Newswise — MILWAUKEE _ Associates from Baird, the employee-owned international financial services firm, are giving the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee $1 million of working capital for students to practice managing portfolios. Given by anonymous Baird associates who are UWM alumni and supported by Baird, this gift benefits the Investment Management Certificate Program (IMCP) at UWM’s Lubar School of Business.

UWM’s IMCP is one of the premier investment programs in the United States and is part of the CFA Institute University Recognition Program. “Over a 21-month period, students gain experience as investment analysts, fund managers and investment bankers,” said IMCP Director Kevin Spellman, who holds a doctorate in finance and is a chartered financial analyst (CFA) charterholder. “They engage in rigorous securities research, have access to top-flight analytical tools, meet with many dozens of investment professionals each year, travel to major financial centers and manage real portfolios. This generous gift will provide our students with a significant increase in real, tangible investment experience, better preparing them for careers in finance.”Baird has provided significant support to UWM in the past, through scholarships, internships and mentoring opportunities and by sponsoring a [email protected] chapter for Baird employees who are UWM alumni. This recent $1 million gift is the largest associates from Baird have given the university to date.

“Baird has enjoyed a long relationship with UWM, and we have hired hundreds of UWM alumni over the years,” said Audrey Warner, director of the Baird Foundation. “At Baird, we believe that one of the best ways to prepare for a career is through meaningful, practical experience. The IMCP gives students the type of experience we look for in job candidates, and we are pleased to support the work being done by investment management students at UWM.”Kanti Prasad, dean of the Lubar School of Business, expressed his gratitude for the support from Baird and these anonymous associates.

“They are helping our investment management students gain invaluable experiential learning and a distinctive competitive edge for professional success,” Prasad said. “This type of support validates the innovative approach to teaching that faculty like Kevin Spellman are taking at the Lubar School.”Chancellor Mark Mone said business partnerships are critical to UWM’s success, and he too was grateful for this generous support.

“Baird has been a key collaborator with UWM for many years,” Mone said. “I am delighted to see their associates step forward with additional support for the IMCP. Baird’s involvement is positively impacting our students and their ability to compete in today’s marketplace.”

About UWMRecognized as one of the nation’s 115 top research universities, UW-Milwaukee provides a world-class education to more than 27,000 students from 81 countries. Its 14 schools and colleges include Wisconsin’s only schools of architecture, freshwater sciences and public health, and it is a leading educator of nurses and teachers. With a budget of $667 million, UW-Milwaukee partners with leading companies to conduct joint research, offer student internships and serve as an economic engine for southeastern Wisconsin. The Princeton Review named UW-Milwaukee a 2016 “Best Midwestern” university based on overall academic excellence and student reviews.

About BairdBaird 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 3,300 associates serving the needs of individual, corporate, institutional and municipal clients. Baird has more than $151 billion in client assets. Committed to being a great place to work, Baird ranked No. 6 on FORTUNE’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2016 – its 13th 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 an operating subsidiary in Asia supporting Baird’s investment banking and private equity operations. For more information, please visit Baird’s Web site at