The political commentator Joe Scarborough recently pointed out that the people running this country are old: President Trump is 73, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is 77, House speaker Nancy Pelosi is 79, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is 76. To get a sense of how old that is, Scarborough pointed out, most of those folks could have been high school classmates of Buddy Holly. The phenomenon is
But youth has a habit of pushing its way to the surface, and power is never static; one generation invariably succumbs to the next. Power also changes its forms. Twenty years ago, who would have predicted the rise of the influencers?
As the men and women on the list below
Thasunda Brown Duckett
CEO, Consumer Banking, JPMorgan Chase
In 2016, Duckett became the first African American CEO of the consumer banking division at JPMorgan Chase, the country’s largest bank. Under her watch, the bank is undergoing a massive retail expansion, with plans for 90 new branches and new hires of up to 700 people in 2019 alone. (A recent press release touts a starting pay of $15 per hour.)
Duckett grew up on the financial edge—her father was a truck driver, her mother a teacher—in Texas. Her experience with financial insecurity sparked a career-long interest in how banks can make home ownership possible for low-income families. While in college, Duckett interned with Fannie Mae, and she later helped her parents buy their first home. She would
The Ceiling Smasher: Angela Aldrich
Founder, Bayberry Capital
But there are some recent indications of a shift in the right direction, and Aldrich, 33, is one of them. Earlier this year, she founded New York–based Bayberry Capital, a long-short equities fund of which she is both managing partner and portfolio manager. The small fund has a few hundred million in assets and is still raising capital.
Aldrich, who manages a team of three, studied at Duke and Stanford, and has held jobs at Goldman Sachs, BDT Capital Partners, Scout Capital Management and Blue Ridge Capital. At Blue Ridge, she earned the moniker “Tiger
The Truth Seeker:
Member, U.S. House of Representatives (D-California)
Since winning a traditionally GOP seat in the 2018 midterms, the freshman representative and former University of California–Irvine law professor has used her position on the House Financial Services committee to grill corporate power brokers on evasions, hypocrisies and greed.
In February, Porter asked Equifax CEO
In March, Porter eviscerated Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan. After Sloan defended his use of language that struck Porter as “obscure, empty promises,” Porter pulled out a board containing quotes from Wells’ own lawyers, who described Sloan’s words as “paradigmatic examples of nonactionable corporate puffery.” Sloan resigned his position about two weeks later.
And in April, JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon sat stone-faced as Porter spoke of a single mother, unable to pay her bills while working full time as a teller for the financial behemoth. (The woman was actually a composite character.) Noting that Dimon’s compensation was $31 million, Porter asked, “How should she manage this budget shortfall while she’s working full time at your bank?” Porter’s questions may be tough, but they’re not unfair; they speak to what kind of capitalist society we want to live in. It’s the answers that should be easier.
The Money Hunter: Gabriel Zucman
Assistant Professor of Economics, University of California, Berkeley
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have all turned to one 32-year-old assistant professor at UC Berkeley for advice on their visions for the American economy. That’s because Zucman has, to quote tough-guy Liam Neeson, a very particular set of skills; as Bloomberg recently put it, Zucman is a “wealth detective,” “the world’s foremost expert on where the wealthy hide their money.” He began in that role as a researcher for Thomas Piketty’s 2014 sleeper smash book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, which examined systematic economic inequity. A 2016 paper, with
The Game Changer: Rudy Cline-Thomas
Cline-Thomas has heard all the stereotypes about athletes and money: They burn through it, buying bling for themselves and a new house for
For Cline-Thomas, the current generation of professional athletes has the economic power to transition from small-time investors in restaurants and car washes to power players in Silicon Valley. A former sports agent and financial advisor, he aims to promote the long-term security of pro athletes by helping them build an identity as investors and owners even during their playing careers.
It’s a project, Cline-Thomas emphasizes, that takes work on both sides. “Venture isn’t for everyone,” he says. “There is a certain level of understanding you have to have with these companies to become an investor.”
To help get athletes up to speed, in 2017 Cline-Thomas founded the Players Technology Summit along with his business partner, Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala, and fellow Warriors star Steph Curry. The third annual summit took place in June and featured executives from footwear startup
The Brand Builder: Frank Cooper III
Global Chief Marketing Officer, BlackRock
Cooper is in charge of brand strategy for the largest asset manager in the world. It’s a strategy increasingly focused on figuring out how millennials and Gen
Cooper’s resume also includes stints at PepsiCo, where he served as CEO of global consumer engagement. He launched his marketing career at iconic record labels Def Jam and Motown. Now, under the direction of CEO Larry Fink, BlackRock aims to enlist a younger generation of investors through accessible investing processes.
The Conscience: Greta Thunberg
Thunberg was maybe 8 years old when she first learned about climate change. She remembers this moment distinctly because it precipitated a daunting depression—she couldn’t believe how little adults were doing to address the threat—in which she stopped going to school. Seven years later, inspired by the activism of America’s Parkland school-shooting survivors, she started an improbable hunger strike to raise awareness of climate change and
Now 16, Thunberg has sparked a global movement of young people demanding that corporations, politicians and entire nations of adults finally act on their claim that they care about the next generation. Prove it, she says: Prove that you sincerely want us to have a future. In March,