MILWAUKEE – May 25, 2021 – Baird announced today that it posted record net revenues of $2.33 billion1  in 2020, a 13 percent increase over 2019, and that operating income totaled approximately $360 million, the firm’s best result to date. The employee-owned, international wealth management, asset management, investment banking/capital markets and private equity firm’s 2020 return on book value was 21.8 percent and Baird managed or oversaw more than $355 billion in client assets at the end of 2020 – an increase of more than 329% over the past decade. The 2020 results, which are available in the 2020 Baird Annual Report, mark the firm’s 11th consecutive year of record revenues.

“Despite the challenges of 2020, Baird successfully held strong through the uncertainties,” said Steve Booth, Baird Chairman, President & CEO. “Our strong culture and commitment to our clients and putting their needs first guided us through the year. This steadfast focus has been the cornerstone of how we do business since our founding in 1919.”

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

  • Private Wealth Management oversaw more than $239 billion in client assets as of the end of 2020. The year marked the first anniversary of Baird’s acquisition of Hilliard Lyons, which has been a tremendous addition to the firm.
  • Asset Management: Baird Advisors, the firm’s fixed income asset management group added a record $25 billion to its assets under management, which totaled more than $112 billion at year-end. Baird Equity Asset Management also maintained its strong momentum.
  • Fixed Income Capital Markets ranked as the No. 1 municipal underwriter in the United States for the 12th consecutive year, based on number of issues, according to Ipreo MuniAnalytics.
  • Equity Capital Markets reported strong results despite challenging market conditions. Baird’s Global Investment Banking group achieved its second-best-ever year of revenues while managing challenging headwinds in the 2020 M&A markets. Baird’s Institutional Equities & Research team and macro-economic research firm, Strategas, both achieved record years.
  • Principal Investments, which includes the firm’s private equity and strategic investment activities managed by Baird Capital, and Baird Principal Group, posted record results. A rebound in market valuations and strong performance from its diversified portfolio of investments drove strong investment gains.

“These strong outcomes are possible because of our platform of five complementary businesses,” said Booth. “With this model, the impact of market headwinds in one business unit is often offset by strength in one or more of the other business units. The strategic value of this deliberate structure proved out once again in 2020.”

In April, Baird was also named to the 2021 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list, marking 18 consecutive years of being recognized for its commitment to being a great place to work.

Baird’s Commitment to the Community

Baird has a long tradition of giving back to the community and the dedication to making a positive contribution is integral to the firm’s culture and The Baird Way. Baird Foundation supports nonprofit organizations aligned with its focus on health and human services, education, the arts, and diversity, which share Baird’s strong commitment to equality and opportunity for all. In 2020, the Foundation contributed more than $5.2 million to nonprofit 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 an annual Baird Gives Back event during which associates, family members and friends volunteer in more than 100 Baird locations worldwide.

Additionally, Baird launched two new initiatives in 2020 to honor former Baird leaders who passed away.  The Medical College of Wisconsin established the G. Frederick Kasten, Jr. Endowed Chair in Parkinson’s Disease Research to salute the memory of Fred Kasten, Baird’s former President, CEO and Chairman. The endowed chair was made possible through donations from Baird Foundation, Baird associates, corporate and community partners of Baird and community leaders. Additionally, Baird established the Paul Purcell “Kids Win!” Annual Baird Education Grants to celebrate the legacy of Paul Purcell, also a past President, CEO and Chairman of Baird.

About Baird

Putting clients first since 1919, 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 4,600 associates serving the needs of individual, corporate, institutional and municipal clients and more than $355 billion in client assets as of December 31, 2020. 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

For additional information, contact:

Marianne Foster, Baird Public Relations

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