“Your business school years have coincided with an extraordinary time, and you now have a huge opportunity,” Paul Calello ’87 told students at the School as part of the Silfen Leadership Series in January 2009. “The themes of this time are change and responsibility.”
Calello’s perspective on the aftermath of the financial crisis remains just as relevant today; his encouraging speech, full of thoughtful advice for the next generation of finance professionals, is just one example of why he is admired by students, fellow members of the School’s Board of Overseers, and colleagues as an exemplary leader.
This fall, a number of Calello’s colleagues at Credit Suisse, where he is head of the investment bank, decided to honor Calello through the establishment of the Paul Calello Professorship of Leadership and Ethics and the Paul Calello Fund for Research on Leadership and Ethics. Collectively, they gave the School more than $2.5 million dollars to launch the two initiatives.
“Throughout his distinguished career, Paul has been an inspiration to those around him, both at Credit Suisse and at Columbia Business School, demonstrating an immense value of thoughtful, ethical leadership,” said Dean Glenn Hubbard. “His name will be a reminder of the virtues of leadership and ethics that he brings to all that he does.”
The endowed professorship — among the highest honors a university can confer — will be used to attract and retain a faculty member in the multifaceted field of leadership and ethics. Appointment to such a chair is understood throughout the academic world as a statement that the academician has a broad understanding of his or her field as it now exists, an important vision for the future, and an exceptional ability to communicate that understanding and vision to others.
Moreover, the endowed research fund will ensure that the Paul Calello Professor will have the financial resources necessary to undertake the most timely research projects of interest to students, academics, and practitioners.
In addition to Calello’s distinguished career at Credit Suisse, where he has held senior management positions in New York, Tokyo, London, and Hong Kong, he is an active and generous member of the Columbia Business School community. His many recent activities at the School include participating in a panel discussion on private equity and capital markets with Henry Kravis ’69 and Professor Bruce Greenwald at the School’s inaugural Pan-Asian Reunion in Hong Kong; establishing the Paul Calello Scholarship Fund to provide need-based financial aid for outstanding students; and organizing the support of his Credit Suisse colleagues to underwrite the Credit Suisse Amphitheater in Uris Hall.
Recently, a proposal Calello coauthored with his Credit Suisse colleague Wilson Ervin — one that involves “bailing-in” failing banks with shareholders’ and creditors’ money rather than state funds — is gaining momentum in Europe as a viable approach to the resolution and recapitalization of failing banks. While not an easy responsibility for all banks to assume, it is an example of Calello’s commitment to ethical leadership, which includes tough solutions when necessary. It is a commitment that has perhaps never been as critical as it is in today’s post-crisis world.
“You will be part of an era of reform,” Calello told students in his closing remarks back in 2009. “We’re relying on you to not repeat mistakes that have been made, but to help restore trust and confidence in our industry.”