Baird Names Doyal, McDonagh for Global Investment Banking

Robert W. Baird & Co., the 94-year-old banking and wealth-management firm, named Brian Doyal and Brian McDonagh co-heads of global investment-banking effective Jan. 1.

Doyal and McDonagh, both 49, will succeed Steve Booth, who was appointed chief operating officer earlier this year, the Milwaukee-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. Booth, chosen in January to eventually succeed Chief Executive Officer Paul Purcell, will continue to lead investment banking through the end of 2013, the firm said.

Baird is benefiting from an improvement in middle-market mergers and acquisitions, deals typically valued at $1 billion or less, McDonagh said in a phone interview. Annual revenue at the closely held firm increased 34 percent to $961 million last year from 2009, according to its annual report.

“For Baird and for the middle market, the M&A market is here, and it’s extremely active and it’s extremely robust,” McDonagh said. “We expect to have a record year from an advisory perspective.”

McDonagh is currently co-head of global M&A, a title he’ll keep, according to the statement. Doyal is head of services and health-care investment banking and will continue to oversee the latter business, he said in a phone interview.

Hiring Spree

Baird has been hiring employees from some of the world’s biggest banks, increasing staff by 16 percent since 2008 to about 2,800. The company said in November that it added Jim Conniff, who was previously at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., as a managing director in its industrial investment-banking unit. Satoshi Matsumoto, who was head of Japan consumer and retail investment-banking at Barclays Plc, joined Baird last year as director of its Japan M&A unit.

About half of Baird’s investment-banking fees come from private-equity clients, Booth said in a phone interview. The firm advises on portfolio-company sales and initial public offerings, working with large and small buyout firms, he said.

“We like that business because private-equity firms then exit through a series of follow-on transactions,” he said.

Investment banks and brokerages focusing on smaller companies have outperformed larger, so-called bulge bracket rivals as regulatory costs and capital requirements weigh on revenue.

Raymond James Financial Inc., the St. Petersburg, Florida-based brokerage that posted profits for 100 straight quarters, has surged 79 percent since the end of 2009, while Bank of America Corp. shares have slid 16 percent and Morgan Stanley has declined 15 percent.

Stifel Financial Corp., the St. Louis-based brokerage and investment bank, is seeking acquisitions to become a larger middle-market firm as smaller competitors falter, CEO Ron Kruszewski said earlier this year.

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