Fortune recently ranked Dan Schulman, CEO of PayPal, near the top of its annual World’s Greatest Leaders list, and as long-term shareholders of PayPal, we agree with their assessment. We have watched Dan lead PayPal’s ongoing growth into a digital platform responsible for more than $1 trillion in payments globally last year. In addition, he has been steadfast and outspoken about the role of business in society and the need to modify capitalism.
We were thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with Dan during our latest episode of the NOW Podcast. Brown Advisory's Ken Coe spoke with Dan about how he views his employees as his number one constituency; PayPal's role in providing working capital and creating virtuous cycles in low-income neighborhoods; the future of financial technology; the need for all of us to rise above our own self-interest to drive progress for all, and more.
To wrap up the discussion, Ken brought in Jake Cusack and Efe Braimah from our frontier markets partner, CrossBoundary, to continue the conversation about opportunities in the fintech sector and making a difference.
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Trust in our institutions is at an all-time low. Meanwhile, we are all trying to navigate through a pandemic, political polarization, racial injustice, climate change, cybersecurity threats, wealth inequality, the limitations of remote work……the list goes on. Business leaders are being asked to step into the void – to speak out and engage on societal issues, in addition to delivering profits.
Perhaps no business leader has embraced this duality more than Dan Schulman. Dan is the CEO of PayPal, a digital payments platform at the forefront of a paradigm shift that is changing the way merchants and consumers transact, move money and manage their financial well-being globally. To give you an idea of scale: PayPal employs more than 26,000 employees located in more than 30 countries worldwide, has more than 400 million active accounts globally and in the last 12 months PayPal facilitated over 17 billion transactions representing more than $1 trillion in volume. Dan’s leadership has been good for shareholders – which include Brown Advisory’s clients; PayPal stock has outperformed the S&P 500 by over 400% over the six years that Dan has led the company in the public domain.
But Dan has focused on much more than shareholder returns. He has been outspoken in his views about business’ ability – and obligation – to be a force for good. His leadership through the pandemic earned him the number three ranking on Fortune’s 2021 list of the World’s Greatest Leaders. This is just the latest on a long list of accolades that range from Fast Company’s list of 100 Most Creative People to the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope award.
Hi- I’m Ken Coe, and I’m an equity research analyst at Brown Advisory. I cover financial technology companies, including PayPal. I get to talk with a lot of accomplished CEOs, but I have to say, Dan is distinctive as a leader, an innovator and, as you’ll hear, as a candid communicator. It is a genuine pleasure to have him on the podcast.
President and CEO, PayPalDan Schulman is focused on democratizing and transforming financial services and e-commerce to improve the financial health of billions of people, families and businesses around the world. With extensive experience in payments and mobile technology, Dan is leading PayPal to reimagine how people move and manage money, and how merchants and consumers interact and transact. Under Dan’s leadership, PayPal has been named as one of the top companies on JUST Capital and Forbes’ JUST 100 list, featuring “companies doing right by America”. PayPal has also been recognized as a Fortune Change the World company for its work to tackle the biggest challenges facing society today. Dan’s leadership and impact have been recognized by several notable organizations. The New York Urban League presented Dan with the 2021 Frederick Douglass Award, in recognition of his commitment, dedication, and influence to advance the rights of generations of underserved Black Americans. In 2020, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights honored him with the Ripple of Hope Award, which recognizes those who have demonstrated a commitment to social change and a passion for equality, justice and basic human rights. In 2019, Dan was recognized by Endeavor Global with the High-Impact Leader of the Year Award for his work to support entrepreneurs around the globe. He was also honored with the Financial Health Network’s inaugural Visionary Award in 2018 for his commitment to improving the financial lives of people around the world. Dan received the 2017 Brennan Legacy Award, established to honor the late Supreme Court justice and his career-long commitment to social justice and “common human dignity”. The Council for Economic Education named Dan as its 2017 Visionary for promoting economic and financial literacy to create a better-informed society. Rutgers University bestowed upon Dan an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, and he also delivered the University’s 252nd anniversary commencement speech. In 2021, Dan was ranked third on Fortune's list of the World's Greatest Leaders, an honor that recognized individuals for their leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. He has also frequently been recognized by Fortune as one of the top 20 Businesspersons of the Year. Dan has been named one of the top 100 Most Creative People by Fast Company and, in 2019, he was named one of Glassdoor's Top 50 CEOs. In addition, he has been recognized as one of the top 10 Most Innovative CEOs in Banking. Dan previously served as Group President at American Express. Prior to joining American Express, Dan was President of the Prepaid Group at Sprint Nextel Corporation following its acquisition of Virgin Mobile USA, Inc., where he led the company as its founding CEO for eight years. Earlier in his career, Dan was President and CEO of Priceline Group, Inc., where he led the company through a period of rapid growth and expansion. He also spent 18 years at AT&T, where he held a series of positions, including President of the Consumer Markets Division. Dan is actively involved in the World Economic Forum, as a member of the International Business Council, and the Board of Governors and Board of Stewards for the Future of Financial & Monetary Systems platform. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Business Roundtable. In addition, Dan is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and an International Advisory Council member of the Singapore Economic Development Board. Dan is a Director of Verizon Communications, Inc., and previously served as Non-Executive Chairman of NortonLifeLock (formerly Symantec Corporation). He also serves on the boards of The Economic Club of New York and Autism Speaks. Dan earned a BA from Middlebury College and an MBA from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business. He is an avid mixed martial arts practitioner.
Ken Coe, CFA
Equity Research AnalystKen is an equity research analyst covering the financial sector and is also an associate portfolio manager of the Sustainable Small-Cap Core strategy. Prior to joining the firm, he served as an analyst at First Annapolis Consulting and also worked on a financial econometrics research study.
Associate Principal, CrossBoundaryEfe has a first-class Master in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Imperial College London. She is a native of Nigeria, and has also lived in China, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Tanzania. Prior to joining CrossBoundary, Efe worked for The Boston Consulting Group (“BCG”), where she supported the BCG Energy practice in upstream transformation for oil and gas supermajors as well as the BCG Social Impact practice in strategy development and government stakeholder engagement for donor-funded organizations in Nigeria. Efe also worked at Symbion Power LLC, where she carried out transaction due diligence, project investment analysis and financial modelling for captive and off-grid power projects to drive Power Africa transaction goals. Efe also worked in financial institutions analytics at Citibank, where she supported the Credit Risk Management Team to help identify credit risk and manage the allocation of facilities to local commercial banks. Efe is a member of the investment advisory team and is based in CrossBoundary’s Lagos office.
Co-Founder & Managing Partner, CrossBoundaryJake Cusack is Managing Partner of the CrossBoundary Group, a firm focused on bringing private capital into underserved markets to drive sustainable growth and strong returns. He co-leads the firm’s advisory business as well as its direct investment platforms. Mr. Cusack holds joint MPP and MBA degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School and a BA from the University of Notre Dame. Mr. Cusack has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review, The New Republic, and Inc. Magazine. Prior to CrossBoundary, Mr. Cusack served as a Marine Corps officer, winning the Bronze Star for actions in Iraq.
S3 | Episode 3 | Getting Ethical AI Right—And Why It Matters to Us as InvestorsDecember 3, 2021
Artificial intelligence appears poised to disrupt industries, improve customer outcomes, and enhance lives, and solutions based on AI are projected to contribute as much as $15 trillion to the global economy in 2030—more than the current output of China and India combined. The problem-solving potential of AI is seemingly limitless, and it may well change the way we work, travel, power our cities, diagnose disease, and organize our society.
And yet there are reasons to be cautious. Information is power, and that power can be used for good or for ill. In this episode, Brown Advisory’s Katherine Kroll explores the investor case for “ethical AI” and why failing to proactively ensure AI is used to help, not harm, is a material and salient risk not only to investment performance but to our society’s ability to thrive. She speaks with three of the foremost experts on ethical AI: Aza Raskin, co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology; Arathi Sethumadhavan, Head of User Research for Ethics & Society at Microsoft; and Kay Firth-Butterfield, Head of AI and Machine Learning, World Economic Forum.