Invested in ILR

Monday, April 24, 2017

Douglas Braunstein '83, founder and managing partner of Hudson Executive Capital, jokes that he owes his career in investment banking, in part, to The New York Times.

As a student at ILR, and then at Harvard Law School, he expected to become an academic.

Failure to get a clerkship with a Supreme Court justice, however, derailed his dreams of becoming a law professor.

Then, he read a story in The New York Times about lawyers becoming investment bankers. Soon after that, he “stumbled into a position at First Boston and a remarkably rewarding 30-year career.”

Braunstein moved to Merrill Lynch and then JPMorgan Chase & Co., where he spent 18 years in positions such as chief financial officer and vice chairman.

In 2015, he co-founded Hudson Executive Capital, a hedge fund dedicated to constructive engagement. Forty current and former CEOs of publicly traded companies serve as both advisers and investors.

To date, Braunstein has worked on transactions exceeding a trillion dollars.

The 2009 Alpern Award winner, Braunstein serves on Cornell’s board of trustees and its investment and finance committees. He is also a member of the ILR Dean’s Advisory Council.

In 2011, he established ILR’s Braunstein Family Professorship, held by labor economist Lawrence Kahn.

The family’s ties to Cornell are many: Braunstein’s two brothers graduated from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; his nephew is a Dyson School graduate; and his son is a current ILR student.

Braunstein lectures on campus several times a year.

“Engaging with students, serving as a university trustee, helping the university raise money — these are things I feel privileged to be able to do,” he said.