Maria Watts of Baird named to 2020 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A


What’s new?
Given my consumer and M&A advisory experience, I was asked to launch a dedicated consumer sponsor coverage effort and support an initiative to innovate our coverage model and drive even better collaboration. As a result, Baird experienced a record number of pitch invitations and wins in 2019, including from sponsors that had not previously worked with us. I am energized by these early indicators and what can be accomplished through Baird’s teamwork model and forward-thinking leadership. Bankers are encouraged to take on new roles and strategic risks, and I am more open-minded to that in the future as a result.

How are you a champion for change?
Sell-sides today are bespoke. We are regularly asked to provide a “short-list” of buyers, but no two lists are the same. While Baird has always provided great advice, there was room for improvement in the process for gathering input. I identified the opportunity and led a cross-functional team to design, introduce and roll out a transformational strategy used to determine how buyer feedback is solicited, consolidated and vetted. Baird’s new process combines collective expertise, data from 100+ transactions per year and each client’s unique objectives to create a buyer list.

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