John Studzinski CBE

(c) Adrian Myers


John Studzinski CBE is founder and chairman of the Genesis Foundation. Since 2001, the Foundation has supported programmes that nurture the careers of outstanding young artists in the UK, enabling them to develop their professional skills and experience and gain access to mentors and valuable networks.

He is Managing Director and Vice Chairman of global investment management firm PIMCO, and his 30 years in investment banking have also embraced senior roles at Blackstone, HSBC Group and Morgan Stanley. Born in the US and long resident in Britain, he holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College.

As a hands-on philanthropist and as a thought leader, John Studzinski focuses primarily on the arts, human rights, homelessness and volunteering. He is Founding President of Arise, which was established in 2015 to support frontline work against modern slavery. This role complements his activities to promote transparency in business supply chains, which have included a period as co-chair of the Home Office’s Business Against Slavery Forum.

Awarded a CBE in 2008 for his services to the Arts and Charity, John Studzinski has also received the Papal honours of Knight of the Order of St. Gregory and Knight Commander of St. Sylvester, the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award, the Beacon Prize for Philanthropy, the Prince of Wales Medal for Arts Philanthropy and, for his work with the homeless, the Prince of Wales Ambassador Award. In 2017 the Catholic Herald named him Catholic of the Year.

John Studzinski’s views on philanthropy

Philanthropy is not just about giving money, the treasure, but it is about giving time,
giving talent, sharing ties”

“I have a strong belief that nothing is worth having unless you share it”

For the public good, philanthropy needs to become more deeply entrenched in our culture. It is not just a matter of money but of mindset”

“Philanthropy is a bit like patience and humility. It should be part of our cultural demeanour”

“Your best asset is your philanthropy, so don’t forget it.”

“Give is a funny word, I prefer the word share. Philanthropy is about sharing time, talent and money.”

“You have to develop philanthropy with people you trust and like and respect”

“Art is the cornerstone of all civilisations, from transforming lives to building confidence and self-esteem to creating employment.”

“I love the old Puritan saying that’s also quoted on Melville’s tomb: you have what you gave; you had what you spent; you lost what you kept.”

“It’s unthinkable for me not to give, it would be like cutting off a leg. It gives me an enormous amount of pleasure to support other people’s sense of dignity and their confidence in their artistic talent, to follow the narrative of what artists do.”

“The cornerstone of culture is not about entertainment or particular performances but nurturing culture, education and creating a cultural legacy.”

“The arts are not about entertainment. We don’t just record something to entertain people. I’m more interested in commissioning sacred music and sacred art because [they make] a broader statement about our time. Music is a powerful vehicle and a sign we’re shifting from an age of materialism to an age of spirituality.”

“Everyone should give at whatever level they can afford. It’s good for you as it’s like paying dues for enjoying our culture, but you also learn a huge amount and you get a huge amount more than you give as you learn so much about your own values. Giving enhances your inner sense of self-worth as we all need constantly to access what our role is in life. It all creates a life well-spent.”

“For me, the key to philanthropy is the three T’s: time, talent and treasure. So much of philanthropy is thought of in terms of treasure, i.e. money, but the real success of Genesis is embracing talent, nurturing that talent, working as a team with our partners and creating a network that continually supports every artist the foundation has worked with.”

“I believe that if you impact one person that has a domino effect on others as that one person influences more people, who in turn influence others. The Genesis Foundation has supported over 1,000 artists from many genres and backgrounds who’ve gone on to have careers and impact on many further thousands of artists.”

“The nurturing, mentoring and creation of networks for young artists was a specific goal when the Foundation was formed in 2001, since which time it has devoted more than £10m to opening opportunities to exceptional young artists from diverse backgrounds, setting them firmly on the path to fulfilling their creative and professional potential.”

Press articles on John Studzinski

Op-ed in The Times on actions Britain needs to take to attract global philanthropists.

Coinciding with the launch of Beacon Collaborative’s report on ‘The UK as a Centre of Excellence for International Philanthropists and Social Investors’, John Studzinski speaks to The Times about why honours awarded for philanthropy have halved in five years.

John Studzinski speaks to The Sunday Times about advancing philanthropy in the UK.

Interview with The Times, surrounding philanthropy and the £1 million Genesis Kickstart Fund.

Financial Times piece, featuring John Studzinski, on the role philanthropists can play in keeping arts and culture alive amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

John Studzinski writes for The Stage about the role philanthropy can play in supporting theatre’s freelancers.

Interview with Classical Music Magazine about the Genesis Foundation.

Cover feature of John Studzinski in the May 2018 issue of Messenger of Saint Anthony.

Interview with The Tablet, ahead of the Vatican Premiere of Sir James MacMillan’s Stabat mater, a Genesis Foundation commission.

The Catholic Herald name John Studzinski ‘Catholic of the Year 2017’.

John Studzinski is quoted in the Daily Telegraph’s article on the historic return of Catholic worship to Chapel Royal.

Feature in The Independent following the 10 Year anniversary of the Genesis Foundation’s partnership with the Young Vic.

John Studzinski writes for The Independent surrounding philanthropy and the impact that a new tax legislation will have on charities.

John Studzinski writes for Huffington Post, sharing his vision for the Genesis Foundation’s ‘Genesis Prize’ competition.

Interview with Financial Times amidst the Genesis Foundation’s 10th Anniversary.

Discussion with The Spectator on the range of his philanthropic work and contribution to England’s art scene.

Interview with Spears, sharing the main objectives for his philanthropy and the origin of the Genesis Foundation’s partnership with the Royal Court in Spears.

Interview with The Tablet on Blackstone, Catholicism and his philanthropic work.

Interview with The Daily Telegraph in anticipation of the Padre Pio Prayer premiere at Westminster Cathedral.

The Daily Telegraph discusses John Studzinski’s investment banking accomplishments and success at Blackstone.

News in Financial Times surrounding John Studzinski’s £5 million contribution to the Tate Modern’s new extension.

John Studzinski’s £5 million donation to the Tate Modern sparks the Evening Standard’s interest in whether the city of London should give more to charity.

The Guardian writes about John Studzinski as he begins his new position at Blackstone.

Interview with The Times surrounding the various Genesis Foundation projects.

The Daily Telegraph reports John Studzinski’s receipt of the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award 2017.


Young Vic Logo