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The Power 100 2019

Since 2010 Worth has been tracking the most powerful men and women in global finance. Welcome to the culmination of an incredible decade.

100. Steve Case Chairman and CEO, Revolution

PATH TO POWER: Case grew up in Hawaii and graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts. He was, for a time in the early 1980s, “director of new pizza development” for Pizza Hut, a job for which he drove around the country sampling the competition. In 1985, Case became one of the first employees of Quantum Computer Services—the then little-known company that in 1991 was renamed America Online. In 1992 it became the first internet company to go public. The rest, as they say, is history. Case left his position as CEO in 2003, not long after AOL paid $165 billion to acquire Time Warner in what was then the biggest merger in history. Since then, Case has moved throughout the world of top-tier entrepreneurs, investing in a wide range of companies, and in 2014 was named a presidential ambassador for global entrepreneurship. 

POWER PLAY: Today, Case is the head of a Washington, D.C.­-headquartered venture capital firm, Revolution, and has become something of a poster child for the increasingly in-vogue move by VCs of investing beyond the geographical tech hubs of Silicon Valley, Boston and New York. Case has been putting his money where his mouth is through a trio of funds and has embarked on “Rise of the Rest” road trips in a red tour bus to encourage entrepreneurship across America. The next great wave of American entrepreneurship, he argues, will come from second-tier cities free of the groupthink culture of Silicon Valley.

99. Al Gore Cofounder and Chairman, Generation Investment Management

PATH TO POWER: Impassioned environmentalism was the through line of Gore’s 16 years as a senator and congressman and two terms as vice president to president Bill Clinton (1993-2001), and it earned him a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Gore’s father served as a U.S. senator from Tennessee for 18 years, and Gore grew up in Washington, D.C., attending the posh St. Albans prep school, then went on to Harvard and Vanderbilt, from which he received a law degree.

POWER PLAY: In 2004, Gore cofounded Generation Investment Management with former Goldman Sachs asset management head David Blood. Dedicated to impact investing in sustainable companies, the company has a $13.7 billion equity portfolio, heavily weighted in technology and healthcare. In May, the company announced it had raised $1 billion for its largest private equity fund, aimed at investing in companies working on environmental solutions, healthcare and financial inclusion. “We believe that we are at the early stages of a technology-led sustainability revolution, which has the scale of the industrial revolution, and the pace of the digital revolution,” Gore said in a statement.

98. Chris Hughes Cofounder, Facebook

PATH TO POWER: Hughes met Mark Zuckerberg when the two were freshmen at Harvard in 2002. He was a cofounder of Facebook and, often, its face. In 2007, as it was beginning to resemble the social network we know today, Hughes left the company to work on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. He was editor and publisher of the New Republic starting in 2012, but his tenure was marked by controversy and he sold the magazine in 2016.

POWER PLAY: In an uncharacteristically lengthy (more than 6,000 words) op-ed for the New York Times, the 35-year-old Hughes this year called for the company he cofounded to be broken up. The essay attracted an enormous amount of attention; weeks later, the news broke that the FTC was preparing a possible antitrust investigation into Facebook alongside similar FTC and DOJ actions aimed at Apple, Google and Amazon. Since then, Hughes has continued as an outspoken critic of the company, calling plans for Libra, Facebook’s yet-to-be-rolled-out global cryptocurrency, “brilliant and frightening.” “If #Libra is successful,” he wrote on Twitter, “the problem will be bigger than more power for Facebook. We’ll have to answer whether we want a global currency managed by (mostly) for-profit, private companies or public ones.”

97. Sergio Ermotti CEO, UBS

2018 RANKING: 80

PATH TO POWER: Ermotti was born in Lugano, Switzerland, where he began his career in banking as an apprentice at Cornèr Bank. A Swiss federal banking expert, Ermotti is a graduate of Oxford University’s advanced management program, though he did not formally attend college. Ermotti worked for Merrill Lynch and UniCredit before joining UBS as CEO in 2011.

POWER PLAY: UBS holds the title of the world’s largest wealth manager, and in 2018 the company decided to focus on growing its market share in the United States. Yet doubling down on wealth management at the expense of its investment banking business has not been a lucrative decision. Profits in wealth management were down 21 percent in the first quarter of 2019. At the same time, UBS has seen its overall earnings plummet 64 percent. The drop comes on the heels of the company getting hit with a $4.2 billion fine for allegedly helping French clients commit tax evasion, charges UBS is fighting. And in June, UBS, which had positioned itself to become a player in the Chinese market, became embroiled in a cultural controversy over a misconstrued analyst note discussing “Chinese pigs” in the context of swine flu. UBS lost a $1 billion railroad underwriting deal in China as a result of “Swinegate.”

96. Ho Ching CEO, Temasek Holdings

PATH TO POWER: Ho may be the most powerful woman in Singapore and one of the most powerful women in the world. As the CEO of Temasek, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, she runs a portfolio worth some $235 billion. An engineer by training, she’s married to the island nation’s prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong.

POWER PLAY: After the crashes of two Boeing 737 Max 8 planes, Ho lit into the company’s management. In a Facebook post, she wrote that the crashes were the result of “the triumph of marketing over safety, and the carelessness of engineering, and the lack of balls up and down the chain and across organisations to shout out any concerns.” In 2017, Temasek opened a San Francisco office as a sign of its worldwide reach.

95. Anthony Scaramucci Founder and Managing Partner, SkyBridge Capital

2018 RANKING: 100

PATH TO POWER: The Mooch has ridden his notoriety to success—or maybe it’s the other way around—again and again. A graduate of Tufts, Harvard Law and working class Long Island, N.Y., Scaramucci built SkyBridge, a fund of funds, and the annual SALT conference, a see-and-be-seen event for the hedge fund industry, before a (very) short stint as White House communications director for the Trump administration.

POWER PLAY: How many professional lives does Scaramucci have? Quite a few, apparently. After a year-long hiatus, he brought SALT back to Las Vegas this year, and the conference seemed to have not missed a beat. Next up: SALT Abu Dhabi, this December. And SkyBridge’s funds returned 3.5 and 4.5 percent this year, beating the fund of funds index’s 2018 loss of 2.3 percent.

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94. Wes Edens Cofounder, Fortress Investment Group

PATH TO POWER: Born in Montana, Edens spent his youth skiing and studied finance at Oregon State University before joining Lehman Brothers in the late 1980s. He spent a few years at BlackRock, then founded private equity firm Fortress in 1998. Since then, he’s helped grow the firm to almost $40 billion in AUM and become a co-owner of the resurgent Milwaukee Bucks.

POWER PLAY: Edens and Fortress are making some big plays. On the one hand, they’re working with Virgin to build Florida’s Brightline, the first new passenger rail line in the U.S. in decades, and making some smart real estate plays along the way. On the other, Edens is betting big on “freedom gas,” exporting natural gas from Florida to Caribbean nations and going in on a Pennsylvania export terminal.

93. David Rubenstein Cofounder and Co-Executive Chairman, the Carlyle Group

2018 RANKING: 88

PATH TO POWER:Rubenstein cofounded the Carlyle Group in 1987 after a diverse career in which he practiced law, advised President Carter and worked on Capitol Hill as the chief counsel to a Senate judiciary subcommittee in the wake of Watergate. A reputation as a firm of Washington insiders shaped Carlyle’s early identity, and numerous Capitol Hill and White House vets signed on to work with the company. Rubenstein acted as the firm’s fundraiser as it grew into one of the largest private equity houses in the world, with $222 billion in AUM. All three founders are billionaires today.

POWER PLAY: In addition to his chairmanship of Carlyle, Rubenstein is known as one of the most well-connected and civic-minded people in America. Based in Washington, Rubenstein is chairman of the boards of trustees of the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian and the Council on Foreign Relations; he’s also president of the Economic Club of Washington. He has given millions to support and renovate national parks and monuments, including the Washington Monument. In late 2018, Rubinstein launched a podcast through Bloomberg News, sitting down for conversations with such diverse figures as Alan Greenspan, retired Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy, Melinda Gates and former White House chief of staff John Kelly. 

92. Paul Krugman Columnist, the New York Times

2018 RANKING: 93

PATH TO POWER:Economist Krugman joined Princeton University’s faculty and began writing regularly for the New York Times—the two gigs for which he’s best known—in 2000. Before that, he taught at Yale, MIT and Stanford and worked, briefly, as an economist for the Reagan White House’s Council of Economic Advisers. In 2015 he left Princeton to join the faculty of the City University of New York. He grew up in Long Island and earned his BA from Yale and a PhD from MIT.

POWER PLAY: As a leading economic light on the American left, the pugnacious Krugman has had plenty of material this year with the Democratic primary getting underway. Candidates in the enormous field are trying to distinguish themselves, at least in part, via policy debates over many of the left-of-center ideas Krugman’s column has focused on for over a decade. Meanwhile, in a series of public remarks in early 2019, Krugman predicted that the next recession is near. “I think that there is a quite good chance that we will have a recession late this year [or] next year,” he said at the World Government Summit in Dubai in February, warning that policy makers were ill-prepared for such a possibility. That got a certain Republican’s attention. “Paul Krugman, of the Fake News New York Times, has lost all credibility, as has the Times itself, with his false and highly inaccurate writings on me,” President Trump griped on Twitter in April. 

91. Mohamed El-Erian Chief Economic Advisor, Allianz

2018 RANKING: 89

PATH TO POWER: The son of an Egyptian father and a French mother, El-Erian grew up in New York, France and England. He earned a PhD in economics at Oxford and started his career at the International Monetary Fund. El-Erian went on to become president and CEO of the Harvard Management Company and then CEO and co-CIO of bond giant PIMCO, emerging as one of the most respected economists in the world along the way. In 2014, he decided to leave PIMCO for personal reasons and became an economic advisor to management at Allianz.

POWER PLAY: Since leaving PIMCO, El-Erian has accrued massive influence as an economic thinker. As an opinion columnist at Bloomberg, a contributing editor at the Financial Times and a contributor to Project Syndicate, El-Erian is one of the most read and closely followed economic thinkers in the world. In May it was announced that El-Erian would soon take over as the president of the nearly 600-year-old Queens’ College, Cambridge.

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