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17. Robert W. Baird
Robert W. Baird
Average total pay: $128,700
For: Financial Analyst*

Best Companies rank: 14
Headquarters: Milwaukee, WI

As layoffs roiled Wall Street last year, this conservatively-managed investment advisory firm added staff and opened new private wealth-management offices in Sacramento, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Minneapolis. In a few isolated cases where jobs were eliminated, employees were given the opportunity to relocate or accept a severance package of two-and-a-half weeks' pay for each year of service, along with a 50% reduction in COBRA premiums for three months.

Baird contributes 10% to 11% of pretax income to a profit-sharing plan linked to employee 401(k)s, and also offers an employee match. Privately held Baird lets employees buy stock, and more than 50% of employees own shares.

NEXT: Texas Instruments
Last updated February 05 2009: 1:03 PM ET
*Most common salaried job

An earlier version listed an incorrect pay number for Chesapeake Energy. The correct amount is $120,576, not $178,108, which moves Chesapeake from #7 among top payers to #24. The rankings have been adjusted accordingly.
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