Howard W. Lutnick On How Optimism Gives Him Energy

The Chairman and CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald L.P. shares the uplifting power of passion.


When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.

Thrive Global: What gives you energy?
Howard W. Lutnick: Optimism and passion.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
HWL: Alone time with my wife.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
HWL: No, I am present when most people are absorbed by their phones.

TG: How do you deal with email?
HWL: Inconsistently. If something is important, they’ll find me.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
HWL: Passion and optimism don’t burn out, they are uplifting.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
HWL: “I am hurt, but I am not slain. I’ll lay me down and bleed awhile, and then I’ll rise up and fight again.” — Sir Andrew Barton


Howard W. Lutnick is Chairman and CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald L.P., one of the world’s leading financial services firms, and Chairman and CEO of BGC Partners Inc., a leading global brokerage company primarily servicing the wholesale financial and real estate markets.

Mr. Lutnick guided the rebuilding of Cantor Fitzgerald following the devastating September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attacks that claimed the lives of 658 of the firm’s 960 New York-based employees. Since then, Cantor has provided over $180 million to help the families of the firm’s employees who were lost on that day. Cantor and its affiliates now have over 4,000 employees in New York and over 10,000 globally.

Since 9/11, Mr. Lutnick has been recognized as a symbol of resilience and his story has been widely covered by top financial publications. Mr. Lutnick was named the Financial Times Person of the Year in 2001; additional media highlights include stories published by The New York Times: “From Devastation to Determination at Cantor Fitzgerald,” on September 10, 2002, and “The Survivor Who Saw the Future for Cantor Fitzgerald,” on September 3, 2011. Most recently, Mr. Lutnick’s story was highlighted in the History Channel documentary, “15 Septembers Later.”

Mr. Lutnick graduated from Haverford College in 1983 with a degree in economics and joined Cantor Fitzgerald the same year. Howard served on the Haverford College Board of Managers for 21 years, including as vice-chair and chair, the Zachary and Elizabeth M. Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research, the Intrepid Museum Foundation and the National September 11 Memorial Museum. Mr. Lutnick received the Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest honor granted by the Navy to non-military personnel. Howard also was the recipient of the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award at Haverford. Mr. Lutnick and his wife Allison have four children.

Originally published at medium.com

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