Baird revenues climb to $3.4 billion behind investment banking growth


Baird saw its net revenues climb nearly $1.1 billion in 2021, led by a 149% increase from its equity capital markets teams.

The Milwaukee-based firm had $3.41 billion, including $1.28 billion for the equity capital markets group. Within the equity markets teams, investment banking more than tripled revenues and completed more than 400 financing and advisory transactions, Steve Booth, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Baird, said in his annual report message.

Baird’s revenue first crossed $2 billion in 2019 and the firm has more than doubled its revenue from 2017 of $1.53 billion. Profits are up too, with operating income of $609 million last year, compared to $360 million in 2020.

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The firm also grew to 4,703 associates and 1,309 financial advisors, up from 4,512 and 1,292 in 2020.

Baird’s workforce growth included the addition of 130 investment bankers over the course of the year. The teams completed 207 merger and acquisition deals worth a combined $102 million and 133 financings that raised a combined $77.7 billion, all records for the business. Investment banking revenue in the fourth quarter alone exceeded the previous high for a single year.

Elsewhere in the business, the principle investments team increased revenue 43% to $106 million, asset management revenues were up 27% to $352 million and private wealth management revenue grew 22% to $1.41 billion.

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The one business to have a down year, fixed income capital markets, still posted its second best year ever with $248 million in revenue, down 9% from 2020.

Booth said the firm benefited from favorable market conditions and the strong results allowed it to grant a special bonus to eligible associates and long-term interns, expand profit-sharing contributions and deepen its investment in charitable gift matching and other charitable initiatives.

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