George Roberts ’69 reflects on his successful business career in fireside chat | UC law


Global investment tycoon George Roberts ’69 met with David Faigman, Chancellor and Dean of UC Law SF for a fireside chat in February 2023.

Before George Roberts became one of the founders of the global investment company KKR, he was a student at UC Law San Francisco, Class of 1969. In a conversation with current law students, the financial investment expert explained why a legal education makes sense.

“It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life,” he said. “You train your mind differently… You have to be able to write, think quickly, be able to see the other side of the argument.”

George Roberts ’69 discussed the value of legal education during a fireside chat on the UC Law SF campus.

Roberts, who is also a Bay Area resident and philanthropist, spoke with Chancellor and Dean David Faigman in a law school fireside chat on Feb. 15.

He preached optimism to the student group, pointing out that the US gross national product is increasing every year and that 80% of the world’s wealth is owned by democracies around the world. Roberts said, “I’ve never been more optimistic about America.”

Newlywed while in law school, Roberts said he believed working in business would offer a young family better hours than working in a law firm, so he joined Bear Stearns and became a partner at the age of 29.

Before leaving Bear Stearns to found KKR with two partners — his mentor Jerome Kohlberg and his cousin Henry Kravis — he recalled traveling from New York City to Boston, asking banks for deals and meeting a banker during his pitch had fallen asleep. “By 1976 we had done enough to feel like we could actually do this ourselves, so we left,” he said. Roberts contrasted his early career with the success of KKR, which manages billions of dollars in assets.

Students, faculty and staff at UC Law SF gathered to hear George Roberts ’69 talk about his successful business career.

He explained to the students that he wanted a company with a common culture and values. These values ​​- which include teamwork, integrity and accountability – are shared on the company’s website. He added that KKR has introduced broad ownership opportunities to the companies it buys, allowing employees to share profits and encourage them to come up with ideas for improvement.

In 1997, Roberts founded a nonprofit organization called the Roberts Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), which supports several San Francisco nonprofits, including Urban Alchemy, Larkin Street Youth Services, and other companies — which he estimates have helped more than 25,000 people over the years .

One of REDF’s goals is to provide financial capital to make a business idea a reality – for example, to provide jobs for people in the fields of printing, clothing or bicycle repair. He said of the Urban Alchemy program, “It’s a chance to bounce back. They are former prisoners who want to work. I hope to expand it beyond what’s happening today.” According to Roberts, judging people is about who they are on the inside: “I’m interested in how someone grew up and what kind of person they are, like them dealt with difficulties, what motivates him.”

He adds that he enjoys meeting young people at KKR and says it’s okay if people make mistakes when learning: “It’s not just the numbers, that’s not all, it’s the people that matter. The culture of the place is really what matters.”

George Roberts ’69 shared his views on current events during a fireside chat with Chancellor and Dean David Faigman.

“I care more about who someone is than what they know,” he said. “Because if it’s the right person, they’ll find out.”

Roberts also touched on cryptocurrency, inflation, the post-pandemic market recovery, China’s economic power and the lure of life in California. He suggested that the US could persuade big industries to come back through private/public partnerships. He advised aspiring lawyers, “There’s a lot to do.”

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *