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The 10 Most Influential People on Wall Street

Wall Street's Biggest Influencers

Recently, released their ranking of the 25 most powerful people in the world of investment banking, including bank CEOs and star traders operating both on Wall Street and around the globe.During a time of historic transformation in the financial world, these individuals are not only head up some of the most influential companies, but they also in the position to shape the future of finance for years to come.At the top of the list both are familiar and under-the-radar individuals alike, but who h
Photo: Oliver Quillia for CNBC.com | Source: Institutional Investor

Institutional Investorrecently released their list of the 25 most powerful people in investment banking, including bank CEOs and star traders operating on Wall Street and around the globe.

During a time of historic transformation in the financial world, these individuals not only head up some of the most influential companies but are in the position to shape the future of finance for years to come.

The list includes the familiar as well as those under the radar, but which ones have the most pull? Click ahead for the top 10!

Posted 21 Dec 2009

10. Gary Cohn

President and COOGoldman Sachs Group As the sole president and COO of a team-obsessed firm that likes to see “co-” in executive titles, Gary Cohn is widely viewed as an heir apparent to the gilded Goldman Sachs throne. The 49-year-old former currency trader has long been at the side of CEO Lloyd Blankfein, going back to their days at J. Aron. In recent years, Cohn has helped Blankfein run the firm’s trading and principal investing operation, which has powered Goldman’s profits. In March, Cohn to
Caption & Ranking By Institutional Investor | Photo: Brendan Smialowski | Getty Images

President and COO
Goldman Sachs Group

As the sole president and COO of a team-obsessed firm that likes to see “co-” in executive titles, Gary Cohn is widely viewed as an heir apparent to the gilded Goldman Sachs throne. The 49-year-old former currency trader has long been at the side of CEO Lloyd Blankfein, going back to their days at J. Aron. In recent years, Cohn has helped Blankfein run the firm’s trading and principal investing operation, which has powered Goldman’s profits. In March, Cohn told a conference audience that the investment banking business was alive and well and that Goldman, for one, had no intention of changing its business model, even if it had become a bank holding company. Declared Cohn: “Wall Street is not over.”

9. Kenichi Watanabe

Chief Executive OfficerNomura HoldingsIt was what the Japanese might call daitanfuteki — daring. When Lehman Brothers collapsed last year, Nomura CEO Kenichi Watanabe promptly acquired the bank’s international operations for $225 million — and committed to paying an additional ¥140 billion ($1.5 billion) in bonuses to keep the Lehman bankers on board. At a stroke, Watanabe, 56, boosted Nomura’s head count by nearly 50 percent, to more than 25,000. And in December, Nomura said it would spend almo
Caption & Ranking By Institutional Investor | Photo: Yoshikazu Tsuno | Getty Images

Chief Executive Officer
Nomura Holdings

It was what the Japanese might call daitanfuteki — daring. When Lehman Brothers collapsed last year, Nomura CEO Kenichi Watanabe promptly acquired the bank’s international operations for $225 million — and committed to paying an additional ¥140 billion ($1.5 billion) in bonuses to keep the Lehman bankers on board. At a stroke, Watanabe, 56, boosted Nomura’s head count by nearly 50 percent, to more than 25,000. And in December, Nomura said it would spend almost half of the nearly $5 billion the firm had raised in October to boost its U.S. presence in a bid to achieve Watanabe’s goal of becoming a true global investment bank.

8. Anshu Jain

Head of Global MarketsDeutsche BankAs one of the engineers of Deutsche Bank’s transformation into a powerhouse in global investment banking, Anshu Jain, 46, is often touted as a potential successor to CEO Josef Ackermann (see No. 3). Nevertheless, the Indian-born Jain may well be quietly relieved that his boss has delayed his retirement until 2013, since that will give Jain plenty of time to distance his global markets division from its €7.4 billion ($10.9 billion)  loss in the 2008 financial cr
Caption & Ranking By  Institutional Investor | Photo: Ralph Orlowski | Getty Images

Head of Global Markets
Deutsche Bank

As one of the engineers of Deutsche Bank’s transformation into a powerhouse in global investment banking, Anshu Jain, 46, is often touted as a potential successor to CEO Josef Ackermann (see No. 3). Nevertheless, the Indian-born Jain may well be quietly relieved that his boss has delayed his retirement until 2013, since that will give Jain plenty of time to distance his global markets division from its €7.4 billion ($10.9 billion)  loss in the 2008 financial crisis. In the first nine months of 2009, revenue nearly tripled in Jain’s sales and trading operation, to €9.9 billion. Although Jain was named to the bank’s governing Vorstand in March (along with three other potential Deutsche CEOs), rumors surfaced in June that he might go to Citi, and he wound up affirming his allegiance to Deutsche. A cricket lover, he will need the sport’s virtues of patience, persistence and fair play to land the top job in a competitive field.

7. Thomas Montag

President, Global Banking and MarketsBank of America/Merrill LynchBank of America Corp.’s controversial purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co. may have cost BofA CEO Ken Lewis his job, but Tom Montag, 52, is doing his best to demonstrate the logic of the deal. Montag’s global markets business booked $6 billion of net income on $17.2 billion of revenue during the first nine months of 2009 — virtually all of the bank’s profits and 18 percent of overall revenue. Montag, a 22-year veteran of Goldman Sachs
Caption & Ranking By Institutional Investor | Photo: Nicholas Roberts | Getty Images

President, Global Banking and Markets
Bank of America/Merrill Lynch

Bank of America Corp.’s controversial purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co. may have cost BofA CEO Ken Lewis his job, but Tom Montag, 52, is doing his best to demonstrate the logic of the deal. Montag’s global markets business booked $6 billion of net income on $17.2 billion of revenue during the first nine months of 2009 — virtually all of the bank’s profits and 18 percent of overall revenue. Montag, a 22-year veteran of Goldman Sachs Group who had co-headed that firm’s powerful trading unit, largely succeeded in holding Merrill together during a tumultuous period. Now he needs to prove that his bankers and traders can use BofA’s balance sheet to win deals and consistent profits as markets recover.

6. James Gorman

Chief Executive–designateMorgan StanleyJames Gorman, CEO-designate of Morgan Stanley, has taken temporary offices on the firm’s trading floor. Gesture or not, this sends a strong signal that the 50-year-old Australian lawyer with a Columbia MBA and a background chiefly in strategic planning (McKinsey partner) and asset management (head of private clients at Merrill Lynch) is committed to trading and other investment banking activities. He affirmed that palpably in late December by naming Paul Ta
Caption & Ranking By Institutional Investor

Chief Executive–designate
Morgan Stanley

James Gorman, CEO-designate of Morgan Stanley, has taken temporary offices on the firm’s trading floor. Gesture or not, this sends a strong signal that the 50-year-old Australian lawyer with a Columbia MBA and a background chiefly in strategic planning (McKinsey partner) and asset management (head of private clients at Merrill Lynch) is committed to trading and other investment banking activities. He affirmed that palpably in late December by naming Paul Taubman and current CFO Colm Kelleher as co-presidents of institutional securities, Morgan’s biggest business. Hired in 2006, Gorman oversaw the creation of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, now the world’s largest brokerage firm, to balance the volatile investment banking business. He succeeds John Mack, who becomes chairman, in January. The onetime consultant’s mission: to restore Morgan — still one of Wall Street’s most powerful firms — to its former glory after a decade of management turmoil.

5. Brady Dougan

Chief Executive OfficerCredit SuisseUnlike his arch-rivals at UBS, Credit Suisse CEO Brady Dougan managed to avoid a government bailout during the financial crisis by raising capital in the Gulf. Nonetheless, the big Zurich bank experienced a rocky 2008. So with markets reviving strongly in 2009, Dougan, 50, prudently dialed down risk and cut back on proprietary trading and structured product activities to concentrate on flow business in bonds and equities and on gaining market share in prime br
Caption & Ranking By Institutional Investor | Photo: Sebastien Bozon | Getty Images

Chief Executive Officer
Credit Suisse

Unlike his arch-rivals at UBS, Credit Suisse CEO Brady Dougan managed to avoid a government bailout during the financial crisis by raising capital in the Gulf. Nonetheless, the big Zurich bank experienced a rocky 2008. So with markets reviving strongly in 2009, Dougan, 50, prudently dialed down risk and cut back on proprietary trading and structured product activities to concentrate on flow business in bonds and equities and on gaining market share in prime brokerage. Credit Suisse has bounced back impressively and is once again solidly in the top tier of global investment banks. Even the private banking arm raked in money, despite U.S. officials’ probe into offshore tax evasion by Americans. The big question now: Will Dougan ramp up risk-taking, when conditions permit, and open CS’s hefty checkbook for acquisitions?

4. Robert Diamond Jr.

PresidentBarclaysNever let a crisis go to waste. It’s a mantra of the Obama administration, but few have taken it to heart like Bob Diamond, an erstwhile supporter of John McCain. A former bond trader, Diamond, 58, turned Barclays Capital, the bank’s securities arm, into a global debt powerhouse in a decade, but that was just a prelude to his biggest move: buying the U.S. subsidiary of the bankrupt Lehman Brothers in September 2008, and gaining a franchise in equities and M&A. Now ensconced in L
Caption & Ranking By Institutional Investor | Photo: Carl De Souza | Getty Images

President
Barclays

Never let a crisis go to waste. It’s a mantra of the Obama administration, but few have taken it to heart like Bob Diamond, an erstwhile supporter of John McCain. A former bond trader, Diamond, 58, turned Barclays Capital, the bank’s securities arm, into a global debt powerhouse in a decade, but that was just a prelude to his biggest move: buying the U.S. subsidiary of the bankrupt Lehman Brothers in September 2008, and gaining a franchise in equities and M&A. Now ensconced in Lehman’s old Times Square headquarters, Diamond is determined to make Barclays a top-three firm across the board. Given his track record, no one on Wall Street dares dismiss his ambitions.

3. Josef Ackermann

Chief Executive OfficerDeutsche BankIn 2008, Deutsche Bank suffered its first annual loss since World War II. For CEO Josef Ackermann, 61, it was a wrenching experience. But having led the bank through the worst global financial storm in 70 years, he stands to reap the fruits of recovering markets. Deutsche’s profits have rebounded strongly, and Ackermann has been able to renew his contract for three more years. A rare breed of player-coach, he combines managing a global investment bank with cha
Caption & Ranking By  Institutional Investor | Photo: Martin Oeser | Getty Images

Chief Executive Officer
Deutsche Bank

In 2008, Deutsche Bank suffered its first annual loss since World War II. For CEO Josef Ackermann, 61, it was a wrenching experience. But having led the bank through the worst global financial storm in 70 years, he stands to reap the fruits of recovering markets. Deutsche’s profits have rebounded strongly, and Ackermann has been able to renew his contract for three more years. A rare breed of player-coach, he combines managing a global investment bank with chatting up clients. Long active in industry associations, he has spoken out on, among other topics, the justification for bankers’ compensation. Now Ackermann is well positioned to lead Deutsche from trading powerhouse to balanced financial services firm and perhaps ensure his legacy in the process.

2. Lloyd Blankfein

Chief Executive OfficerGoldman Sachs GroupIt once appeared as if Lloyd Blankfein would be best remembered for his rock-steadiness during the 2008 financial crisis. No, he reassured an anxious colleague, this wasn’t like storming the beaches at Normandy. Although the markets didn’t turn against Goldman Sachs in 2009, everyone from Washington politicians to ordinary citizens seemed to, as the firm prospered conspicuously while millions suffered in the recession. Ex–commodities trader Blankfein, 55
Caption & Ranking By  Institutional Investor | Photo: The India Today Group | Getty Images

Chief Executive Officer
Goldman Sachs Group

It once appeared as if Lloyd Blankfein would be best remembered for his rock-steadiness during the 2008 financial crisis. No, he reassured an anxious colleague, this wasn’t like storming the beaches at Normandy. Although the markets didn’t turn against Goldman Sachs in 2009, everyone from Washington politicians to ordinary citizens seemed to, as the firm prospered conspicuously while millions suffered in the recession. Ex–commodities trader Blankfein, 55, who became Goldman CEO in 2006 when Hank Paulson moved to Treasury, didn’t help with the backlash any when he quipped to a London newspaper that Goldman’s lavishly paid bankers were doing “God’s work.” Now he may be linked forever to that cringe-inducing quote. Still, Blankfein is a genuinely liked leader. And it’s a sure bet that in the next financial crisis, the president will install a hotline to Goldman’s offices.

1. James Dimon

Chief Executive OfficerJPMorgan Chase & Co.No other banking leader has emerged from the financial crisis with as much authority, or respect, as JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. Under his leadership, JPMorgan has vaulted to near the top of almost every global investment banking ranking. For 2009 its revenue and profits appear headed toward record numbers. Known for inspiring fierce loyalty among his subordinates and having a passion for detail, Dimon must now contend with a changed financial lands
Caption & Ranking By  Institutional Investor | Photo: Toshifumi Kitamura | Getty Images

Chief Executive Officer
JPMorgan Chase & Co.

No other banking leader has emerged from the financial crisis with as much authority, or respect, as JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. Under his leadership, JPMorgan has vaulted to near the top of almost every global investment banking ranking. For 2009 its revenue and profits appear headed toward record numbers. Known for inspiring fierce loyalty among his subordinates and having a passion for detail, Dimon must now contend with a changed financial landscape, a swelling array of competitors (even Goldman Sachs is now a “bank”) and greater government intrusion into the everyday business of finance. And though only 53, he must ensure his legacy by providing for a strong successor. He has begun by naming Jes Staley, formerly chief of the bank’s asset management arm, head of Morgan’s investment bank and by grooming a generation of 40-something leaders, including newly named asset management boss Mary Erdoes and CFO Mike Cavanagh.