George David Smith

George David Smith

Founding Director


Winthrop Highlights

  • Founding Director, 1982-Present


  • Harvard University, Ph.D. History

Notable Clients

  • Alcoa
  • AT&T
  • Cotton Incorporated
  • Dover Corporation
  • Guardian Life Insurance
  • KKR
  • Shell
  • ​Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

About George

George, a founding director of the Winthrop Group, is Clinical Professor of Economics and International Business at NYU Stern School of Business. He teaches and consults on issues in corporate strategy, organization, technology, and international business and public policy. His works include “Anatomy of a Business Strategy,” a prize-winning study of the telephone industry; From Monopoly to Competition, a History of ALCOA; The Transformation of Financial Capitalism (with Richard Sylla), a study of capital markets for which work in progress he was twice named a Glucksman Faculty Fellow; and The New Financial Capitalists: Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and the Creation of Corporate Value (with George Baker). He is currently working on a history of credit ratings and a larger history (with Richard Sylla) of the American financial system. 

Related Work

Global Management Consultancy

Global Management Consultancy

Using history to help a leading management consulting firm better understand its values—and why they matter more today than ever before.
Leading Private Equity Firm

Leading Private Equity Firm

Past performance does not guarantee future results, but as Winthrop demonstrated, it can be a powerful guide
Fortune 500 Company

Fortune 500 Company

Winthrop helped one CEO heal a bitter rift and build the strong corporate culture he needed to take the company forward


December 2012

Your Company's History as a Leadership Tool

The authors, business historians at the Winthrop Group, argue that leaders with no patience for history are missing a vital truth: A sophisticated understanding of the past is one of the most powerful tools they have for shaping the future.

May 2007

The Diamond of Sustainable Growth

A study of history yields important clues about what helps economies enjoy sustained economic growth