How is Baird viewed in 2020?

I am considering applying to the Chicago office for a SA 2021 role. I would deeply appreciate any insight into how the company is regarded in MM.

Also, I feel confident that I could get an offer at this office as I have strong connections coming from alumni in senior roles and have been told by several people they have been quite impressed. Not trying to come across snobbish at all, but just trying to flesh out my situation for better reference. My hesitation is that the process concludes so early for Baird that I may be given an extremely difficult decision – do I accept (the safe option) or decline and pursue other opportunities that may be a better fit/more what I am aiming for (risker option).

Thanks for everyone's help and advice.

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Comments (31)

Feb 16, 2020 - 11:43am

Baird is generally regarded as a top MM, analysts typically go on to MM PE or go to Booth/Kellogg for b-school. If you're at a target and you know you're going to get interviews at BBs and EBs, it might be better to wait but otherwise I would recommend accepting an offer.


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Feb 17, 2020 - 1:08am

If work-life balance matters to you at all, then consider that Baird's protected Saturday's and PTO are enforced more stringently than any other firm. You'll still be in the office frequently, and probably work equal hours overall, but keeping commitments should be easier.

Feb 18, 2020 - 7:27am

considering various companies but targeting few companies with strong networks rather than spreading thin. Barclays, UBS, Goldman, Moelis Guggenheim, Baird, William Blair, Cowen, Piper.

Feb 18, 2020 - 10:11am

Then I would suggest taking your offer. Only Moelis and Goldman are objectively better at exit placement in a that list, pay is the same, and your work/life at Baird will be equal or superior to any of those firms.

A bit biased but imo would take a Blair/Baird over a BB with poor deal flow and deteriorating rep any day.

Most Helpful
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Feb 17, 2020 - 9:10pm

Can't comment too much on Baird other than it being a solid MM, what I can say though is not to play around with offers. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. The upside of getting a better offer relative to Baird and the downside of walking away with nothing (or settling for some random boutique in a T3 city) is not even close. Even if your profile is very strong, don't be trapped in the mindset of thinking "it can't happen to me." Witnessed this with a few people the last recruiting cycle. If anything just try to leverage the offer for an accelerated process elsewhere (likely won't work this early though).

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Feb 18, 2020 - 1:31pm

It's been said above, but Baird is generally regarded as the top of the MM along with Blair, and they dominate industrials. I personally know of an analyst going to HBS and there are plenty of other threads discussing exit opps to PE and various M7 b shcools.

I've heard they are generous with A2A if that becomes a path you want to go down. If so, the culture of the firm (which they are known for) will make your life a lot better.

Disregarding the above, I cannot stress strongly enough that you should take the offer and not gamble. Nobody is disputing that all things equal a GS/JPM/MS or Moelis/Evercore is going to be a "better" option, but the marginal reward is nowhere near worth the risk when you've already got a top offer.

I know analyst considerations are often different (PE, etc.) but if it makes you feel better, I had peers at my b school who rejected BBs/EBs (including moelis) for Baird and Blair. I also have a close friend who got dinged at Baird and Blair who landed at MS. It's clearly not a perfect sorting mechanism.

Good luck!

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Feb 18, 2020 - 2:21pm

Personal opinion, but I believe Baird industrials is a stronger pick for sure.

Some of the Chicago BBs are going to be more sourcing, more financing, but less execution. Citi and GS may be exceptions to that. Again, blanket statement but something to be aware of. Baird you know you're going to get heavy deal flow and lots of M&A, plus more PE exposure. Another big danger is given the small size of some BB Chicago offices, an MD or two can leave and throw the whole operation out of wack. Just look at MS Chicago for evidence of that.

Feb 20, 2020 - 3:06am

All group dependent. Baird's industrial group is better than HL and William Blair for sure.


  • 1
  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Mar 2, 2020 - 11:59am

There has been a lot said about Baird industrials, but how do their other groups rank in terms of deal flow, exits, etc? Specifically consumer, and healthcare in Chicago

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jun 29, 2020 - 8:44pm

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  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jun 29, 2020 - 8:53pm

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