Robert 'Bobby' Axelrod is the CEO of Axe Capital, a multibillion dollar hedge fund originally located in Connecticut before moving to New York City in Season 3. Known as "Axe" by friends and enemies alike, Bobby is an incredibly smart and capable investor, able to see many moves ahead in his investments and appearing to come out ahead every time. He is hardly ever on the losing side, and his intelligence, shrewdness, and decisive leadership often win him the awe and respect of friends and enemies. His intelligence and power also pull double to hide his nature as a ruthless and vindictive player that takes no prisoners, causing many to fear his wrath should they ever cross him.
A self-made Wall Street billionaire with one of the most successful hedge funds in the business, Bobby Axelrod enjoys all the trappings of his success: mansions, a private jet, a helicopter, and a personal chef. But he also doesn't forget his humble roots or the fact that he survived 9/11 by a fluke. Although, Axe's intentions are good, the temptations of greed and power are enormous and the lines between right and wrong in high finance are blurry at best. He is a shrewd enough player to never reveal his full hand to anybody.
Personality and Character
Bobby is an incredibly smart and shrewd investor and has a reputation of being entirely self-made in creating his wealth, though many are skeptical of his initial gains after 9/11. He did have enough foresight to use the gains he earned with those trades to pay for the college tuition of all the kids of his friends and bosses lost in the tragedy, indicating some need to be philanthropic. He has been able to connect the dots for many pieces on whichever board he is playing on, which others have not been able to do, indicating a strong strategic mindset and an ability to think several steps ahead. This has often been to the detriment of Chuck Rhodes and other law enforcement, who hardly ever concretely tie anything to him.
It is acknowledged that he grew up on a rough side of town, and this has turned him into a capable provider and good father for his two kids, but he does not coddle anyone. He initially started making money with a snow shovelling business with kids in his neighborhood. As he got older he began betting on horse races to learn some of the rules of the finance game and how to place bets by observing those who tended to make the most money. The rough upbringing hardened Bobby into a man who does not hesitate to make decisions to benefit himself and his firm, and push his employees hard to get results, or as he puts it, "the kevlar of knowing the answer." He never questions any move to keep his family, his business, and ultimately, himself ahead of everyone else. It is implied that his father was abusive to him and his mother growing up, inciting deep hatred for his father, a need for control, and an obsession with loyalty. He also bought his own childhood home to ensure that nobody would live or go through what he did in the house, which only highlights his worst flaws further. Most times, he is concerned with beating the competition and is always looking for someone to go after and win against. This fearsome need to constantly be at war and fight has also put him in the crosshairs of the law at various points in time, though his shrewd actions allow him to stay out of trouble for the most part. His decisiveness and clear direction has won him the near fanatical loyalty of some of his employees, such as "Dollar" Bill Stern, and Michael "Wags" Wagner. Dr. Wendy Rhodes has noted this need to fight can also cause him to be reckless and make poor decisions overall.
Bobby's biggest problem, and the biggest detriment to his character, is his need to always be in control and his obsession with loyalty. These indicate some level of narcissism, and while he is aware of it, he is often incapable of letting things go. He vindictively and ruthlessly guts anyone who strikes out on their own after working under his banner, going as far as he can to ensure they will never be a threat to him again. He will go after any opening he has against his perceived enemies, ruining their personal relationships, finances, businesses, and dreams if he feels they have betrayed him, no matter how close they are or have been. He has a deep hatred for anyone who has betrayed him. This pattern started with his father who he bears the greatest hatred for. So great is Bobby’s hatred for his sire that he threatened to cut off and leave his mother destitute should she ever speak with his father again, crushing the Lexus he bought her when he found out that his father had it, to the shock of Wendy Rhodes.
He is obsessed with being the cause of winning to a pathological degree, refusing to take any losses in business or in his relationships. He carefully plans out or puts in his contracts and conversations markers and points to prove he is always up one on whoever he is talking to though he can be unbalanced. His immense wealth and fearsome reputation have prevented him from taking severe losses and helped keep his many enemies as no real threat. However, when faced with a competent adversary who can match him in strategy, he often overextends himself and causes more damage to himself and his business by doing so. His constant fixation on always being the winner also causes him to play more and more short term, as Taylor notices with his battles with Chuck, and doing so will likely end up costing him dearly. Chuck has often proved extremely vexing for Axe as Chuck’s strategic talents and wits are evenly matched with Axe’s own, however this only hardens his resolve to be seen as the winner and better than Chuck, often to his own detriment, though he doesn't see it that way.
The series has highlighted Bobby's outward persona, a well-intentioned, philanthropic, and extremely capable trader, though working in the gray, against his true face; a ruthless, power hungry, and vindictive tyrant, who's only real purpose is winning and proving he is better than everyone in his business. Bobby appears more in later seasons to represent the worst elements of the banking and hedge fund business: cutting corners, encouraging unhealthy competition with staff, petty backstabbing of perceived competitors and sacrificing anyone who he deems a threat to keep himself and those who are loyal to him safe.
Bobby is a big fan of heavy metal music, taking off work early to go to a Metallica concert and regularly wearing t-shirts of classic heavy metal bands such as Megadeth and Iron Maiden.
Bobby Axelrod has appeared in all 60 episodes to date.