Emory Zink: In mid-2015, Baird Advisors welcomed Duane McAllister to lead Baird Core Intermediate Municipal Bond. Prior to joining Baird, McAllister served as a managing director at BMO Global Asset Management, where he was the lead portfolio manager for a number of municipal strategies. An emphasis on bottom-up, fundamental security analysis and vigilant risk management led to enviable performance over his tenure on BMO Intermediate Tax-Free Fund, which outperformed all muni national intermediate Morningstar Category peers on both an absolute and risk-adjusted basis, as well as the fund's Bloomberg Barclays Municipal Bond Index. Erik Schleicher and Joseph Czechowicz, who started their careers with McAllister at BMO, accompanied him to Baird, where the team continues to follow its rigorous, security selection-driven process.
Unlike many of the more narrowly focused Baird municipal offerings, this fund employs greater flexibility by mandate, considering all sectors and the full gamut of credit quality options. From the fund's September 2015 inception through May 2017, McAllister and his team haven't missed a step; annualized returns for this fund outpaced its Bloomberg Barclays 1-15 year Municipal Index and three fourths of category peers. Risk-adjusted returns over the same period appear even more compelling, placing this fund on our radar.