Baird was recognized among Pensions & Investments' Best Places to Work in Money Management for the seventh consecutive year.
Baird Advisors continued to broaden and deepen its client relationships in 2018 by focusing on competitive long-term performance and exceptional service. Assets under management grew to $66.9 billion and our average relationship exceeded 12 years. The national financial press, including Barron's and The Wall Street Journal, recognized our disciplined, steady approach to investing in what proved to be a challenging year for the bond market.
Baird Funds was named one of the top fund families by Morningstar.1
Baird Advisors takes a disciplined, risk-controlled approach to investing, led by a deeply experienced team of senior leaders who have invested together for more than 35 years. Together, they ensure the consistent implementation of our investment philosophy and process while simultaneously developing the business's next generation of leadership. Twenty-two members of our team hold the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, underscoring the deep expertise we provide to our clients.
Our municipal bond team, which joined Baird Advisors in 2015, launched two new products upon their arrival. Both achieved their third anniversary in 2018 and are delivering very competitive returns versus their benchmarks and peers, as well as gathering notable assets.
Our equity investment management business is powered by a strong group of talented investment teams, each with deep expertise in distinct areas of the markets. All share a focus on delivering value-added performance and employ a research-driven process honed by managing portfolios across market cycles. In 2018 we made key investments in our business for the benefit of our clients, including the addition of new talent, the launch of a new SMID Growth mutual fund and a reduction of mutual fund fees. This focus on long-term performance drove another year of strong results. The business's assets have grown 24.5% annually since 2014.
Chautauqua Capital Management, our international and global team, was recognized as an "Undiscovered Manager" by Morningstar and was named to several recommended lists over the past year. Our Mid Cap Growth Strategy celebrated its 25th anniversary and was named "Manager of the Year" by Envestnet and Institutional Advisor. Our Specialized Asset Management team, which partners with Baird Financial Advisors to develop portfolios for high-net-worth investors, achieved strong growth and surpassed $1 billion in assets under management.
1Source: "Fund Family 150" by Michael Laske, published January 1, 2019. © 2019 Morningstar Research Services LLC. All Rights Reserved. Based on a rank of Due Diligence Scorecard asset-weighted scores for firms compared in report.