Top 5 Takeaways From Cresset’s Event With David Rubenstein

Cresset hosted David M. Rubenstein – Co-founder of The Carlyle Group, philanthropist, TV host, and author of the new book How to Lead – as our guest on October 28, 2020, for the latest in our series of “Zoom-side” chats for our clients. David shared lessons learned from the luminaries he has known, and who he interviewed for his book. He also provided insights into his personal success and values, as well as his global outlook. Here are five takeaways:


Most people naturally gravitate toward the things they are good at, the things that inspire passion in them. For David, that is a love of history. His love of history drove his deep philanthropic interest in restoring historical monuments and preserving historical documents for better appreciation and accessibility by future generations.


Public health recommendations for pandemics like COVID-19 have not changed substantially since the Spanish flu: wash your hands, wear a mask, maintain social distance. The difference between then and now is government candor about the pandemic. Despite the politicization of COVID-19, there are still opportunities for those who know where to look. In fact, Mark Cuban told David that he has never seen an opportunity as great as the potential post-COVID-19 environment for pursuing new entrepreneurial ventures. David wholeheartedly agrees.


Across all asset classes, the United States continues to be one of the best markets to invest in. According to David, China is the next-best investment destination. In third place among large economies is India, which could ultimately become the world’s second-biggest economy. Among smaller economies, Israel offers a formidable technology sector. With the improvement in Arab-Israeli relations, Israel could be poised for a major takeoff.


Private equity has grown as a percentage of many portfolios as investors have discovered that it can often produce better returns. For that interest to be maintained, private equity must continue to meet or beat public market averages, David says. Deals today are much less leveraged than they used to be. To be successful in private equity, you must pay the right price, have the right manger/CEO at the helm, and have a business model that is sustainable.


For young people who want to boost their chances of success in business and in life, David suggests the following: read voluminously, meet as many people as you can, learn humility and how to rebound from failure, be constantly attuned to opportunities, and above all be persistent and willing to pursue an idea to fruition.

David M. Rubenstein is a co-founder and co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest and most successful private equity firms. Mr. Rubenstein is author of the bestselling book The American Story: Conversations with Master Historians. He is Chairman of the Boards of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Council on Foreign Relations. He is an original signer of The Giving Pledge and a recipient of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy and the MoMA’s David Rockefeller Award, among other philanthropic awards. The host of The David Rubenstein Show on Bloomberg TV and PBS, David lives in the Washington, DC area.


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About Cresset

Cresset is an independent, award-winning multi-family office and private investment firm with more than $45 billion in assets under management (as of 04/01/2024). Cresset serves the unique needs of entrepreneurs, CEO founders, wealth creators, executives, and partners, as well as high-net-worth and multi-generational families. Our goal is to deliver a new paradigm for wealth management, giving you time to pursue what matters to you most.

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