Robert W. Baird — the Milwaukee-based brokerage firm — is the lone Wisconsin-based company on Fortune magazine’s annual “100 Best Places to Work” list for 2013.

Baird, which has two Madison offices and 45 employees here, ranks No. 14 on the list, the fifth consecutive year it was listed among the top 25. It has 2,700 total employees nationwide.

“There’s just a great culture here,” says Cassandra Kaukl, 29, an office administrative supervisor in Baird’s office at 8000 Excelsior Drive on Madison’s west side. “It’s got a very Midwest feel and I like that.”

In the write-up posted with the survey, Fortune lauds Baird for its employee-owned structure.

“Seventy-eight percent of this financial services firm is owned by non-senior management. All associates enjoy annual profit-sharing contributions from a pool that represents 10 percent of Baird's pretax net operating income,” says Fortune.

The most common salaried job at Baird, financial analyst, pays $116,310, according to the report. The most common hourly job, client relationship assistant, pays $44,027.

Companies that are at least seven years old and have at least 1,000 employees are eligible to apply for the Fortune list, making it something of a contest. This year, 343 firms participated in what is billed as the largest survey of its kind.

Companies that do apply are rated via confidential and random employee questionnaires on things like management credibility, job satisfaction and office camaraderie. Companies are also scored on pay and benefit programs and a series of open-ended questions about hiring practices, communication and diversity.

While Baird is the lone Wisconsin firm on the list, several of the Top 100 companies listed have a strong presence in the Madison area.

One is Roche Diagnostics Corp., No. 89, which is headquartered in Indianapolis but now owns the former Nimblegen biotech firm located at 500 S. Rosa Road. It has about 75 employees here.

Mattel Inc., the parent of Middleton-based American Girl, comes in at No. 96.

Also, Cisco Systems. No. 42 on the Fortune list, has a small office in Madison and about 100 employees in Wisconsin. Its founder, of course, is UW-Madison grad John Morgridge.

Other winners making the list with outlets here include Edward Jones (No. 8); REI (No. 17); Men’s Wearhouse (No. 50); Whole Foods Market (No. 71); and Starbucks (No. 94).

Google is ranked No. 1 on the Fortune list for the second year in a row. It once had a small presence in Madison but its phone is no longer being answered.

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