Edward Conard

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Edward Walter Conard
Edward Conard.jpg
Residence New York, New York
Alma mater
B.S.E. University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
  • M.B.A. 1982 Harvard Business School
self - independent director
Spouse(s) Jill A. Davis (m. May 13, 2000)
Website www.edwardconard.com

Edward W. "Ed" Conard is an American businessman, author and scholar. He is the author of Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You've Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong, a top ten New York Times best-selling book published in 2012, and the upcoming book The Upside of Inequality: How Good Intentions Undermine the Middle Class [1] (Sept 13, 2016). He is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.[2] Previously, he was a senior managing director at Bain Capital, where he worked closely with his friend and colleague, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Conard graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S.E. in Operations Research in 1978.[2] He earned his M.B.A. with distinction from Harvard Business School in 1982.[2]


Early career[edit]

Prior to business school, Conard worked as an automotive engineer at Ford Motor Company. After graduating, he joined Bain & Company, the Boston-based global management-consulting firm, eventually becoming a vice president and leading the firm’s industrial practice.[3]

Conard left Bain in 1990 to become a director at Wasserstein Perella & Co., a boutique investment bank. At Wassernstein, he headed the firm's Transaction Development Group.[3]

Bain Capital[edit]

Conard was a senior managing director at Bain Capital, the head of Bain's New York office and the leader of its industrial practice.[4] He joined the firm in 1993 prior to the firm raising $300 million of private equity.[5] When Conard retired in 2007, Bain Capital managed $75 billion of capital and had offices in Boston, New York, San Francisco, London, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Mumbai.[5] His first acquisition was that of a pharmaceutical company for half a billion dollars. That same company later rose to more than $10 billion in value.[6]

While at Bain Capital, Conard took Waters Corporation, DDI, ChipPac, Innophos, and Sensata public and sat on their boards of directors.[7][8][9][10] He still sits on the board of Waters Corporation.[11]

Writing, speaking, and scholar career[edit]

Conard published Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You've Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong in May 2012.[12] The book was featured on the cover of the New York Times Sunday Magazine and went on to become a New York Times top ten non-fiction bestseller.[13] Since its publication, Mr. Conard has made over 100 television appearances in which he has debated leading economists including Paul Krugman, Joe Stiglitz, Alan Krueger, Austan Goolsbee, and Jared Bernstein; journalists including Fareed Zakaria, Chris Hayes, and Andrew Ross Sorkin; and politicians such as Barney Frank, Howard Dean, and Eliot Spitzer.[14] Conard also debated Jon Stewart for 33 minutes, one of Stewart’s longest interviews.[15] The video of the debate has received nearly 100,000 views. He has also written op-eds for The Wall Street Journal,[16] The Washington Post,[17] Foreign Affairs,[18] Harvard Business Review,[19] Fortune,[20] and Politico,[21] among others.

While the New York Times predicted the book might become “the most hated book of the year,”[3] leading economists such as Greg Mankiw, Andrei Shleifer, Steven Levitt, Nouriel Roubini, Tyler Cowen, and Glenn Hubbard publicly endorsed the book.[22] In contrast to the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal called the book “a full throttle defense of economic dynamism…refreshing at a time when so many take the failure of capitalism for granted.”[23] The New York Times described Unintended Consequences as “…arguing that growing income inequality shows the economy is working.” Timothy Noah, the author of The Great Divergence: America's Growing Inequality noted: “the biggest surprise, on opening Unintended Consequences, lies in discovering that this book isn't about income inequality at all.”[24] The book analyzes why the U.S. has outperformed other high-wage economies, explains the causes the financial crisis, and makes recommendations for accelerating growth in its aftermath.[12] Conard summarizes his book in a 23-minute video for The UP Experience.[25]

Because of the publicity surrounding the publication of his book, Conard was the tenth most searched author on Google in 2012.[26] Conard joined the American Enterprise Institute as a visiting fellow in 2012.[27] His work with AEI focuses on U.S. economic policy - in particular, on the effect of taxes, government policies, and finance on risk-taking and innovation.[2]

Political activities[edit]

Conard made a $1 million U.S. dollar contribution to the super PAC promoting Mitt Romney's candidacy in the U.S. Presidential Election 2012 through W Spann LLC, a shell corporation that rendered him anonymous. He immediately came forward to quell the controversy that arose.[28][29]

Personal life[edit]

Conard is married to Jill Davis, a two-time New York Times bestselling novelist and a former writer for the Late Show with David Letterman.[30]


  1. ^ "The Upside of Inequality: How Good Intentions Undermine the Middle Class". Penguin. Retrieved 4 August 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Edward Conard Visiting Scholar". American Enterprise Institute. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d Davidson, Adam (1 May 2012). "The Purpose of Spectacular Wealth, According to a Spectacularly Wealthy Guy". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Bluey, Rob (28 June 2012). "Author Ed Conard Talks Bain Capital, Economics and Obama's Record". The Daily Signal. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Bain Capital About History". Bain Capital Private Equity official website. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "Waters Corporation". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Form 10-K". SEC.gov. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  8. ^ "Form 10-K". Innophos. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  9. ^ "Form 10-K ChipPAC, Inc.". Securities and Exchange Commission. Get Filings. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "Form S-1 DDi Corp.". Securities and Exchange Commission. Nasdaq.com. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  11. ^ "Leadership - Board of Directors". Waters Corporation. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  12. ^ a b "Unintended Consequences". Penguin. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  13. ^ "Best Sellers - Hardcover Nonfiction - July 15, 2012". The New York Times. 15 July 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  14. ^ "All Media Appearances". Ed Conard official website. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  15. ^ "Exclusive - Edward Conard Extended Interview Pt. 1". The Daily Show. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  16. ^ Conard, Edward (2 August 2012). "What Obama Didn't Learn From the 1990s". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  17. ^ Conard, Edward (30 July 2013). "We don't need more humanities majors". The Washington Post. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  18. ^ Zakaria, Fareed; Conard, Edward (June 2013). "How to Fix America". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  19. ^ Conard, Edward (8 June 2012). "How to Get Our Savings on the Move Again". Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  20. ^ Conard, Edward (11 June 2014). "Rescuing subprime borrowers won't fix the economy". Fortune. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  21. ^ Conard, Edward (12 December 2012). "Why tax hikes fall short for cliff talks". Politico. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  22. ^ "Reviews". Edward Conard official website. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  23. ^ Carney, Brian M. (13 June 2012). "Please Don't Soak the Rich". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  24. ^ Noah, Timothy (29 May 2012). "Why Edward Conard Is Wrong About Income Inequality". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  25. ^ "Edward Conard". The UP Experience. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  26. ^ Boog, Jason (19 December 2012). "Charles Duhigg Tops Google's Trending Authors List for 2012". Ad Week. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  27. ^ McDuffee, Allen (18 December 2012). "Former Bain Capital partner Edward Conard joins AEI". The Washington Post. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  28. ^ Seper, Jerry (August 7, 2011). "$1 million Romney donor steps forward. Denies intent to sidestep law.". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2012-05-09. 
  29. ^ Hooker, Brad (September 13, 2011). "Men Linked to Corporate Donations to Pro-Romney Super PAC Have Long History of Donating to Romney". opensecrets.org. Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved 2012-05-09. 
  30. ^ "Weddings; Jill Davis, Edward Conard". The New York Times. 14 May 2000. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 

External links[edit]