Baird and Hilliard Lyons, two established regional firms, to merge

Combined, the new firm will have 1,270 advisers and $260 billion in assets

Nov 27, 2018 @ 5:42 pm

By Bruce Kelly

In a merger of two established regional brokerage firms, Baird late Tuesday said it agreed to acquire Hilliard Lyons. Combined, the two will have 1,270 financial advisers.

The terms of the deal, which is subject to the approval of regulators, were not disclosed.

Opened in 1919, Baird is an employee-owned, wealth management firm with 890 financial advisers and $211 billion in client assets. Based in Milwaukee, Baird's principal business in the U.S. is Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc., the broker-dealer.

Established in 1854 in Louisville, Ky., Hilliard Lyons' brokerage is J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, with 380 financial advisers and more than $50 billion in client assets.

Brokerage firms have been merging and consolidating at a steady pace ever since the credit crisis. The cost of doing business has increased due to technology spending and increased regulations, and commissions have steadily decreased due to competition and consumer demand for lower prices.

Baird's private wealth management group also has been steadily recruiting financial advisers from competitors, including wirehouses, recently.

The senior management of Hilliard Lyons, including its chairman and CEO Jim Allen, will continue in their roles and work with Baird's private wealth management leadership team, the two firms said in a press release.

"Hilliard Lyons has an excellent reputation and many other similarities to Baird including a strong, client-centric culture and business model, a commitment to being a great place to work, and a long history of giving back to the community," said Steve Booth, president and CEO of Baird.

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