Money Odds & Ends

Baird earns top ranking in industry magazine
Milwaukee-based R.W. Baird & Co. has been ranked first in Institutional Investor’s 2008 All-America Sales Team rankings amongst the “best small and mid cap equity sales forces in the United States.”

Recipients of the annual ranking are derived from Institutional Investor’s All-America Research Team survey. The sales portion of the 2008 survey provides rankings across 13 broad industry groups and specialist sales categories, rating 10 sales performance attributes for each candidate. To determine the best sales teams in the U.S., Institutional Investor surveyed portfolio managers, buy-side analysts, directors of research, chief investment officers and other investment professionals at 506 firms managing U.S. equities.

Baird moved up from No. 2 on the list in 2007, ranking ahead of competitors including William Blair & Co., Piper Jaffray, Jefferies & Co., Raymond James & Associates, Oppenheimer & Co. (CIBC).

Baird’s institutional equity services group is completing what is expected to be its fourteenth straight year of record revenues.

“Our team constantly strives to deliver timely, insightful advice and best execution for all of our clients in an incredibly competitive environment,” said Bill Mahler, Director of Institutional Equity Services. “Ultimately we rely on our clients to tell us how successful we are and, in that light, recognition like this is very meaningful for us.”

Mayfair Mall owner gets extension on loans
General Growth Properties Inc., the financially strapped real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns Mayfair Mall, announced it has reached an agreement with its syndicate of lenders to extend the deadline of its loans for two weeks.

The company has negotiated an extension on its Fashion Show and Palazzo mortgage loans totaling $900 million, which had been due Nov. 28.

The parties are continuing their discussions on a longer term extension, General Growth announced.

Chicago-based General Growth has an ownership interest in or management responsibility for a portfolio of more than 200 regional shopping malls in 44 states, as well as ownership in master planned community developments and commercial office buildings.

The company portfolio totals approximately 200 million square feet of retail space and includes over 24,000 retail stores nationwide. However, the firm has been struggling as growing numbers of retailers are closing stores in response to declining consumer demand.

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