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McAdams Wright Ragen To Join Baird

Baird Continues Expansion into Pacific Northwest

MILWAUKEE, April 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Baird and McAdams Wright Ragen, Inc. (MWR) announced today that they have signed a definitive agreement for MWR to merge with Baird, an international, employee-owned wealth management, capital markets, private equity and asset management firm with more than $100 billion in client assets. MWR, a majority employee-owned investment firm headquartered in Seattle, offers investment advisory, brokerage, equity research, bond and equity trading, asset management, institutional sales, and investment banking through seven offices in the Pacific Northwest. Terms of the deal, which is subject to customary regulatory approvals, were not disclosed.

McAdams Wright Ragen has 180 employees including more than 85 financial advisors managing and overseeing over $10 billion in assets. Baird, which was established in 1919, has more than 2,900 associates including over 725 financial advisors, working from more than 100 locations in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Baird's current presence in the Pacific Northwest includes wealth management, public finance and fixed income institutional sales operations in Portland, Ore.

"McAdams Wright Ragen is a well-established and highly respected firm with a business model and client-focused culture that are very consistent with Baird's approach," said Paul E. Purcell, Baird Chairman & Chief Executive Officer. "We've known and respected the firm, which is led by Brooks Ragen, Chairman, and Scott McAdams, President and CEO, for a number of years. Taking this important step enables MWR to enhance the services and capabilities it offers its clients, and positions Baird to expand our current footprint in the Pacific Northwest. We couldn't be more pleased to welcome MWR to the Baird family."

"Baird embodies the same culture and values that have set our firm apart in the industry and been instrumental to our success," said Scott W. McAdams, President and CEO of McAdams Wright Ragen. "Baird's independent, employee-owned model and its deep expertise and capabilities, along with its commitment to being a great place to work and putting clients' needs above all else, make our decision to join forces the best next step for our business and our clients."

"McAdams Wright Ragen and its highly regarded advisors have done an exceptional job of earning the loyalty and trust of their clients by providing high-quality financial advice and service," said Michael J. Schroeder, President of Baird Private Wealth Management. "We are very excited to build on the deep relationships MWR has established and to continue our strategic expansion in the Pacific Northwest, a region that represents tremendous additional potential for our combined firms."

Baird's employee-owned model means it can plan for the long term. That longer-term perspective and Baird's strong, client-focused culture have enabled the firm to excel even in challenging environments. For instance, in the past five years, Baird opened 31 new business locations in the U.S. and abroad and increased employment 22% while employment in the U.S. securities industry decreased 2%. Additionally, Baird:

  • Has posted an operating profit for 136 consecutive quarters (34 years) and its stock value, including dividends, has grown nearly 220% since 2002;
  • Realized more than $1 billion in revenue in 2013, its fourth consecutive year of record revenue;
  • Has more than $100 billion in client assets;
  • Has been recognized as one of the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® 11 consecutive years, breaking into the top 10 (no. 9) in 2014.

Baird's Private Wealth Management group has grown significantly in recent years. For instance, since the beginning of 2009 it has added more than 325 financial advisors and branch managers, the vast majority of whom are industry veterans. Baird has also opened wealth management offices in cities such as Portland, Maine; Charlotte, Raleigh and Winston-Salem, N.C.; Charleston, S.C.; Sarasota, Fla.; Sioux City, Iowa; Houston and Fort Worth, Texas; Denver; Salt Lake City; San Francisco; and Portland, Ore.

McAdams Wright Ragen was founded after a wave of consolidation in the late 1990s left few independent, regional financial services firms in the Northwest. Brooks Ragen and Scott McAdams set out to recreate the classic, partnership-like investment firm that had worked so well before, consisting of the traditional divisions in trading, retail, research, institutional, and corporate finance, but with strategic modifications to remain current and competitive. The firm opened its doors with eight people in 1999 and has grown steadily since. For instance, in 2010, MWR expanded considerably, increasing headcount by about 50 percent, and opening branches in Mount Vernon, Wash., in late 2010 and Anacortes, Wash., in January 2011. In May 2012, MWR opened its seventh office in Spokane, Wash. Like Baird, MWR has been consistently profitable, achieving record revenue each year it has been in business. In 2013, it had revenues of $48 million.

"McAdams Wright Ragen and Baird are remarkably similar in very important ways," said Brooks Ragen, Chairman of McAdams Wright Ragen. "With our reputation and capital on the line every day, we manage conservatively and are extraordinarily focused on how well we perform for our clients and on how we best serve them. Both organizations also have very strong traditions of giving back to our communities in a significant way."

MWR supports a variety of local causes including the arts, education, social services and community development, and its employees are active members in the philanthropic community. In addition, the firm manages accounts for more than 50 non-profits in the region, totaling in excess of $250 million.

Likewise, Baird has a long-standing tradition of giving back to the communities in which its associates live and work, both on a corporate and individual level. In 2013, Baird Foundation provided more than $2.9 million in support to charitable organizations. It also administers a firmwide Charitable Gift Matching Program that provides a match for associates' financial contributions to eligible nonprofit organizations. The "Baird Cares" program gives associates two additional paid days off each year to perform volunteer service. In 2013, more than 1,250 Baird associates and family members in more than 55 office locations participated in Baird Gives Back Week, a firmwide initiative to promote volunteerism.

About McAdams Wright Ragen, Inc.
McAdams Wright Ragen, Inc. is a majority employee-owned investment firm headquartered in the Pacific Northwest, with client assets of over $10 billion, including both brokerage and advisory assets. It serves individuals and their families, public and private companies, non-profit organizations, and institutional investors. The firm offers investment advisory, brokerage, equity research, bond and equity trading, asset management, institutional sales, and investment banking. The firm currently has six offices in Washington State (Anacortes, Bellevue, Mount Vernon, Seattle, Spokane and Yakima) and one in Portland, Ore. For more information, please visit MWR's Web site at www.mwrinc.com.

About Baird
Baird is an employee-owned, international wealth management, capital markets, private equity and asset management firm with offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. Established in 1919, Baird has more than 2,900 associates serving the needs of individual, corporate, institutional and municipal clients. Baird has more than $100 billion in client assets. Committed to being a great place to work, Baird ranked No. 9 on FORTUNE's 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2014 – its 11th consecutive year on the list. Baird's principal operating subsidiaries are Robert W. Baird & Co. 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 Web site at www.rwbaird.com.

SOURCE Baird

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