John Studzinski

John Studzinski’s view on philanthropy

“I believe that if you impact one person that has a domino effect on others as that one person influences more people, who in turn influence others. The Genesis Foundation has supported over 1,000 artists from many genres and backgrounds who’ve gone on to have careers and impact on many further thousands of artists.”

“For me, the key to philanthropy is the three T’s: time, talent and treasure. So much of philanthropy is thought of in terms of treasure, i.e. money, but the real success of Genesis is embracing talent, nurturing that talent, working as a team with our partners and creating a network that continually supports every artist the foundation has worked with.”

“The cornerstone of culture is not about entertainment or particular performances but nurturing culture, education and creating a cultural legacy.”

“It’s unthinkable for me not to give, it would be like cutting off a leg. It gives me an enormous amount of pleasure to support other people’s sense of dignity and their confidence in their artistic talent, to follow the narrative of what artists do.”

“Your best asset is your philanthropy, so don’t forget it.”

“Art is the cornerstone of all civilisations, from transforming lives to building confidence and self-esteem to creating employment.”

“Give is a funny word, I prefer the word share. Philanthropy is about sharing time, talent and money.”

“Everyone should give at whatever level they can afford. It’s good for you as it’s like paying dues for enjoying our culture, but you also learn a huge amount and you get a huge amount more than you give as you learn so much about your own values. Giving enhances your inner sense of self-worth as we all need constantly to access what our role is in life. It all creates a life well-spent.”

“I love the old Puritan saying that’s also quoted on Melville’s tomb: you have what you gave; you had what you spent; you lost what you kept.”

John Studzinski CBE runs Blackstone Advisory Partners and is a Senior Managing Director of The Blackstone Group. He is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He joined Blackstone in 2006.

John Studzinski began his banking career in 1980 at Morgan Stanley in investment banking in New York and then worked much of his career in London where he served as Head of European Investment Banking and Deputy Chairman of Morgan Stanley International until 2003.

Mr Studzinski spent three years at HSBC as a member of the Group Management Board and Co-Head of the Investment Banking Division.

Recent transaction experience includes advising Pershing Square regarding Canadian Pacific and JCPenney, Coty on the purchase of Avon, restructuring work for Anglo-Irish and IBRC, GDF Suez in the partnership with China Investment Corporation (including the sale of a 30% stake in its Exploration and Production division), the combination with International Power and the merger between Suez and Gaz de France, the Board of AIG on its global restructuring, the Board of Reuters in the merger with Thomson, Chinalco in the acquisition of its stake in Rio Tinto and Xerox on its acquisition of ACS.

John Studzinski graduated from Bowdoin College and received an MBA from the University of Chicago.

John Studzinski is Vice Chair of Human Rights Watch and serves on the Board of Directors of Bowdoin College, FAPE, The Passage Day Centre, American Patrons of Tate, The Royal Parks Foundation and The Royal College of Art. He is President of the American Friends of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry and serves as Chairman of The Benjamin Franklin House Museum and CREATE. He is also a member of The Atlantic Council, The Council on Foreign Relations and The Peterson Institute.

He founded the Genesis Foundation in 2001. The Foundation is his personal foundation which supports and nurtures young and emerging artists. The Foundation celebrated ten years of success in 2011.

Awards and honors include: Papal honors of Knight of the Order of St Gregory and Knight Commander of Saint Sylvester. Prince of Wales Medal for Arts Philanthropy and Prince of Wales Ambassador Award. The Beacon Prize for Philanthropy and Banker of the Year in 2008. In 2008, Mr Studzinski was named in the Queen’s New Years Honours List as a Commander of the British Empire (“CBE”) for services to the Arts and Charity.

Read an interview with John Studzinski in The Independent.