Stifel announces deal to buy George K. Baum & Co.

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Stifel Financial Corp.’s steady expansion is moving closer to home with the announcement that it will acquire George K. Baum & Co.

St. Louis-based Stifel said Monday it had reached a definitive agreement to acquire certain assets of Kansas City, Missouri-based Baum, which it described as “a recognized industry leader in the structuring, underwriting, and marketing of taxable and tax-exempt municipal securities.”

The privately held Baum set up shop in 1928 and operates 24 offices nationwide, including public finance offices in 22 cities providing underwriting and financial advisory services with nationwide practices in the sectors of housing, higher education and independent schools.

The announcement said Baum had provided underwriting and advisory services to more than 7,796 municipal bond issues totaling more than $320 billion since 2000.

“This transaction brings GKB’s nationally recognized municipal securities business to Stifel and further strengthens Stifel’s ability to provide top tier service to municipal issuer clients and non-profit borrowers,” Stifel Chief Executive Ronald J. Kruszewski said in a statement. “Further, GKB’s regional and sector focused practices provide a unique fit with Stifel’s existing public finance structure and a strong foundation to grow our businesses.”

The transaction excludes George K. Baum Capital Advisors or Baum Capital Partners, which will not be impacted by the acquisition.

Stifel is a financial services holding company that includes the broker-dealer Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. Inc.; Keefe Bruyette & Woods Inc.; Miller Buckfire & Co. LLC; and Century Securities Associates Inc., firms acquired as Stifel has worked to broaden its footprint and business offerings.

“The combination of our two firms will provide substantial advantages to our current and future clients in accessing the nation’s largest public finance platform,” Baum CEO Jonathan E. Baum said in the announcement.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. It is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019, pending regulatory approvals.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, a Stifel company, served as financial advisor to Stifel on the transaction.

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