Why Assholes Need Not Apply

Short Film Explains Past Baird Chairman’s Enduring Philosophy


Paul E. Purcell served as Baird’s Chairman from 2006 until his passing in 2020, and he left a vital legacy of vision, passion and caring that lives on at the firm. Perhaps the most infamous aspect of that legacy is his “No Assholes Rule.”

In Paul’s words: “An asshole is anyone who puts themselves before the client or the firm.” And he believed their presence at Baird would undermine the clients-first, collaborative culture that has helped enable great outcomes for those clients, Baird’s associates and the communities they share since 1919.

The rule has been referenced numerous times in writeups accompanying Baird’s appearances among Fortune Magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For®

Assholes: A Theory
Paul Purcell and Leslie Dixon explain what Baird’s No Assholes rule means for our Associates and the clients we serve.

In January of 2018, a film crew working on a documentary called Assholes: A Theory visited Baird’s Milwaukee headquarters to interview Paul and Chief Human Resources Officer Leslie Dixon. In their nearly five-minute segment, the two dig deeper into what this policy means to Baird, our clients and the fundamental trust and respect that are essential to our mutual success.

The film was released in Canada, just before the pandemic started, and is now available to stream in the U.S.

Group of people talking.
Find Your Career at Baird

Two women talking
Explore Advisor Opportunities


From FORTUNE. ©2020 FORTUNE Media IP Limited. All rights reserved. Used under license. FORTUNE and FORTUNE Media IP Limited are not affiliated with and do not endorse the products or services of, Baird.