David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, The Carlyle Group, interviewed by Geoff Colvin, Senior Editor-at-Large, FORTUNE magazine
A pillar of the private equity world, David M. Rubenstein offered his insights on the current business landscape plus perspective culled from 35 years as a Washington insider and Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group.
He noted how dissention in DC negatively affects business, and that it’s up to business owners to create solutions. He said the US still remains the world’s strongest market, with China on track to become the largest. Europe presents opportunity as well, valued so low that he dubbed it an emerging market.
Rubenstein believes that finding the right talent means identifying successful characteristics: hard-working but humble, saying “we” more than “me” and being passionate about something beyond making money.
Philanthropy, also important to Rubenstein, should be more about loving humanity than simply writing checks. But he does both, having signed The Giving Pledge and practicing “patriotic philanthropy,” which benefits the country.
Lastly, but perhaps most fundamentally, Rubenstein shared his passion for enthusiasm for education. He said educating youth — increasing literacy — is the only way to solve the ill of income disparity.
Watch the conversation below.
David M. Rubenstein
David M. Rubenstein
Co-Founder and Co-CEO
The Carlyle Group
David M. Rubenstein is Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms. Since he co-founded the firm in 1987, Carlyle has grown to manage more than $170 billion from 33 offices worldwide. Previously, Mr. Rubenstein practiced law in New York from 1973 to 1975 and served as Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments from 1975 to 1976. During the Carter Administration, he was Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy from 1977 to 1981. After his White House service and before co-founding Carlyle, he practiced law in Washington. Mr. Rubenstein is Chairman of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; a Regent of the Smithsonian Institution; Vice Chairman of the boards of Duke University, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institution; and the President of the Economic Club of Washington. He also serves on the board of directors or trustees of numerous organizations. A native of Baltimore, he is a 1970 graduate of Duke and a 1973 graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review. He and his wife, Alice, have three children.
Geoff Colvin is an award-winning thinker, author, broadcaster and speaker on today’s most significant trends in business. As FORTUNE’s Senior Editor-at-Large, he has become one of America’s most respected commentators on leadership, globalization, wealth creation, the infotech revolution and related issues. As anchor of Wall Street Week with FORTUNE on PBS, he spoke each week to the largest audience reached by any business television program in America. Colvin is the author of multiple books, including bestseller Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers From Everybody Else, which received the Harold A. Longman Award for Best Business Book of the Year. As a speaker, Colvin has engaged audiences on six continents. He is also a skilled on-stage interviewer whose subjects have included Jack Welch, Henry Kissinger and many others. He is the regular lead moderator of the Fortune Global Forum and a moderator for the International Business Leaders Forum in London. Colvin is one of America’s pre-eminent business broadcasters. He is heard daily on the CBS Radio Network, on which he has made more than 10,000 broadcasts. He has appeared on Today, Squawk Box and dozens of other programs.