David Rubenstein - Life, Leadership, and LBOs - [Invest Like the Best, EP. 270]
My guest today is David Rubenstein, co-founder of The Carlyle Group - one of the largest private equity firms in the world. David has worked in the White House, built a $300 billion investment institution, become a prominent philanthropist, published books, and even hosts his own TV show. It was a thrill to sit down with him and cover the whole spectrum of his experience as a father, investor, historian, and titan of American business. Please enjoy this great conversation with David Rubenstein.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
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[00:03:02 ] - [First question] - What his perspective on the world today is compared to the last forty years
[00:05:35 ] - The long term implications of the Ukraine war on a global scale
[00:07:54 ] - Concerns and thoughts on the US’s role in a radically different world
[00:10:07 ] - How inflation and reduced globalization impacts business behavior in the US
[00:12:58 ] - Why he chooses to learn by listening to people who are incredibly versed in their respective fields and what started it
[00:14:11 ] - His method when interviewing people and how it’s changed over time
[00:17:55 ] - The time he was the most personally in awe of a leader
[00:19:05 ] - The most basic ingredients for strong leadership
[00:21:34 ] - Learning from Oprah and developing his own interviewing style
[00:24:25 ] - His leadership style while running Carlyle and key variables that drove Carlyle’s success
[00:28:41 ] - The ways that were most effective in terms of investment for Carlyle’s brand
[00:29:50 ] - How should a new investor think about the relationship between government and business
[00:31:25 ] - Best ways for a business to interact with the government and common traits of those who do it well
[00:32:17 ] - What he’s learned about leadership that he thinks is the most portable for other people
[00:34:04 ] - His interest in masters of leadership and what he has learned from them
[00:35:08 ] - How Carlyle retained their talent and building relationships with LP investors
[00:38:55 ] - How he approached writing How to Invest
[00:41:13 ] - The importance of intuition when evaluating backers and why geniuses aren’t always chosen
[00:44:17 ] - Key drivers of American outcomes and biggest areas for improvement
[00:47:00 ] - Lessons he learned going from humble beginnings to amassing wealth and how he’s teaching his children about it
[00:49:20 ] - The state of private equity and what are its best and highest functions today
[00:51:03 ] - Experience and impressions on the emerging cryptosphere
[00:52:25 ] - What makes for a good chairman and why he is always drawn to that role
[00:53:42 ] - The most interesting system outside of the US that he’s observed
[00:55:33 ] - What he has learned about being a giving pledge signer and philanthropy
[00:57:02 ] - His interest in Monticello and the Magna Carta
[01:01:24 ] - What subject he would write his next book on
[01:03:58 ] - Thoughts on the line between giving your life for your country versus your state
[01:06:10 ] - Looking back on his career at a time where he felt the most alive
[01:08:07 ] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him