Paul E. Purcell is Chairman of Baird and a member of the boards of directors of Baird Financial Group and affiliated entities, including Robert W. Baird & Co. He is also Chairman of Baird's global private equity business, Baird Capital.
Paul joined Baird in 1994, became President and Chief Operating Officer in 1998 and President and Chief Executive Officer in 2000. He added the title of Chairman in 2006 and served as Chairman, President and CEO until 2014. From 2014-2015 he served as Chairman & CEO. Prior to joining Baird, Paul spent 22 years with Kidder, Peabody & Co., where he was a Managing Director and head of the Midwest Investment Banking Group.
In addition to his duties at Baird, Paul is co-chair of the board of Teach for America – Milwaukee and the chair of the University of Notre Dame Mendoza School of Business advisory council. He also serves on the Alverno College board of trustees, the Cristo Rey Network board of trustees, the Greater Milwaukee Committee board and executive committee, the United Performing Arts Fund board and the Junior Achievement of Chicago board of directors. He is a member of the board of directors of RiverFront Investment Group, LLC, a member of the board of directors of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and former vice chairman, as well as the former chairman of the board of directors at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. He also served on the board of United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Discovery World.
Paul received an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (1971) and is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (1969). In 2009, he received the University of Chicago Booth School of Business Distinguished Corporate Alumni Award. In 2012, he received the Three Harbors Council, Boy Scouts of America's 2012 Distinguished Citizen's Award and the Milwaukee Public Library's Benjamin Franklin Award. In 2013, he was named the Harvard Business Club of Wisconsin's Business Leader of the Year for 2012. He received the Reach for Excellence Award from Midtown Educational Foundation and the Medical College of Wisconsin's Warren P. Knowles Humanitarian Award in 2014. In 2015, The United Community Center recognized Paul wit its "Friends of the Hispanic Community Award."