MILWAUKEE-BASED BAIRD WILL EXPAND
its public finance footprint into new markets next year when it ac◽uires the 164-year-old Louisville, Kentucky-based Hilliard Lyons . . . . . . . . . . .
Milwaukee-based Baird will expand its public finance footprint into new markets next year when it acquires the 164-year-old Louisville, Kentucky-based Hilliard Lyons.
The firms announced Tuesday signing of a definitive agreement in which Hilliard and Hilliard Lyons Trust Co. will be sold. Closing is expected in the first half of 2019.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though it was approved by Kentucky-based Houchens Industries Inc., the majority shareholder of Hilliard’s parent company, HL Financial Services, LLC.
“On every level, Baird is a great fit for our clients and for the Hilliard Lyons team,” said Hilliard Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Allen. “We are especially pleased to return to our roots and rejoin an employee-owned firm.”
Established in 1854, Hilliard was employee-owned until it was purchased by PNC Financial Services Group in 1998. PNC sold Hilliard to Houchens in 2008.
Hilliard and its trust company offer wealth management, trust and estate planning services, as well as investment banking, municipal finance and asset management services. They have more than $50 billion in client assets and had more than $280 million in revenue for its fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2018.
Hilliard has 1,000 employees, including more than 380 financial advisors, operating from more than 70 offices. Its public finance business includes 20 professionals in Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois.
Baird has about 3,500 associates serving individuals, corporations, institutions and municipal clients. As of June 30, it had $211 billion in client assets.
The merger will result in an expansion of Baird’s public finance operations, said a spokesperson, who added, “Hilliard Lyons has a presence in a number of markets where Baird is not represented currently.”
Baird’s public finance group currently has 75 professionals including about 25 banking and advisory specialists in 15 offices in Colorado, Illinois, North Carolina, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin.
The combined firm will have approximately 1,300 financial advisors serving clients from 170 locations in 34 states, and will maintain a presence in Louisville.
Baird Chairman Paul Purcell said the two companies have had a close relationship for more than two decades.
“As we approach Baird’s 100th year, we are immensely proud to welcome Hilliard Lyons to the Baird family,” said Baird President and CEO Steve Booth. “Hilliard Lyons has an excellent reputation and many other similarities to Baird, including a strong, client-centric culture and business model.”
When the merger is completed, Allen will remain in Louisville and serve as a vice chairman of Baird and a member of Baird’s executive committee.
Hilliard President Tom Kessinger III will work on Baird’s private wealth management team from Lexington, Kentucky, while Hilliard Executive Vice President and director of private wealth management Alan Newman will remain in Evansville, Indiana.
Baird ranked 12th nationally as a managing municipal bond underwriter year-to- date, credited with 704 deals worth $7.73 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. Hilliard ranked 31st nationally as managing underwriter credited with 99 deals worth $834 million.
In the Midwest, Baird ranked sixth last year among senior managers, leading 477 deals valued at $4 billion, and ranked ninth among financial advisors on 89 deals valued at $1.7 billion.
In Hilliard’s home state of Kentucky, the firm last year was the top financial advisor, credited with 43 deals valued at $1.07 billion. It came in fourth as senior underwriting manager, credited with 42 deals worth $270.8 million.
J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons LLC is a member of the New York Stock Exchange, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and the Securities Investor Protection Corp.
Baird said it expects that Hilliard will be fully integrated on its operational platform in the third quarter of 2019. The company will be known as Baird at that time. ◽