Raymond J. McGuire to be Harvard Business School’s 2023 Class Day Speaker

Raymond J. McGuire, J.D./M.B.A. 1984, will be the HBS 2023 Class Day speaker. Photo by Susan Young

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Raymond J. McGuire, J.D./M.B.A. ’84, current president of financial services company Lazard, and the former vice chairman of Citigroup, will be Harvard Business School’s Class Day Speaker on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. The ceremony will take place on Baker Lawn on the School’s campus in Boston and will include a welcome from the co-presidents of the MBA Class of 2023, presentation of the Faculty Teaching Awards, and a student address.

With a career spanning nearly four decades, McGuire has distinguished himself as a leader in the financial world as well as a philanthropist with a deep commitment to giving back and creating opportunity in the worlds of finance, art, and education. McGuire was recently named president of Lazard, but previously worked at Citigroup for 15 years and held a 13-year term as its global head of corporate and investment banking, the longest tenure for this position in the history of Wall Street. Afterward, he became the vice chairman of Citigroup and chairman of Citi’s banking, capital markets, and advisory business.

Previously, McGuire was the global co-head of mergers and acquisitions at Morgan Stanley; managing director in the mergers and acquisitions group of Merrill Lynch & Co.; and one of the original members of Wasserstein Perella & Co., where he became a partner and managing director in 1991. He started his career in 1984 in the mergers and acquisitions group of the First Boston Corporation.

“You find yourself being able to compete in a world that up to that point hadn’t embraced anybody who looked like you, in any significant way,” McGuire said, reflecting on the challenges he faced as a Black executive. “I never had the option not to succeed.”

McGuire was raised by his grandparents and single mother in Dayton, Ohio. When he was in the fifth grade, a teacher encouraged him to apply to the Miami Valley School, a private school on the wealthier side of town, which he attended through 11th grade. Seeing his promise, another teacher suggested McGuire apply to competitive East Coast prep schools for his last year of high school. He spent his senior year at the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut and was better prepared to apply to several highly competitive colleges, eventually choosing to attend and graduating cum laude from Harvard College (AB 1979).

The HBS Class Day ceremony is planned and conducted by a committee of second-year MBA students. It is open to members of the graduating class and their guests as well as HBS alumni, faculty, and staff.

Please visit HBS Commencement 2023 for more information on HBS Class Day and Harvard University Commencement.