David Robb was raised to help people in the spirit of love and family. In this case, the family was people of the world who his grandparents met in their travels, and anyone his father met who needed help, even the drunk, violent ones. His father felt that we’re all God’s children and we owe it to one another to help those in need. Their words of encouragement, gracious demeanor, humility and kindness molded David, now a successful investor for The Frontier Group (the investment arm of his family’s business), into sharing his gifts and connections with the world and embarking on projects to help our global family.
David started out interning on capital hill, then at the White House, but changed to a career in business and private equity to make a difference in the world. He said that he owes his path to having great mentors. First, his father, who congratulated him on even the smallest achievements, then Frank Carlucci, Chairman Emeritus of The Carlyle Group and the former US Secretary of Defense and Director of the CIA. David helped The Carlyle Group grow from $150 million to over $100 billion in equity under management. Now he’s turning those gifts to a larger purpose.
Utopia—On a Perpetual Mission to Help the Less Fortunate
In founding the Utopia residential ocean line company, David said that his idea was to create that bonding that happens with people on boats for a larger purpose. The ocean liner, which will house 190 private suites, plus a 5-star hotel and resort, will travel on a perpetual mission of helping the less fortunate, fostering peace initiatives and hosting gatherings of world leaders, first ladies and leaders in business, education and the arts. So far, the promotions have been totally word-of-mouth with people referring friends and family members. Organized much like a New York City Coop, interested people go through a financial fitness review and an interview to determine if their character fits the good-hearted, kind people they want to share the journey with. The group is international, and while there are a lot of Americans, the larger family is truly global with people from the Middle East, Europe and Asia. http://www.utopiaresidences.com/
Being a Mentor and Other Actions as a Male Ally
Of course, David has begun his male ally role as a lot of men do. He has a daughter and is conscious of how she views her place in the world. Because mentors were such a factor in his own life, he tries to be one in hers—taking her to the office so she can see women in a professional situation and sharing his work day with her, to demystify the role of the CEO and see it as something attainable if she should choose business for her future. He is also active in the Harvard Business School Women’s Student Association, and he networks there and recruits younger women from that group. As a graduate of Harvard Business School, he sees that as his tribe and is part of how he gives back and gets top talent in return. He mentions several other women he’s recruited for top positions and how he’s organizing a First Ladies gathering to create a United Nations of First Ladies on board the Utopia to launch a special philanthropic, politically-neutral program.
Listen for More Stories and More Ideas for Helping Others
David told about more ventures where he is helping others and serving as a male ally to women in business, including a new “top secret” technology platform to help women entrepreneurs create home-based businesses. The central idea is David’s belief that true empowerment for women is realized when they “achieve some incremental financial independence and stability.” He stresses that it’s not just self-confidence, it’s being able to support yourself and your family. There is much more. Listen to the interview and read more about Utopia, and more about the life journey of David Robb.
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