2021 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“Friendly, team-oriented culture and great people”
“Great learning opportunities—early responsibility at all levels and good promotion opportunities”
“Strong deal flow and good reputation in the marketplace”
“Long hours, unpredictable schedules”
“Finding work/life balance can be a challenge”
“Lack of national name recognition”
Robert W. Baird & Co. (better known as Baird) offers wealth management, capital markets, asset management, and private equity capital to clients worldwide. In 2019, Baird ranked No. 16 on Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For list, the bank’s 16th consecutive year on the list and 10th consecutive appearance in the top 25.
Baird’s history dates to 1919, when Robert Wilson Baird, one of the founders of the National Association of Securities Dealers, was named lead partner of the First Wisconsin Company, the securities division of the First Wisconsin National Bank. Baird rose to become president of the division, which was later spun off and renamed the Securities Company of Milwaukee Incorporated. By 1948, the firm had obtained a seat on the NYSE and assumed its current name, Robert W. Baird & Co. The firm gathered its strength in Wisconsin in the 1980s, becoming the state's top investment bank before embarking on a strategic expansion in the 1990s. This led to the opening of dozens of new offices in the U.S. and Europe.
Today, the firm has more than 100 offices in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and is 94 percent owned by its employees. Baird is led by Steve Booth, Baird’s president and chief executive officer, and Paul Purcell, the firm’s chairman; Booth took over the CEO duties from Purcell in January 2016. The firm employs approximately 3,500 people.