Baird reports record 2016 revenue

Assets under management drive growth

Steve Booth, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Baird.
Steve Booth, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Baird.


Milwaukee-based Baird Financial Group Inc. today reported a record $1.4 billion in revenue for 2016.

Steve Booth

Baird is a private, employee-owned wealth management, capital markets, asset management and private equity corporation. The company said the revenue figure is up 8 percent from $1.3 billion in 2015, although it faced economic, market and geopolitical headwinds. This is the seventh year in a row Baird has reported record revenues.

That’s in part because the company has increased its assets in client accounts by 96 percent since 2011, to $171 billion. Its Private Wealth Management division has $117 billion in assets under management. During the same period, Baird increased employment at the firm by 24 percent. It now has 3,410 employees worldwide.

The company had $2.6 billion in total assets at the close of 2016, down from $2.8 billion in 2015.

Baird reported operating income of $155 million in 2016, also a record, up from $154 million in the prior year. Its return on book value, including a cash dividend paid to shareholders, was 12.5 percent.

The Asset Management division increased assets under management by 29 percent year-over-year, to $51 billion.

Baird Capital invested $72 million of private equity in six new and 20 follow-on investments in 2016. It also exited 10 investments, making $256 million on those deals. The Equity Capital Markets division reported more than $400 million in revenues for the first time, in part because of record mergers and acquisitions activity in the Global Investment Banking Business.

“Being privately held and employee owned means we are incredibly focused on our clients’ success and have the flexibility to continuously invest in our capabilities to best serve our clients’ needs,” said Steve Booth, president and chief executive officer of Baird. “Our independent business model and complementary businesses help diversify revenue across various market conditions and provide a very strong foundation for our continued success.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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