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MONEY MANAGEMENT

Baird Asset Management

Baird employees and family members end the day with dinner and a shot at being the next American Idol after spending time at Milwaukee's Discovery World Museum to explore the many exhibits.

Team-focused culture where engagement and inclusion combine to produce results

Fourth place, managers with 50 to 99 employees

Baird Asset Management's five-time ranking in Pensions & Investments' Best Places to Work in Money Management is a testament to the Milwaukee money manager's culture of employee engagement and inclusion.

The impact of that culture on Baird's investment business also has been seen in the firm's overall growth, as assets under management have risen to $50.5 billion as of Sept. 30, up 156% from $19.7 billion at the end of 2012, when Baird first made the BPTW list.

“We have a lot of existing clients, but a lot of new clients as well,” said Warren D. Pierson, managing director and senior portfolio manager. “That's because of the consistency of our results, but also the consistency of our team.”

Added Mary Ellen Stanek, managing director and director of asset management: “Building and retaining strong investment professionals is critically important to investors. And we have continuity. ... We don't have any problem retaining talent.” Baird Asset Management has 79 U.S. employees.

Comments provided by employees surveyed for this year's ranking speak to the focus on both the client and the employee.

“The organization has a very clear focus, which is the client,” said one employee.

“We are all focused on the client and performing at a level that exceeds the client expectations consistently. The work environment is collegial, professional and balanced to allow a fair work/life balance.”

Baird “creates and preserves a team-focused culture where people matter: they are needed, listened to, engaged, developed and pushed to meet or exceed their potential,” said another employee.

“It's an environment where individuals can spend their careers, not just have a job.”

Ms. Stanek said that the focus on clients dovetails with the emphasis on the internal team. “It's part of focus and alignment — align everything for our investors and try to make sure everyone on the team understands that everyone matters.”

This article originally appeared in the December 12, 2016 print issue as, "Baird Asset Management".