SAN FRANCISCO — Robert W. Baird & Co. said it has added 23-year municipal banking veteran David Ulbricht as a managing director in its public finance division in Portland, Ore., as the investment bank continues to expand its business in the West.

Ulbricht has extensive experience in fire and emergency service districts. He previously worked as a managing director at Wedbush Securities Inc., also in Portland.

Ulbricht’s strong experience will greatly benefit the firm’s expansion plans, particularly his fire and emergency service dealings in the Northwest, according to a statement issued Thursday by Keith Kolb, managing director and director of Baird’s public finance group.

Milwaukee-based Baird said its public finance and fixed-income sales and trading businesses are looking to recruit more people in Portland and throughout the West.

Baird has been growing its wealth management office in Portland since the company opened it in 2010.

It has added a fixed-income desk in its San Francisco office, which now has a staff of 50.

Since 2005, Baird’s public finance section has expanded to 13 offices and 80 associates from five offices and 50 associates.

In 2010, Baird was the nation’s top underwriter based on number of issues, with 929 deals.

In addition, it was the top underwriter by volume for small issues of $10 million or less, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The investment bank says it has retained those two positions for the first nine months of 2011.

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