Chairman, President, and CEO, Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated
Paul Purcell's father hoped he would take over the family insurance-brokerage firm, but Purcell's interests lay in finance. In 1971 he joined Kidder, Peabody in Chicago as an associate in investment banking. Over the next two decades, he quickly rose through the ranks to managing director, a post he held from 1980 to 1994.