Bruce Greenwald Receives CBS Lifetime Achievement Award

Published on Sep 14, 2016

Professor Bruce Greenwald holds the Robert Heilbrunn Professorship of Finance and Asset Management and is co-director of the Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing at Columbia Business School.

On May 2, 2016, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at Columbia Business School’s Centennial Dinner.

Strategic Thinking, Competitive Advantage, Bruce Greenwald

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alright I’ll be honest with you this is gonna be the slacker response which I
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may be appropriate at this point in the evening show when we celebrated Joyce
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dignitaries fifty years of teaching he noted that at 12 years old he really had
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a vision and he saw himself becoming a professor now that’s a considerable
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coincidence cuz it twelve-years-old I had a vision and i got to exactly the
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same place in a slightly different way my vision was that I had to find a job
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right and have to wake up before nine o’clock in the morning more than two
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days a week and that man I was gonna become a professor to given that
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extraordinary beginning I think you’ll understand that while I am very very
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pleased to get this award I am also more than a little surprised and in fact I
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think what I would like to do is that I would like to recognize the extent to
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which getting this award has depended I’m pretty ruthlessly exploiting a whole
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bunch of sets of people who have made extraordinary contributions to my career
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for which I have relentlessly been willing to take credit first and
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foremost of that as I think he has my students it has been an extraordinary
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experience teaching at columbia business school that the students have been
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extraordinarily engaging an extraordinarily intelligent and to be
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really honest a lot of what is in those books and actually we’re gonna write a
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much better version of the value investing book is attributable to ideas
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generated by those students so first of all I would like to thank the students
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and alumni they’ve become for that I am always felt that I think my friends will
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concede this a walking generator of the need for trigger warnings
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what I am also thankful for from that student population is the extent to
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which they’re sort of genial disregard for most of what I think has meant that
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I’ve never gotten in trouble for it and I would like to thank them all for that
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also but more seriously and I think you just saw an example of it here and you
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will see an example of it with the next honoree but I’m happy to take credit for
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the extraordinary work at columbia business school graduates have done in
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the world and I think if you look at things that have had a big impact and
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here the one that comes to mind is the emergence in China hundreds of millions
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of people from poverty it really while in the long run it’s important to have
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scientists and lawyers and government types and even idea or send reporters
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but what happened in China was professional business people running
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organizations extraordinarily efficiently and those are my students to
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some extent at least in spirit
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the second which argued as much more quickly as I have had the privilege of
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working under the supervision of two extraordinary deeds now I’m not going to
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name names except for four because once you start naming names Reuters gonna
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forget somebody and you’re going to get him real trouble but I think they know
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who they are and I think you know who they are and I am of course extremely
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thankful to them for a long rich and in my case administration free career at
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Columbia Business School I would really like to thank and here I think it is
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important to recognize that value investing is a community and it is a
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community that runs from Graham and dog through obviously Warren Buffett but
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there are a lot of significant contributors and it has been an honor
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and a privilege to be part of that community both for intellectual reasons
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as I say I’m always happy to write books that encompass other people’s ideas and
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get credit for them but also because actually remarkably little trouble to
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myself we have generated a program that I honestly think I can say is the
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premier program and investing now and business schools people will say they
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don’t hire from Harvard they don’t hire from Stanford they hire the kids from
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this program and as I said I had almost nothing to do with it and now I’m going
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to name three names Aaron Melissa Monet Louisa Schneider and Meredith true
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batting managed to put together this program
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we have no more than one meeting a week with me at Metro diner and it wasn’t
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allowed to go on for more than an hour so I owe a great thanks to them finally
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I’ve also obviously had a career in research and there I really have some
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advice for people you will notice that all those books or co-authored it is
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something that I heartily recommend and this is where I’m gonna do by quote when
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George Bernard Shaw was fifty years old he was interviewed and asked why was he
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still living at home at fifty years old with his mother and he gave a very
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sensible answer he said look while all his contemporaries were throwing
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themselves into the struggle four success in life he decided to throw his
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mother and he was really happy with that decision so large final part of my
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success has been my willingness to rely on co-authors on one of them in
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particular I have always been willing to throw Joe Stiglitz into the struggle for
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life and it’s always worked out really well it’s something I’d advise other
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people to do if they can get away with it and I hope that that relationship has
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been as enjoyable and rewarding for him as it’s been for me but if it has no I
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can live with that
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conclusion I would really like to thank everybody here in all those capacities
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who has made this possible for a kid who is as far as possible from the
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characterization that was offered up here a minute ago thank you