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Baird Adds Two Senior Investment Bankers, Opens Charlotte Office

Date: 11/7/08

CHARLOTTE, N.C., November 7, 2008 –Baird, an employee-owned international capital markets, private equity, wealth and asset management firm, announced today it has added two senior investment banking professionals and opened a new office in Charlotte, N.C.  Brian McDonagh, Managing Director and Co-Head of M&A, and Joe Pellegrini, Managing Director, both formerly of Wachovia, will operate from the firm’s new office, Baird’s eleventh Investment Banking office location. 

McDonagh will play a dual role, supporting Baird's broad M&A advisory practice across all industry sectors while also leveraging his deep experience and relationships in the industrial market to help drive the firm's overall investment banking business in this sector.  Pellegrini will focus on clients in the consumer sector, more specifically within the retail, branded apparel and footwear segments.  Frank Stokes, Managing Director in the Health Care investment banking group and formerly of Wachovia, will join McDonagh and Pellegrini at the new location.  Stokes, who joined Baird in 2007 from Wachovia, was initially based out of the firm’s Chicago office. 

“Baird’s mission to best meet clients’ needs now and in the future, combined with our long-term growth strategy, have prompted us to be proactive in seeking senior talent and expanding our global footprint, said Steve Booth, Director of Baird’s Investment Banking group.  “We are excited to have Brian and Joe join our team.  They bring the type of high caliber expertise and seasoned leadership that Baird has come to both seek and attract.”   

McDonagh has nearly 25 years of experience in the global M&A marketplace, most recently serving as Head of the Industrial Growth M&A Group at Wachovia Securities in Charlotte and prior to that as Co-Head of the Global Industrial M&A Group at a predecessor firm to JPMorgan Chase in New York.  He received his undergraduate degree from Haverford College.

Prior to joining Baird, Pellegrini led the Retail and Soft Goods investment banking practice at Wachovia and, prior to that, ran the middle market Consumer and Retail practice at Lehman Brothers.  He was also a member of the Consumer and Retail group at Robertson Stephens.  Prior to his career in investment banking, Pellegrini spent seven years in the NFL, playing for the New York Jets and the Atlanta Falcons. He received his MBA from Columbia University and his BA from Harvard.

"Baird's solid reputation as a leading global middle-market investment bank focused on providing deep, industry sector-specific advisory services to its clients combined with the truly unique and outstanding culture of the firm made this an extremely attractive opportunity for me," said McDonagh.

Pellegrini added, “I’m thrilled to be joining this talented team.  Baird’s successful track record in the consumer sector presents some exciting opportunities.”

The addition of the new talent and resources is the latest development in the continued expansion of Baird’s Investment Banking group.  Since the beginning of 2008, Baird has:

  • Expanded its global platform to include investment banking capabilities in Asia with the addition of Anthony Yan-Hong Siu, Managing Director, previously with Standard Chartered Bank in Hong Kong, who is based in Baird’s Shanghai office.
  • Expanded the firm’s technology and healthcare banking capabilities. Baird opened a second Bay Area office in Palo Alto, Calif. and added two senior technology investment banking professionals, John Moriarty and Mike Avila, both previously with AG Edwards, and Renee Ryan, a senior health care investment banker, previously with Jefferies. 
  • Expanded resources in the firm’s Frankfurt office by hiring Joachim Beickler, Managing Director, who brings more than 25 years of diversified banking expertise in Germany.
  • Strengthened Baird's Financial Sponsor coverage by adding Jeffrey Seaman, Managing Director, who holds 20 years of experience at Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers and other firms.  
  • Strengthened Baird’s Equity Capital Markets offering by hiring John Baumgartner, previously with Piper Jaffray, and Rick Conklin, previously with William Blair, as Managing Directors.


About Baird’s Investment Banking group
Recognized as the 2008 “Middle Market Investment Bank of the Year” by Buyouts magazine, Baird is a leading international investment bank focused on the middle market. More than 150 investment banking professionals in the U.S., Europe and Asia provide corporations with in-depth market knowledge and extensive experience in merger and acquisition and equity financing transactions. Over the past 10 years, Baird has advised on over 615 M&A and financing transactions with a total value of more than $94 billion. Over the past five years, European and transatlantic assignments have accounted for approximately one-third of our M&A transactions. Baird was named “Middle Market Bank of the Year” for 2006 by Investment Dealer’s Digest. The firm has received “Deal of the Year” recognitions from The M&A Advisor in 2005, 2006 and 2007, and was named 2008 “Manufacturing Sector Adviser of the Year” by Acquisitions Monthly in the UK. For more information, please visit www.rwbaird.com.

About Baird
Baird is an employee-owned, international wealth management, capital markets, private equity and asset management firm with offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. Established in 1919, Baird has more than 2,300 associates serving the needs of individual, corporate, institutional and municipal clients. Baird oversees and manages client assets of more than $73 billion. Committed to being a great place to work, Baird is one of FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2008 -- its fifth consecutive year on the list.  Baird’s principal operating subsidiaries are Robert W. Baird & Co. in the United States and Robert W. Baird Group Ltd. in Europe. Baird also has operating subsidiaries in Asia supporting Baird’s private equity and investment banking operations. For more information, please visit Baird’s Web site at www.rwbaird.com.

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