Skip to main content

tv   The David Rubenstein Show Peer to Peer Conversations  Bloomberg  February 15, 2020 1:00pm-1:31pm EST

1:00 pm
♪ david: what did you do to make bank of america the largest consumer bank in the united states? back --ing the company david: you had to code warren buffett. >> he called us. put $5 billion overnight into the company. david: if the president called you and said the country needs you to be secretary-treasurer, you would say, costa rubenstein? [laughter] >> would you fix your type please? david: people would not recognize me if i fixed my tie.
1:01 pm
♪ i don't consider myself a journalist. nobody else would consider me a journalist. i began to take on the life of being an interviewer even though i have a day job of running a private equity firm. how do you define leadership? what is it that makes somebody tech? ick? let's talk about your career at bank of america and how euros up and became the ceo because i think that is quite interesting. to go back to your background, you are from ohio? and your father was a chemist? >> yes. david: was it dupont? >> yes. david: you the sixth of eight children. >> yes. david: you have a children and you share a lot? >> yet to be very aggressive about getting your share. [laughter] david: he went to brown
1:02 pm
university and with the cocaptain of the rugby team. rugby is a tough sport. i assume that is not as tough as banking? >> there is nothing more powerful than to see if scrum and i was never in there because is not big enough. team but it is a fantastic teamwork game. i think that is consistent. all 15 players participate fully. david: ever break any bones? >> i got knocked out once by my own teammate which irritated me. i was getting ready to score any kick me in the head on the way to the goal. [laughter] david: you want to law school at notre dame. >> yes and i played rugby there as well. david: did you get more of us started notre dame or brown? >> i don't know. david: you want back to rhode island and practice law and you are a corporate lawyer? >> corporate security private equity deals. david: the highest calling. private equity.
1:03 pm
[laughter] >> one of the reasons why i quit being a lawyer was i had worked with a private equity firm called fleet equity that was a little chaotic now but i structure deals with them. that was what led to the ceo at the time saying, come work with us. step being a lawyer -- stop being a lawyer. david: it did a merger with bank boston correct? >> yes. david: you stayed with the combined company and with ceo of bank boston took over, he decided the bank -- even the combined bank -- was not big enough and we openly discussed selling between number of people. it was bought by banc of america is that right? >> right and that goes to the scale of banking and what it can achieve. it was the first nationwide bank and that is something we have that nobody else has. david: what was your job in the new bank company? -- i do manage the
1:04 pm
business. for a while you begin the general counsel of bank of america. >> 40 days. december 2008 to january of 2009. david: 40 days and 40 nights. was there a flood? [laughter] >> there were a few gems. david: united states was in the middle of a financial crisis. all banks were in trouble. bank of america was doing a favor for the united states government when it was told that lynch?buy merrill >> they were tried to stabilize. stabilize lehman and even looked at it as a company. david: the ceo of bank of
1:05 pm
america was leaving and they needed to get a new ceo. how did they pick you? you are the general counsel. >> at that time is not. after that, i ended up running the commercial banking business and the investment banking business. i could not keep a job for a while. i had five jobs in a year. we were doing deals and things were shifted around. early fall ofd 2009, the ceo told the board he wanted to leave at your end and they went through a search process -- your end and they end.througear i told my people i would never do that to them. it was a relatively difficult process for all involved. mid-december they finally concluded i would be ceeo and i have been so since january.
1:06 pm
david: you've been running from us 10 years and it is up 54%, dock up 76%, what did you that made these events happened and make bank of america the largest consumer bank in the united states? >> it was a fairly straightforward thing and there were additive things that made it interesting. it was to pair the company back to what made a great. what makes it greatest is the simplicity. we got rid of 40 units and we did not need, we got out of businesses outside of the united states that we did not make money on. the issue that got in the middle that made it more interesting was that the mortgages can building. taking care of that issue was unique and the question was you just had to get that away. the vision was to have everything -- the customer of a keep that and not get
1:07 pm
industry business. you cannot have too many funded private equity. >> that is your business but our job is to help you do it. not be competitive. david: before you were the ceo, the bank made an investment countrywide and made an acquisition and the cost was $50 billion or something i that. maybe one of the worst acquisitions in the financial services for quite some time. they got in trouble, countrywide, because of some prime mortgages. are you making sub prime mortgages today? >> we were 20% of the mortgage market of which 15% was other brokers. we don't do any of that anymore. david: is there any way a person gets a mortgage on bank of america sitting in front of a teammate? >> we don't buy mortgages from other people. 5% of theus with
1:08 pm
market. david: the future looks strong but at times it was not so wonderful. during the crisis, the bank needed more money and you had to go call warren buffett. was that easy to make the call? did he say any terms you want? >> warren called us. but heard this from warren he got into the call center and asked to speak to me. they don't transfer everybody to the ceo lend. he found one of the investment bankers and i talked to him. he basically said, brian, i want to make an investment in your company. i said, we don't need the capital. he said you need stability in the capital will do you get. that was 2011 when the world was interesting. the government was almost going to default.
1:09 pm
there was uncertainty about the litigation at risk around the mortgage industry and he put the money and. forward, my team it's went back to work the next day saying the smartest investor in the world the $5 billion into this company. i talked to him monday at 11:00 and we had the agreement signed tuesday by 9:00 a.m. and the money by thursday. david: he does that. you would have fared as well as he did and he had $5 billion. he bought stock at a time when stock was less than half. his conversion price -- conversion price was like 15%. david: if i wanted to buy stock in the bank today, should i buy your bank stuck? >> you would do well.
1:10 pm
we have the best franchise in and around the world with the top two or three franchises. what more do you want invested? david: do you think that legislation is working or would you modify it? >> the capital liquidity, stress tests, regimes are critical. the reason the u.s. banking system is growing. ♪
1:11 pm
1:12 pm
david: during the great recession he spent a lot of time in washington. you often testified. do you think the attitude toward banks today in washington is more favorable than when the great recession was going on? >> i think the attitude in general is more favorable. the economy is growing, unemployment is low, and that is a better backdrop than severe quincy -- delinquency. industryh is exceeding and those are very good things. that was built through a lot of tactics we took. the general atmosphere is better because people see we are out there trying to help.
1:13 pm
david: i think it is fair to say the banks were beaten up the regulators and congress. do you think that franklin legislation is working or would you modify it? >> the banking industry ensure that self. insurance insures itself. the industry leak out. -- doddthe major issues franklin changed that. franklinverall dodd has taken care of the issues. underneath, there are pieces that swung in a direction where they were not trying to go.
1:14 pm
we are trying to get them more rational. the capital liquidity, the stress test, or critical and the reason the u.s. banking system is active and growing. we got to it. david: today, there are four men banks. citicorp, jp morgan, wells fargo and bank of america. do think that is a good thing to only have four big banks based in the united states or is it working ok? but think it works well there is a large amount of the industry in the hands of -- there are 5000 banks and community banks. you have a more varied financial industry. one of the things that makes our industry strong is the variety of participants. with the largest market share along with colleagues but if you look at us as a percentage of the gdp relative to other countries, it is unconsolidated business. with the largest retail at about 15%.
1:15 pm
if we were coke or pepsi, that would not be very good market share. there's a lot of room to grow. david: what percentage of your profits or revenue are from us at the nixon states? >> about 50-20%. 15-20. david: do you want to expand that? with a company that does corporate and commercial banking as well as treasury services around the world. we are investing tremendously in those. that does not mean you have to make acquisitions. you just add more people at the opportunities in asia, latin america, the middle east, europe etc. we can grow because the connectivity of the 2000 and 3000 largest companies and midsize u.s. companies which are the largest provider around the world. it needs people like us and we
1:16 pm
are happy to do it to help them transact and engage in trade. it is a great business. days, 20 yearsld ago or so, if i wanted to get cash i would go to a bank, write a check, and they would cash it. they would make sure i had enough money. do you really need physical banks -- how many people walk in and cash checks? >> the numbers are surprisingly -- david: what is the -- >> 4300. you have to be high-tech. in the branches over the next 24 hours about a hundred thousand people come in. -- 800,000 people come in. david: people my age and color
1:17 pm
hair, are they the ones going into the banking branches? are the people doing online banking mostly younger than me by a lot? [laughter] >> i would say a decade ago it would have been more age determinate but now it not. we had a 100-year-old person sign up for online banking. david: you can discount if you are over 100? >> it's free. [laughter] we are gaining a lot of shares of millennials but we hold a lot of money and transact a lot with people our age. david: the most common dollar currency you use, is that the $100 bill? $20's.the david: do you think cryptocurrency will take over? >> there are two different
1:18 pm
thought processes. one, moving money digitally. $3 trillion moves digitally today. it is time to digitize paper. an anonymous currency is a separate question. that does not work well but the idea of digitizing cash, was that $5 billion in cryptocurrency around the country. there is no one more highly interested in we are driving that now. american still use it. david: i read that another bank in the united states, jp morgan, were thinking about having their own cryptocurrency. is that true and are you doing some thing similar? >> you get the block in chain. we have 45 patents issued on that already. we believe in the idea of technology as a way to move
1:19 pm
money. information and money at the same time. those are good uses for it. i don't know if i would call that a cryptocurrency. it is still u.s. dollars distributed electronically. david: if i'm a college student watching this discussion and i'm getting ready for a bank of america interview, what should i do? i should dress appropriately right? >> demonstrate curiosity, demonstrate that you really want to help people. ♪
1:20 pm
1:21 pm
david: i don't think the people who are watching are generally bank robbers but for those who may have tuned in, is it easy to go to a bank today, put up a gun and get cash out? >> it is harder than ever. david: because? [laughter] >> it is not fruitful. david: are there not a lot of people doing that anymore? >> it still happens but you catch the people. --we have cameras that work all around the firm in branches that record things. i went to go see it and they were going to show me when i bank robbery looked like and there was a robbery -- a live robbery at that time -- there's nothing worse than seeing some people at a gun and pointed at a teammate. we do everything we can to make ourselves less attractive to
1:22 pm
that activity. david: you use the word teammate a few times. a teammate is an employee or colleague? why do use that word? >> we are going to knock the crab out of everybody else does what teammate help you do. david: how is the diversity among your teammates? >> half women, half men. population is various demographics. we've got work to do in terms of seniority in the traditional financial advisor work. there are areas we have to work on and we are driving at them but we measure very carefully. six board members are women and half of my management team is women. from top to bottom -- david: half the management team is women? are they better than the men? >> i think you would have to ask them. if i want to
1:23 pm
graduate from college and get a good job, why should i want to go to a bank? is it a good career and do you think young people graduating college or business schools are coming in greater numbers or lesser? 1000 plus kids in the summer. year justout 1000 a in the core training program. about 4500 college graduate a year. is no doubt people want to work for us. it is a great career. it is a chance to help people. people come to work for a company because they want to help. david: you have three children. do you recommend that to your own children? >> to work in finance and they like it. one has been it for five years and the other for three years. studentf i'm a college
1:24 pm
watching this discussion and i'm getting ready for a bank of america interview, what should i do? i should dress appropriately right? i should cut my hair little bit. >> in my mind, it is the same thing. make sure you do mr. curiosity, make sure you demonstrate that you want to help people. david: bank of america has a large charitable undertaking and effort and you have a good sized team doing it. what are your areas of focus and how important is that you bank of america? >> there is a pure charity wewor work. of moderate to low income development. we put about $5 billion into that and day volunteer. you are working all of these things.
1:25 pm
the areas we work around economic to element. live a $300 billion environmental commitment we just renewed. ceo's,some people say because of their prominence, should take more public positions on public policy. do you agree with that or do try to stay out of public policy or controversy? >> i think there's two parts to the question. we firmly believe we have to both put forth great profit and returns and deliver society needs. as a bank, we are only going to be successful if society is. thingsngs about guns and that we may 2 years ago now was driven by the fact, at the time, we had over 100 people in the venues where these horrible tragedies were taking place. inside the pulse nightclub, inside las vegas, the teammates were saying we need to do
1:26 pm
something. david: what are the leadership secrets? is it hard work, intelligence, luck, persistence? someone looking at you as a role model should say this is what i did to get where i am? >> i think it is all of those things and i will let the intelligence be decided by others. you have to work to find out what is important to the company and be successful in the areas that have impact. the number one thing when i talk to young teammates is be curious and keep learning. david: you up in the ceo of bank of america almost 10 years now. at some point, would you like to come to washington and be secretary treasury or some other position? >> i think i have one of the best jobs you can have so i am completely happy and i plan to do this as long as my board will have me.
1:27 pm
david: the president of the united states culture and said, the country needs you to be secretary treasurer you would say -- call mr.rubenstein -- rubenstein. [laughter] david: that is unlikely to happen. ♪
1:28 pm
1:29 pm
1:30 pm


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on