Baird has hired industry veteran David Perez to open a new wealth management office in Portland, Ore. The move is just the latest of several recent hires Milwaukee-based Baird has made from the wirehouses, but it marks the company’s entry into the Pacific Northwest region.
Baird declined to make Perez available for comment, but Mike Schroeder, the president of Baird Private Wealth Management, said, through the Pacific Northwest has been an area of interest for some time, the company plans to continue hiring the best talent regardless where they are located in.
The company is also interested in expanding in the Rocky Mountain region and the Mid-Atlantic states, he said. It currently has 69 offices in 22 states, including the new one in Oregon.
Perez will be a non-producing manager and will be hiring advisors to flesh out the company’s expansion. There is no set goal in the number of advisors, but Baird has set a threshold in terms of production of $10 million within a year and $20 million in two to three, Schroeder said.
Perez worked at Smith Barney and its legacy firms for his entire 29-year career. Most recently, he oversaw 47 advisors in 2 branches generating a total of $25 million in revenue.
The strong entrepreneurial spirit of the Pacific Northwest fits Baird’s strengths as a service provider, Schroeder said. And he takes the issue “fitting in” seriously in the hiring process as well, he said. All prospective new hires visit the Milwaukee base for a day and if they don’t mesh with the firm’s standards, they’re not hired.
“We’ve said ‘no’ to a four million dollar producer... we’re not for everyone,” he said.
Schroeder said the firm’s sweet spot is the middle market, not just in wealth management but also investment banking and trading. Most of the advisors have about $100 million in assets under management, he said.