Baird’s Global Investment Banking Group advises corporate clients on various topics ranging from financing the client's growth strategies through acquisitions or sales of corporations to achieve their business objectives. These sector advisors work with a diverse array of brands in today’s competitive landscape to help them understand the unique needs of their consumers and offer personalized experiences that allow customers to see themselves in the brands they support.

Partnering with a Retailer Devoted to the Hispanic Community

Baird recently served as financial advisor to WSS, an athletic-inspired retailer focused on the large and rapidly growing Hispanic consumer demographic, on its sale to Foot Locker. WSS’s community-driven business benefits from deep relationships with customers – with approximately 80% of its sales coming from customers who are members of its loyalty program.

WSS has established a stellar reputation in the communities they serve by hiring Spanish-speaking employees in their fleet of off-mall stores. The company has also experimented with advertising in Spanish and sponsoring community events with Latino celebrities and influential leaders in the Hispanic community.

WSS has always focused on being a meaningful part of the fabric of the communities they serve.

- Chris Sciortino, Managing Director, and Lead Banker on the WSS Transaction

This more customized approach to serving customers made the brand appealing to investors. Across the board, retailers are recognizing the value of reaching a broader customer base by investing in tailored, high connectivity experiences at the core of their mission. 

Changing the Conversation on Women’s Health & Wellbeing

Lauren Leibrandt, Director in Baird’s Global Consumer Investment Banking Team, leads the business’s Beauty and Wellness practice. Leibrandt recently interviewed entrepreneurs paving the way in women’s wellness in Baird’s Women’s Health & Wellness Showcase, which featured brands tackling real issues women are facing related to their health and wellbeing.

In her conversation with Shontay Lundy, Founder and CEO of Black Girl Sunscreen, Leibrandt discussed how the brand is catering to shifting demands from beauty consumers. Thanks to a growing number of beauty brands devoted to diverse audiences, groups who have historically had less representation, such as women of color, LGBTQIA+ and older age demographics, finally have more options.

"We've been left out of the conversation for decades. We're here for the everyday woman. This woman does not have a certain complexion ... she's black or brown, not darker or lighter. There's no weight to her, there's no height to her. She's a woman that cares about her skin."

- Shontay Lundy, Founder & CEO

Similarly, Sonsoles Gonzales, Founder and CEO of Better Not Younger, sat down with Leibrandt to discuss her haircare brand for women over 40. Gonzalez talks about the need for products designed specifically for aging hair, to help women maintain hair and scalp health, care for natural hair and embrace grays.


“Aging is a process that's happening to all of us and there is such little information about it. We need to create opportunities for women to learn about aging.”

- Sonsoles Gonzales, Founder & CEO


Going Forward

Increasingly, brands are factoring in diversity when considering an investment bank to partner with. Alfredo Bequillard, Managing Director within Global Investment Banking, talked about this trend in a recent Hispanic Career World Magazine article.

I’ve recently seen some clients formally require a prescribed level of diversity to any team that expects to work with them.

- Alfredo Bequillard, Managing Director

Baird Global Investment Banking continues to partner with clients and community-based organizations to build meaningful relationships with diverse founders and a deeper understanding of the customers they serve. That, along with the firm’s deep industry knowledge, valuable capital markets insights and extensive transaction experience, enables Baird to provide differentiated advice, positioning and execution that helps lead to successful outcomes for clients.

Learn more about Baird’s commitment to inclusion and diversity.