From Blackstone to Brooklyn DRAWING UPON HIS BACKGROUND AS AN EXECUTIVE, RAY PULLARO IS BRINGING THE WALL STREET EXPERIENCE TO STUDENTS IN LIU’S SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
the Blackstone Alternative Asset Management Executive and Investment Committees. The company went public a year later, in 2007. As Managing Director, Pullaro managed a portfolio that exceeded $31 billion in assets under management and employed more than 115 professionals.
ay Pullaro, Dean of LIU’s School of Business, Public Administration and Information Sciences, has a knack for trying new things, and a reputation for making those endeavors remarkably successful. As a kid growing up in Poughkeepsie, New York, he had early ambitions of working as an engineer. He went on to become the first in his family to attend college, graduating from Yale University.
“At that point, I decided to take what I thought would be a one-year sabbatical,” he said. “During that time, I taught economics, for what I imagined was just going to be for fun. Before I knew it, I was thinking seriously about a second career in academia.”
While at Yale, Pullaro changed his major to East Asian Studies and learned to speak Chinese. As a student, many of the world’s top companies sent recruiters to campus, so Pullaro ending up accepting an offer at UBS O’Conner upon his graduation in 1991. The position led him to work in Philadelphia, Switzerland and London, where he went on to hold the role of Director, European Emerging Markets. While at the company, Pullaro worked through a series of mergers and acquisitions. “That was a really great start to my career,” he said. “I was there through all of those iterations and got not only the experience of being a trader and Wall Street investor, but also living through the reorganizations and disruptions of what can happen through a series of mergers and acquisitions.” After nearly a decade at UBS, Pullaro decided to move back to New York City in 1999 to start a family, as well as a new chapter in his career. He worked for three years as a consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers before returning to UBS as Senior Investment Officer and Executive Director in 2003. The Blackstone Group beckoned him back to work again on Wall Street in 2006, where he served on both
LIUMAGAZINE | Spring 2020
Ray Pullaro spent over two decades on Wall Street before joining LIU in 2015.
Working with students is the most important driver.”
Pullaro joined LIU in 2015 as an assistant dean at LIU’s AACSB-accredited business school at the Post campus. Three years later, he became interim dean over the School of Business, Public Administration and Information Sciences in Brooklyn and was named dean a year later in 2019. Since joining the University, Pullaro has helped lead enrollment efforts and launched innovative initiatives. Perhaps chief among these is LIU-iF, a student-managed investment fund (read more about LIU-iF and LIU-iQ on page 31). “I’ve embraced academia as a second career, and now what I consider a calling,” Pullaro said. He has completed all of the coursework and comprehensive exams toward his PhD and is presently working on his dissertation. Of course, Pullaro’s most rewarding investment is the one he makes on campus each day. “Working with students is the most important driver as to why I’m in this second career.”