John J. Studzinski
|Education||Bowdoin College (BA)|
University of Chicago (MBA)
|Occupation||Investment banker, philanthropist|
|Known for||Genesis Foundation|
|Title||Managing Director and Vice Chairman at PIMCO|
John Joseph Paul Studzinski, CBE (born March 19, 1956) is an American-British investment banker and philanthropist. Since September 2018 he has been Managing Director and Vice Chairman of the global investment-management firm PIMCO.
Prior to joining PIMCO, he was Vice Chairman of Investor Relations and Business Development, and a Senior Managing Director, at The Blackstone Group. He had joined Blackstone in 2006 as global head of Blackstone Advisory Partners, the company's mergers and acquisitions advisory arm, and he ran that division for nearly a decade. Prior to joining Blackstone, he was at Morgan Stanley from 1980–2003, and at HSBC from 2003–2006, building mergers-and-acquisitions divisions in both of those institutions.
Studzinski is heavily involved in hands-on philanthropy, patronage, and charity work. His numerous charitable activities revolve mainly around the arts, the homeless, and human rights. His own charity, the Genesis Foundation, supports and nurtures people in the creative fields in the early stages of their careers. He co-founded and chairs the Arise Foundation, which combats human trafficking and modern slavery worldwide.
Early life and education
John Studzinski was born in 1956 in Peabody, Massachusetts, a town 15 miles northeast of Boston. His parents were working-class Polish immigrants, and his father was a financial manager at General Electric's aircraft-engine division. Education and industriousness were emphasized in the family, and music as well. His was a traditional Polish Catholic family and community, and Catholicism and Christianity were a bedrock in his life. He worked in soup kitchens as a teenager, and helped start a toll-free number to inform adolescents about sexually transmitted diseases.
Studzinski attended prep school at St. John's Preparatory School in Massachusetts, graduating in 1974. He graduated magna cum laude from Bowdoin College in 1978, with a double BA degree in biology and sociology. He received an MBA in finance and marketing from the University of Chicago in 1980.
After receiving his MBA, Studzinski began his investment banking career in New York in 1980 on Wall Street, at Morgan Stanley. He spent 23 years at the company, in positions of increasing responsibility. In 1984 he moved to London, to create and build Morgan Stanley’s European mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisory business. He served as head of the European investment banking division and deputy chairman of Morgan Stanley International. By the time he left Morgan Stanley in 2003, the division he built was the number three European M&A advisory.
In June 2003, Sir John Bond at London-based multinational bank giant HSBC hired Studzinski to create and build an investment banking division, along with Stuart Gulliver. As co-head of investment banking at HSBC Group, and a member of the Group Management Board, Studzinski was in charge of mergers and acquisitions, while Gulliver built the markets side of the investment banking franchise. Studzinski made a number of hirings, and grew the new M&A division. After three years at HSBC, following Bond's retirement, Studzinski left the giant bank for Blackstone in May 2006.
In 2006 Studzinski joined The Blackstone Group, an American multinational private equity, investment banking, alternative asset management, and financial services corporation based in New York City. He joined as the senior managing director in its investment and advisory group and as a member of the firm's executive committee. He was recruited to oversee and develop Blackstone’s mergers-and-acquisitions advisory business, Blackstone Advisory Partners, in the United States and Europe, and to open an office in London. CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman said in 2006 that Studzinski's "outstanding track record in transatlantic investment banking will be invaluable in accelerating the growth of our advisory business".
Studzinski is based in both New York and London. His primary role as global head of Blackstone Advisory Partners was to oversee Blackstone's corporate M&A advisory services business in the U.S., and further develop the corporate M&A advisory business in Europe and Asia. He was personally involved in many of the firm's largest advisory assignments. He advised multinational corporations, conglomerates, governments, banks, and institutions, on acquisitions, equity investments, restructurings, spin-offs, mergers, and overseas operations.
In early 2015, Blackstone began spinning off three of its divisions, including its M&A advisory group, to avoid any potential conflicts of interest with its primary private-equity business. After assisting with the transition, Studzinski became Vice Chairman of Investor Relations and Business Development at Blackstone. In this capacity, he holds responsibility for a number of sovereign and international institutional relationships, as well as ultra high-net-worth families outside the U.S.
In September 2018, Studzinski was appointed to the newly created roles of Managing Director and Vice Chairman of the global investment-management firm PIMCO. He acts as an advisor to many of PIMCO’s top clients including governments, pension funds, corporations, sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and foundations. He will also help build PIMCO's global footprint. He is based in PIMCO's executive office in New York City, shuttling also to London and to PIMCO's headquarters in Newport Beach, California, and he reports directly to CEO Emmanuel Roman.
Philanthropy and advisorships
Studzinski is an active, prolific, hands-on philanthropist. His numerous philanthropic interests and activities fall mainly into three categories: the arts, the homeless, and human rights. The motivation behind his philanthropic work is "human dignity, and the nurturing of it". He feels strongly about giving opportunities to those who have none and can't afford to find any.
In addition to the more than $10 million he has given to the Tate Modern museum as of 2016, Studzinski is also passionate about giving opportunities to people in the early stages of careers in the arts, and steadily supporting the growth of their success. He feels that "money is so much better spent on the process of creating, on nurturing emerging talent and staying with it, a commitment over the years. And networks: bringing young creative people into a network they can learn from and that will support them."
In 2001 he established the Genesis Foundation, which helps and supports developing artists in the fields of music, theatre, and the visual arts, by providing them with practical and financial support in the early stages of their careers. It is his personal foundation, which he fully funds. As of 2017, the Genesis Foundation has supported more than 1,000 artists. It has donated over £10 million to enable young artists to develop their talents, including by financially supporting their development, providing opportunities, giving them access to talented mentors and valuable networks, and commissioning new work.
Some of the Genesis Foundation's numerous projects have included awarding scholarships to support students in the three-year acting course at LAMDA. As of 2017, it sponsors the Genesis LAMDA Network, which pairs a final-year LAMDA student with a carefully selected graduate mentor to support them as they complete their training and enter the industry. The foundation has supported up-and-coming theatre directors at the Young Vic since 2003, via the Genesis Directors Program (2003–2009), the two-year Genesis Fellowship, the Genesis Directors Network, and the Genesis Future Directors Award for young directors. Since its founding, Genesis has funded the Royal Court Theatre's International Playwrights Programme, which nurtures and mentors young playwrights around the world. The Genesis Laboratory provided space and funding for emerging writers at the Suffolk-based HighTide Theatre. In New York City, in 2015 the foundation funded the Residency Five programme at the Signature Theatre for the 2015–16 and 2016-17 seasons; the program supports nine playwrights over a five-year residency and guarantees each playwright three world-premiere productions of their new plays. In 2017 the Genesis Foundation partnered with the National Theatre's musical theatre department to fund the Genesis Music Theatre Group, providing ongoing funding to help inspire and develop the next great British musical.
The Genesis Opera Project, launched in 2001, funded emerging opera composers, librettists, directors, and designers from all over the world. The Genesis Foundation's music ventures also include having funded posts for new opera directors, répétiteurs, and other posts at the Welsh National Opera. It funds the Genesis Sixteen, a free program which nurtures the next generation of ensemble singers, bridging the gap from vocal student to professional, implemented by The Sixteen, a world-renowned ensemble of classical singers. The foundation also commissions various new works, including operas and choral compositions. In 2010 the foundation commissioned a visual laser-installation work, "LIGHT", by Chris Levine, performed at the Holy Trinity Church, Marylebone and accompanied by choral singing by The Sixteen of Genesis-commissioned choral music by Will Todd.
In 2012 the foundation launched the Genesis Prize, a biennial £25,000 prize awarded to a mentor of young artistic talent whose work has effected real change in the practice and careers of arts professionals or graduates. From 2002–2007, the foundation also provided start-up loans and support for young people wishing to set up creative enterprises, via a five-year partnership with the Prince's Trust.
In 2016, via the foundation Studzinski partnered with the Hampton Court Palace's Choral Foundation to organize the first Catholic service in the palace's Chapel Royal in over 450 years. The service, conducted mainly in Latin, was in celebration of the King Henry VIII palace's 500th anniversary, and featured choral music from the 15th and 16th centuries. Studzinski stated that "Dialogue between faiths is much needed and welcomed in these turbulent times. We need to recognise that we have more in common than not." Via the Genesis Foundation, Studzinski also commissioned composer James MacMillan's Stabat Mater, which premiered at the Barbican Centre in October 2016; the recording of the work, sung by The Sixteen, was named Recording of the Month in April 2017 by Gramophone. The Genesis Foundation was also the sole sponsor of the 2017–2018 Living with Gods exhibition at the British Museum.
The Financial Times has called Studzinski a "champion of homeless charity work in London". He is a founder member of the Passage Day Centre, one of the largest day care centers for the homeless in London, and he funds the homeless charity Emmaus UK. He also works as a regular volunteer at the Passage soup kitchen.
In 1998 Studzinski co-launched, and was the first chairman of, Business Action on Homelessness, which is a partnership between Business in the Community, major companies, homeless agencies, and the British government. The organization raises companies' awareness of homelessness throughout the UK, and works with businesses to equip homeless people with the skills needed to gain and sustain employment. It encourages companies to provide work placements and training courses assisting the homeless back into work. Studzinski promotes and encourages corporate social responsibility, and organized regular visits for businesspeople to see homeless projects in action. The organization changes the perceptions companies have of homelessness and helps homeless people back into employment.
Studzinski has also long decried the rising rates of youth unemployment, especially in the wake of the recession, and has called upon businesses and governments to focus on youth employment. He points to the model of Germany and its continued post-war economic success and weathering of the global economic crisis, noting that its emphasis on medium-sized companies – and concomitant values of the right to work, job creation, client satisfaction, and product excellence – have kept unemployment, including youth unemployment, low.
Studzinski is Vice Chair of Human Rights Watch (HRW), and he developed the European arm of the organization. He has also been director of HRW, a member of its executive committee, and chairman of its investment committee. He has stated that his involvement in Human Rights Watch is an extension of his strong belief in "respect for humanity, justice and dignity. Human dignity, the respect for human life and dignity". As a board member of HRW, Studzinski has used his international contacts to help the organization expand so that it can draw attention to atrocities across the world, including in Syria and the Middle East.
He is also active in the worldwide effort to combat human trafficking and modern slavery. He is co-founder and chair of the Arise Foundation, which partners with worldwide local networks to stop human trafficking and slavery. Arise Foundation supports Talitha Kum, a global organization of over 1,000 nuns and monks in over 70 countries which prevents and stops human trafficking and child slavery, and rescues and shelters victims.
Since April 2016, Studzinski has been a non-executive director of the Home Office of the UK. He was formerly on the Policy Advisory Council of the Institute for Public Policy Research. In international affairs, he is Vice Chair of the Atlantic Council, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Studzinski is a member of the council of the Royal College of Art, and he is chairman of Create London, a non-profit organization that takes the arts into East London and other areas, connecting artists with communities through an ambitious program of projects. He is on the board of trustees of the J. Paul Getty Trust, and is also on the board of directors of the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies, which promotes American art abroad. He is a trustee of the Tate Americas Foundation, and a former trustee of the Tate Foundation.
He is a former trustee of Bowdoin College, and a former board member of the International Youth Foundation. Until 2014 he was also president of the American Friends of the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, which focuses on challenges facing young people, members of the armed forces, and conservation.
- Prince of Wales Ambassador's Award (2000) in recognition of his contribution to the homeless
- Knight of the Order of St. Gregory (2001) by Pope John Paul II for his humanitarian work for the homeless
- Knight Commander of St. Sylvester (2004) by Pope John Paul II for his work promoting ecumenism in Kosovo
- Beacon Prize for Most Generous Business Leader (2004) for services to philanthropy
- Banker of the Year (2007) by the Variety Club UK
- Commander of the Order of the British Empire (2008) for his services to the arts and to charity
- Prince of Wales Medal for Arts Philanthropy (2014)
- #10 on The Tablet’s Top 100 Lay Catholics of 2015
- UK Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award (2017) from the Montblanc Cultural Foundation
- Catholic of the Year (2017) by The Catholic Herald
Studzinski has residences in London and New York, and divides his time between the two cities. Strongly motivated by his spiritual and religious faith, he has a chapel in his historic London home, and prays and reads books on religion and meditation daily. Holding an extensive art collection, he has been an active buyer and seller of art.
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- Studzinski, John. "The fight against human trafficking is not just a numbers game". America. November 15, 2017.
- Cumming, Ed. "Ex Met-Chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe says UK firms must end exploitation of slavery". Evening Standard. October 20, 2017.
- Studzinski, John. "Slaves on our Streets: Supply chain transparency is key to ensuring an end to worker exploitation". The Independent. October 20, 2017.
- Cumming, Ed. "'It could have been us': Our new taskforce to tackle slavemasters launched to fight scandal of slavery". Evening Standard. September 14, 2017.
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