Dinner with a Titan: Hamilton "Tony" James of Blackstone
Hamilton (“Tony”) E. James is President, Chief Operating Officer of Blackstone, and a member of the board of directors of our general partner, Blackstone Group Management L.L.C. He is also a member of Blackstone’s Management and Executive Committees and sits on each of the firm’s investment committees.
Prior to joining Blackstone Mr. James was Chairman of Global Investment Banking and Private Equity at Credit Suisse First Boston and a member of the Executive Board. Prior to the acquisition of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette by Credit Suisse First Boston in 2000, Mr. James was the Chairman of DLJ’s Banking Group, responsible for all the firm’s investment banking and merchant banking activities. Mr. James joined DLJ in 1975 as an Investment Banking associate. He became head of DLJ’s global M&A group in 1982, founded DLJ Merchant Banking, Inc. in 1985, and was named Chairman of the Banking Group in 1995. He is a Director of Costco Wholesale Corporation and has served on a number of other corporate Boards. Mr. James is a Commissioner of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Mr. James is a Trustee of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Member of The Boards of Trustees of the Mount Sinai Health System, Member of the Center for American Progress Board of Trustees, Vice Chairman of Trout Unlimited’s Coldwater Conservation Fund, Trustee of Wildlife Conservation Society, Advisory Board member of The Montana Land Reliance, and Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of American Ballet Theatre. He is also a former member of the President’s Export Council – Subcommittee on Technology & Competitiveness.
In 2016, Mr. James co-authored Rescuing Retirement, a book proposing a solution to America’s looming retirement crisis.
Mr. James graduated magna cum laude with a BA from Harvard College in 1973 and was a John Harvard Scholar. He earned an MBA with high distinction from the Harvard Business School and graduated as a Baker Scholar in 1975.
Since the formation of Oaktree in 1995, Mr. Marks has been responsible for ensuring the firm's adherence to its core investment philosophy; communicating closely with clients concerning products and strategies; and contributing his experience to big-picture decisions relating to investments and corporate direction.
From 1985 until 1995, Mr. Marks led the groups at The TCW Group, Inc. that were responsible for investments in distressed debt, high yield bonds, and convertible securities. He was also Chief Investment Officer for Domestic Fixed Income at TCW.
Previously, Mr. Marks was with Citicorp Investment Management for 16 years, where from 1978 to 1985 he was Vice President and senior portfolio manager in charge of convertible and high yield securities. Between 1969 and 1978, he was an equity research analyst and, subsequently, Citicorp's Director of Research.
Mr. Marks holds a B.S.Ec. degree cum laude from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a major in finance and an M.B.A. in accounting and marketing from the Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago, where he received the George Hay Brown Prize. He is a CFA® charterholder.
Mr. Marks is a member of the Investment Committees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Edmond J. Safra Foundation; a Trustee of the Metropolitan Museum; Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Drawing School; and an Emeritus Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania (where from 2000 to 2010 he chaired the Investment Board).
Brian Rich - Managing Partner, Catalyst Investors
Brian Rich founded New York-based growth equity firm Catalyst Investors in 1999 and focuses on tech-enabled businesses. Responsible for the general management and investment policy of the firm, he monitors all of its investment opportunities and provides counsel for all portfolio companies. A veteran investor, he has more than 20 years of experience in the business services, technology and wireless sectors. Brian has served on numerous boards at Catalyst and predecessor funds and is currently on the board of directors of the National Venture Capital Association.
Prior to co-founding Catalyst, Brian founded and managed TD Capital (USA) Inc. (“TD Capital”), the entity that made Toronto Dominion Bank’s U.S.-based equity, mezzanine, and limited partnership investments from 1995 to 1999. Before founding TD Capital, Brian was a Managing Director in the bank’s Media, Telecom & Technology Group. Prior to joining TD in 1990, he held positions at The Bank of New York and Intel Corporation.
Brian earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Bruce Eatroff is the Founding Partner of Halyard Capital, a lower middle market private equity firm
based in New York with over $600 million of assets under management. Founded in 2000, Halyard
focuses on investments in high growth sectors such as Tech-Enabled Services, Healthcare Services,
Business and Information Services, Digital Marketing/Analytics and IT Security & Infrastructure. Mr.
Eatroff has sat on the Board of Directors of more than fifteen companies across a variety of industries
and sectors. Prior to founding Halyard in 2000, Bruce was a senior investment banker at Goldman Sachs,
UBS and CIBC. Mr. Eatroff has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and a B.A. from Lafayette
Mr. Pollack is the Managing Partner of Centre Partners having joined in 1991. He began
his career in the mergers and acquisitions departments of Becker Paribas Incorporated and
Merrill Lynch Capital Markets. Mr. Pollack currently serves as a Director of, Captain D’s
Holding Corp., K2 Pure Solutions, L.P., Sun Orchard, Inc., Taylor Precision Products, Inc.,
and U.S. Retirement Partners, Inc. Mr. Pollack previously served on the Boards of Bellisio
Foods, Inc., Bravo Sports, Bumble Bee Foods, L.P., the Connors Bros. Income Fund, Distant
Lands Trading Co., Inc., Garden Fresh Holdings, Inc., The Johnny Rockets Group, Inc., KIK
Corporation Holdings, Inc., Muzak L.P., Salton, Inc., Ross Aviation, LLC, and several other
private companies. He currently works with several charitable organizations. He is on the
Board of Governors of the Weizmann Institute of Science and serves as a Trustee at Brandeis
University. Mr. Pollack received a B.A. from Brandeis University. He is married and has
Daniel Mintz has over 25 years of private equity investment experience in Asia and the United States. Prior to founding Olympus Capital Asia in 1997, Mr. Mintz was head of Asia for Morgan Stanley Capital Partners, the former private equity arm of Morgan Stanley. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Aster DM Healthcare, Credit Access Asia, OSB Savings Bank and, Quatrro Global Services
Mr. Mintz holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business Administration and an AB degree magna cum laude from Brown University, and was a Fulbright Fellow in Egypt. He serves on the Board of Directors of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Eric Gribetz is Co-Managing Partner of Pegasus. Mr. Gribetz is a member of the firm’s Executive, Investment, and Compliance Committees. He has over 20 years of private equity investing and investment banking experience. Previously, Mr. Gribetz worked in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group at Salomon Brothers, Inc. in New York where he worked on transactions in a broad array of industries. Investments in which he has been highly involved in include AmWINS Group, Coffeyville Resources, Organix, ReCommunity, Traxys and T&M Protection Resources. He currently serves on the boards of T&M Protection Resources, Halo, Purely for Pets, Spirit Music Group, and Plastic Reclamation Partners as well as the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun and Hebrew Free Loan Society. Mr. Gribetz graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
Michael Graff is based in New York, joined Warburg Pincus in 2003 and is involved with the firm’s industrial and business services activities, focusing primarily on the industrial sector. Prior to joining Warburg Pincus, he served as president and chief operating officer of Bombardier Aerospace. Prior to that, Mr. Graff was a partner at McKinsey & Company in New York, London and Pittsburgh. He is Chairman of Consolidated Precision Products, Extant Components Group and Wencor and a Director of TransDigm and Universal Services of America. He is also chairman of the United States Olympic Water Polo Committee and a member of the board of The Flea Theater. Mr. Graff received an A.B. in economics from Harvard College, and an M.S. from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Stewart A. Kohl is Co-Chief Executive Officer of The Riverside Company, a global private equity firm founded to invest in premier companies at the smaller end of the middle market. Since 1988, Riverside has invested in more than 440 companies in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. The firm’s investors include leading pension funds, endowments, funds-of-funds, insurance companies and banks.
Mr. Kohl joined Riverside in 1993. Prior to that, he was a vice president of Citicorp Venture Capital, Ltd., the private equity arm of Citibank. Under the guidance of Mr. Kohl and Co-CEO Béla Szigethy, Riverside has grown to manage more than $5.5 billion in assets. The firm employs more than 200 people in offices across North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
In addition to his work with Riverside, Mr. Kohl is engaged in the following civic activities: : Oberlin College Board of Trustees; Co-Chair of the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland Board of Trustees; the Cleveland Clinic Board of Trustees, Wellness Institute Leadership Board, and Co-Chair of the Cleveland Clinic Capital Campaign. Mr. Kohl is also the founding donor of VeloSano, a charity cycling event that has raised $8 million for cancer research at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute since 2014.
Mr. Kohl was inducted into the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges Hall of Excellence in 2009. He previously served as Co-Chair of the Building for Hope Capital Campaign of the Center for Families and Children. For 16 years, he was a “Heavy Hitter” participant in the Pan-Mass Challenge bicycle fundraiser for the Jimmy Fund of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Mr. Kohl holds a BA from Oberlin College (1977) and resides in Shaker Heights, Ohio with his wife, Donna, where they enjoy spending time with their daughter and six grandchildren.
Mr. Spiegel is co-president and a founding partner of Pine Brook, and is responsible for managing Pine Brook’s financial services investing activities. He is also a member of the Investment Committee. Mr. Spiegel currently represents Pine Brook as a director of Aurigen Capital Limited, Essent Group Ltd., Fair Square Financial Holdings LLC, Fidelis Insurance Holdings Ltd., Global Atlantic Financial Group, Syndicate Holding Corp. and Tunbridge Partners LLC.
Mr. Spiegel has 26 years of private equity investment experience. Prior to joining Pine Brook, he was with the Cypress Group from its inception in 1994 until 2006, managing its financial services and healthcare investing activities. Before joining the Cypress Group, Mr. Spiegel worked in the Merchant Banking Group at Lehman Brothers. He has served on the boards of directors of 19 companies, pincluding seven publicly traded corporations.
Mr. Spiegel holds a B.Sc. in Economics from the London School of Economics, an M.A. in Economics from the University of Western Ontario and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. Mr. Spiegel is currently a member of The University of Chicago Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Advisory Board and the Private Equity Council.
The investing world is being swept by radical changes politically and economically. Come learn what the future holds and how to best capitalize on these changes from a titan of the industry: Hamilton "Tony" James, President and COO of Blackstone.
This Dinner with a Titan event will give you the opportunity to meet other rising stars of the industry and build an everlasting business community.
RSVP today for this sit-down dinner and Fireside Chat!
This event starts on May 8th at 5:30 PM.