baird Advisors. "We’ve turned a disciplined, steady approach into strong growth in our business. It’s really rewarding to see the fruits of our labor." Baird Advisors’ senior partners have managed fixed-income investments together for more than 30 years – longevity that enables the group to build long-term relationships throughout the industry and is a key differentiator.

Baird Advisors expects to grow the business to $30-35 billion in the next several years, primarily through the growth of the Baird Funds family. Baird Advisors recently formed a new relationship with Raymond James, adding to the asset growth.

Baird Investment Management: Growing equity asset management capabilities

In 2014, Baird’s senior leadership reaffirmed "building out [our] equity asset management business" as one of the firm’s top five-year goals, and Asset Management is already implementing this expansion. The group aims to grow the equity side of the business to $10+ billion in the next several years by deepening relationships with institutional clients, recruiting new teams and products, and maintaining its high-touch approach to client service through in-person meetings and giving clients exposure to its entire investment team.

"We’re committed to doing things the right way for our clients," added Reik Read, Director of Baird Investment Management. “Clients put a great deal of trust in us. We have a team with a great deal of experience.” Not only is the average experience of BIM’s portfolio management team 22 years, the group’s Growth and Value teams have worked together across multiple market cycles.

Winning new business has led to a significant uptick in BIM’s assets under management, which grew 82% in the first nine months of 2014 alone and totaled more than $2.6 billion on September 30.

Investing in talent

Recognizing the importance of attracting and retaining top money management talent, Asset Management continues to invest in its associates and add new talent to build the business' capabilities.

In addition to adding specialized talent on its fixed-income and equity teams, Asset Management takes a "farm team" approach to professional development for current associates. The business offers associates learning opportunities across all facets of the business, including regular market meetings and "lunch & learn" sessions. It also strongly encourages and supports associates in their pursuit of accreditations such as MBAs and the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter, maintains a mentor program and provides internship opportunities to highly qualified students.

"People are the most important asset in this business," said Mary Ellen. "We’ve really taken the time to build and develop our team. One of our most significant competitive advantages is our people, and we hope that by continuing to invest in our team and adding bench strength as appropriate, we can continue to drive growth in our business and Baird overall."