MIL­WAU­KEE-BASED BAIRD WILL EX­PAND

The Bond Buyer - - Front Page - By Shelly Sigo

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. ◽

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