CHICAGO, NOV. 21, 2022 – Baird, an employee-owned, international financial services firm, announced today that it has promoted Maria Watts to Co-Head of Global Consumer Investment Banking and a member of the unit’s senior leadership team. Watts will partner with Brian McDonagh, Baird’s Co-Head of Global Investment Banking, while continuing to actively manage her existing financial sponsor client relationships and support Baird’s senior Consumer bankers in further growing their franchises. 

As with all of Baird’s investment banking leaders, Watts will adopt a “player/coach” model, maintaining a high level of client engagement and remaining outward-facing and revenue productive while also being strategically focused on building the business and the team for the long term. Highly respected for her deep Consumer industry expertise, intense focus on clients, well-developed origination and execution skills, global perspectives, outstanding leadership capabilities, steadfast commitment to the Baird culture, and embodiment of teamwork and collaboration, Watts is uniquely suited to showcase Baird’s market-leading Consumer franchise and develop the next generation of bankers to strategically position the business over the next decade.

Watts joined Baird in 2009 as an Associate on Baird’s Global Consumer Investment Banking team and has established herself as an accomplished Managing Director within the industry. During her tenure with the Global Consumer team, Watts played a vital role in advising many leading consumer and retail brands. In 2018, Watts joined Baird’s Global Financial Sponsors group, providing her deep consumer sector expertise to Baird’s private equity clients. In 2020, she was named to Mergers & Acquisitions’ list of 2020 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A. 

“Maria is the right leader at the right time for this role, and we are so proud of her growth at Baird,” said Brian McDonagh. “I’m excited to work in close partnership with her to create a strong culture of collective leadership amongst the team and chart the course for continued success in this critical industry franchise for Baird.”

“This is such a talented team with deep sub-sector expertise,” said Watts. “Together, we’ll be focused on keeping Baird at the forefront of the dynamic changes happening in the global Consumer market. I look forward to seeing what we can all accomplish together."

Baird is a leading middle-market advisor in the Consumer sector, with an extensive, integrated network of senior investment bankers operating in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Baird’s Global Consumer Investment Banking team has gained a significant market share since 2021, completing 75+ transactions and continuing to add top talent to provide differentiated advice, positioning, and execution for clients.

About Baird Global Investment Banking
Baird is a leading global investment bank serving the M&A, restructuring, equity financing and debt advisory needs of its clients throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Since 2017, Baird has completed more than 700 advisory transactions, representing nearly $255 billion in transaction value, and nearly 500 financings, raising $195 billion. Learn more about Baird's advisory transactions and services.

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 4,800 associates serving the needs of individual, corporate, institutional and municipal clients and more than $360 billion in client assets as of June 30, 2022. Committed to being a great workplace, Baird ranked No. 27 on the 2022 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list – its 19th consecutive year on the list. Baird is the marketing name of Baird Financial Group. Baird’s principal operating subsidiaries are Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated and Baird Trust Company 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:
Michael Tucker
Baird Public Relations