263. Kurt Summers of Blackstone: Public Service from Every Angle

Kurt Summers is a Senior Managing Director and Head of Public-Private Partnerships in
Blackstone’s Infrastructure Group. In this capacity, Mr. Summers is responsible for
investment strategies in partnership with governments, public entities, civic and labor
organizations, and broader stakeholders to help advance local infrastructure priorities
and he also advances Blackstone Infrastructure’s ESG efforts. Mr. Summers was
elected and served as Chicago’s 70th City Treasurer until 2019. Mr. Summers also
served as both Chairman of the Chicago Infrastructure Trust, where he led the largest
lighting retrofit project in North America, and Chairman of the Chicago Community
Catalyst Fund, a first-of-its-kind $100 million local investment fund focused on private
investments in Chicago neighborhoods.
Kurt’s chapters of public service are numerous and varied, and we chart these from start to
finish. We hear about the extraordinary responsibility that came with some of the roles, the
numbers of employees within the coverage areas and the budget at stake. This sparks a
discussion of the difference between public and private sector careers, and the kind of
experience that the former can provide, mainly due to the fact that some responsibility can come
early in one’s career.
We move then to discuss infrastructure and the public/private partnership opportunity and
discuss some of the particular transactions that make sense as well as the impact that these
projects can have.
Series 3 of 2024 is supported by Ruffer and Nuveen. Ruffer is a London based asset manager –
founded in 1994 – managing over $25 billion for institutions, pension funds, charities and
individuals. They have a single investment approach that aims to deliver positive returns across
the full range of market conditions.  Nuveen has provided investment excellence for 125
years. With expertise across income and alternatives, Nuveen continues to expand its
capabilities while maintaining its legacy as a leading investment manager. Visit Nuveen.com
to learn more. Investing involves risk; loss of principal is possible.