Baird to Acquire Hilliard Lyons
Milwaukee-based Baird Financial Group said Tuesday it has agreed to buy smaller brokerage rival J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, the Louisville-based firm with 380 brokers.
Baird, which employs about 890 advisors primarily in the Midwest at its Robert W. Baird broker-dealer subsidiary, could expand its $200 billion of customer assets under management by about 25%, or $50 billion, if it succeeds in retaining the Hilliard sales force, the companies said in a news release.
The acquisition, which is expected to close in the second half of 2019, pending regulatory approvals, includes the purchase of Hilliard Lyons Trust Co.
“Joining forces will accelerate the success of both firms and the success of our clients,” Baird Chairman Paul Purcell said in a prepared statement. “We have a close relationship with Hilliard Lyons that goes back more than two decades.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Hilliard Lyons, which is owned by supermarket conglomerate Houchens Industries, generated $280 million of revenue as of September 30, 2018, according to the release. The Kentucky firm last year transitioned from self-clearing to using Wells Fargo’s First Clearing operations. It also recently joined the Protocol for Broker Recruiting, which Baird also has signed.
Baird has been slowly expanding its recruiting in the past year, stretching its geography to Alaska last November by luring a $5-million team of brokers from Wells Fargo Advisors.
Hilliard Chairman and Chief Executive Jim Allen will assume a role as a vice chairman of Baird when the deal is completed, the companies said. Hilliard President Tom Kessinger III and private wealth head Alan Newman will assume unspecified “leadership roles” in the combined organization, with Kessinger continuing to serve his wealth management clients from Louisville and Newman working from Evansville, Ind., according to the release.
“We are especially pleased to return to our roots and rejoin an employee-owned firm,” Allen said in a prepared statement.
Baird was majority-owned by Northwestern Mutual Life from 1982 to 2004, when it was sold in a management buyout to employees of the brokerage firm.