Billionaire Warren Buffett, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, is the most powerful person in finance in the world.
Business Insider recently released its list of the most powerful people in the world, and 10 of the top 50 included hedge fund managers, bank CEOs, and other magnates in the finance industry.
To determine the ranking, we considered more than 100 of the most influential players in business, politics, and entertainment and evaluated their influence using metrics in four major areas: economic power, command, newsworthiness, and impact — a subjective measure that captures how important they are in their respective spheres.
We then narrowed down the list to just those in the finance industry, adding six finance heavyweights who narrowly missed our top 50. You can read the full methodology here.
Read on to see the 16 most powerful people in finance in the world.
WARREN BUFFETT: CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.Country: US. Age: 85. Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett bought his first stock at age 11 and never looked back. Since then, Buffett has continued to amass a fortune of $65 billion through a near-clairvoyant knack for making smart, long-term bets on companies like Coca-Cola and American Express. His shareholder letters are a must-read for investors looking to glean his wisdom.
His company has grown exponentially since he took over in 1964: $1,000 invested in Berkshire Hathaway stock then would be worth more than $10 million today. It remains one of the titans of the business world, announcing its largest acquisition ever in August with the $37.2 billion buyout of nuts and bolts maker Precision Castparts.
Buffett is a friend of Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, whom he collaborated with on the Giving Pledge, a promise for billionaires to give away at least 50% of their wealth to charity. Buffett has given away nearly $3 billion in each of the past two years, and $21.5 billion in his lifetime.
JANET YELLEN: Chair of the Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve. Country: US. Age: 69. As the head of the Federal Reserve — the first woman to hold the job — Janet Yellen is the guardian of the US economy. The results have been good so far: The US is closing out the year with a period of growth, adding 271,000 jobs in October and lowering unemployment to 5%, according to the latest jobs report. In December, the Fed elected to raise interest rates — for the first time in almost a decade — from 0%-0.25% to 0.25%-0.50%.
It’s a hefty decision with profound economic implications, and investors and company executives worldwide are dissecting Yellen’s plan. Some worry that lifting rates would damage individuals’ spending ability and hamper growth, leading the US into another recession, but Yellen is confident that a recession isn’t likely. After the rate hike, stocks surged, giving an upbeat assessment of how the economy is doing in the United States.
JIANG JIANQING: Chairman and executive director of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.Country: China.Age: 62. Jiang commands Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world’s largest commercial bank with $3.5 trillion in assets. Before starting as a teller at ICBC in 1984, he toiled on farms and in coal mines during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. When he took over as president in 2000 (he was tapped as chairman five years later), the bank was almost insolvent; today it generates $45 billion in annual profit, more than twice as much as JPMorgan Chase, the largest US commercial lender.
Jiang has also been an alternate member of the Communist Party’s Central Committee — the country’s top political governing body — since 2002. In 2014 he became the first Chinese banker to serve as cochairman of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
ABIGAIL JOHNSON: CEO of Fidelity. Country: US.Age: 53. In late 2014, Abigail Johnson succeeded her father Edward as CEO of Fidelity, the second-largest mutual fund company in the US, which oversees more than $5.2 trillion in assets. Johnson keeps a low profile, but it’s no secret she was groomed to take over the company from an early age. She started working at the firm in high school, and officially joined Fidelity as an analyst in 1988. Since 2012, Johnson had served as president.
Johnson wasn’t slow to wield her power and effect change after assuming the top role last year, quickly moving to cut costs and fire ineffective managers. She’s no stranger to power plays, reportedly maneuvering to oust her father in 2004 over a disagreement in vision (the effort failed, and Edward remains the chairman of the company).
Not only is the new Fidelity CEO responsible for millions of Americans’ retirement accounts, but through her roughly 24% stake in the company, Johnson holds a personal fortune of $18.5 billion, making her one of the wealthiest women in the world.
LARRY FINK: Founder and CEO of BlackRock. Country: US. Age: 63 Few have more responsibility for the US’s economic well-being than Fink — CEO of BlackRock — the world’s largest asset-management firm.
After rising to prominence and then flaming out on Wall Street — he was forced out at investment bank First Boston after losing $100 million on a poor interest-rate bet — he started BlackRock in 1988. It quickly grew into one of the largest money managers in the country.
Fink is well regarded as a master of risk analysis and one of the savviest leaders in finance. His prowess and the company’s state-of-the-art risk-management system (dubbed “Aladdin”) made BlackRock a go-to adviser for sorting out toxic assets during the financial crisis, both to top banks and the US government. Today he’s trusted with overseeing $4.5 trillion in assets, a large chunk of it comprised of the hard-earned dollars from the average US citizen’s pension or retirement account. Fink is a popular and often speculated potential candidate for US Treasury secretary.
JAMIE DIMON: Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase. Country: US Age: 59. For a decade now Dimon has helmed JPMorgan Chase, the largest commercial bank in the US with $2.6 trillion in assets, and during his tenure he’s become one of the most respected voices in finance. His performance has also made him one of the few bank CEOs to become a billionaire.
Dimon attained Wall Street rock-star status after the financial crisis. No major bank weathered the collapse as well as JPMorgan did under Dimon’s guidance, earning him praise for the company’s “fortress balance sheet” and ability to make a profit amid the downturn. But his reputation took a hit in 2012 with the more than $6 billion loss incurred by the London Whale trading scandal, which resulted in stiff fines and a slew of lawsuits, some still ongoing. JPMorgan remains exceptionally profitable though, reporting record earnings of $21.8 billion in 2014.
He has recovered from a recent bout with throat cancer, and he said in September he’s not planning on retiring anytime soon. Looking ahead to 2016, Dimon plans to allocate a lot more of JPMorgan’s attention and money into blockchain technology and robotics.
MARIO DRAGHI : President of the European Central Bank. Country: Italy. Age: 67. As president of the European Central Bank since 2011, Mario Draghi has made major strides toward lifting the 19-country eurozone out of its recession. This year he launched a massive stimulus program to purchase $64.2 billion a month in government bonds from eurozone countries — a strategy he says will continue at least through September 2016.
The ECB’s disappointing meeting in December revealed that the bank cut its main interest rate from -0.2% to -0.3% and extended the hypothetical end of quantitative easing — the controversial monetary policy in which central banks increase the money supply to encourage lending and stimulate the economy — from September 2016 to March 2017.
Draghi, a Goldman Sachs vet and former governor of the Bank of Italy, has also played a key role in preventing a widespread financial crisis stemming from Greece’s ailing economy, which has continued to teeter on the brink of insolvency despite three bailouts in five years from the ECB, the IMF, and the European Commission. The latest debt-relief package, approved in August and worth $95 billion, helped prevent Greece from exiting the Eurozone.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: CEO of Bloomberg LP. Country: US. Age: 73. Michael Bloomberg is back — and he’s making sure his presence is known. After leaving Bloomberg LP, the financial data and media giant that he founded in 1981, and spending 12 years as mayor of New York City, Bloomberg was expected to devote his time to giving away his immense fortune, which stands at $42 billion. Instead, Bloomberg made waves by returning to the helm of his company in 2014, effectively ousting CEO Dan Doctoroff.
Bloomberg didn’t return as a figurehead — he immediately began shaking up the company. The newsroom saw layoffs, a management overhaul, and a website relaunch — as well as the exits of news head Matthew Winkler and top digital editor Joshua Topolsky — as Bloomberg flexed his authority over the company.
The former mayor has had less luck asserting his vision over public policy. Though he effectively instituted a smoking ban in New York City, his efforts to eradicate big sodas fizzled out in the courts last year. He has pledged $50 million to combat the NRA through the Everytown for Gun Safety organization, though little progress has been made on gun control thus far.
CHRISTINE LAGARDE: Managing director of the IMF. Country: France.Age: 59. Appointed managing director of the International Monetary Fund in 2011, Christine Lagarde is the first woman to head the organization, which serves as the economic adviser and backstop for 188 countries.
Along with the European Central Bank and the European Commission, the IMF under Lagarde has been preoccupied with propping up Greece’s failing economy, which has required three bailouts in five years, the latest coming in August and requiring $95 billion of aid.
Recently, Lagarde has had both highs and lows in her career: In November, she endorsed the Chinese yuan as an IMF reserve currency — a historic move that, if approved, would further cement China’s rise as a top economic power. But in December she was ordered to face trial in French court over a payout made to French businessman Bernard Tapie to the tune of more than $430 million dollars. Lagarde’s alleged role in the Tapie case dates back more than two decades, but the IMF’s lawyer seems confident that the court’s decision is “incomprehensible” and that Lagarde should “appeal this decision.”
STEVE SCHWARZMAN: Founder and CEO of Blackstone Group. Country: US. Age: 68. Steve Schwarzman is the unparalleled king of private equity, with a fortune of $11 billion that includes splashy homes in Manhattan, the Hamptons, Jamaica, and Saint-Tropez. His vaunted buyout firm Blackstone Group is the largest on earth, with $334 billion in assets under management, and it has completed some of the most high-profile acquisitions in the industry. The company’s $26 billion leveraged buyout of the Hilton hotel chain in 2007 is considered by some to be the most profitable of all time, and Blackstone is now “the largest owner of real estate in the world,” according to Schwarzman. Blackstone has grown nearly four-fold since its 2007 IPO.
Schwarzman had a short but prosperous career with investment bank Lehman Brothers before leaving in 1985 to start Blackstone with ousted Lehman CEO Peter Peterson. They opened shop with $400,000, but Schwarzman gained a reputation as savvy and lucrative dealmaker, and Blackstone grew into a juggernaut. In 2014 it generated a record $7.5 billion in revenue. Never satisfied, Schwarzman wants Blackstone to double in size in the next eight years. Schwarzman donated $150 million in May to build a student commons at Yale.
CARL ICAHN: Founder of Icahn Enterprises. Country: US.Age: 79. After a down year for his Icahn Capital Management in 2014, “activist investor” Carl Icahn bounced back with an 8.4% return in the first half of 2015. The market mover announced a new 7% stake in Xerox at the end of November that caused the company’s stock to jump as much as 10% in after-hours trading. Icahn’s keen interest in the photocopy company became a pivotal point in the company’s recent market movement, as Xerox shares had fallen about 22% in the year up to that point.
It was similar with Apple as well: When Icahn revealed — on Twitter, no less — that he has a stake in the company worth more than $1 billion, Apple stock shot up after its own slump the year before. His lengthy letter to Tim Cook forced Apple’s CEO to respond to the large shareholder.
Icahn has a history “taking large stakes in companies and pushing for management change,” according to a Reuters article that revealed that Icahn had also swapped his eBay shares for PayPal shares after a push on his part to get eBay to spin off PayPal (which worked).
Even more power could be in Icahn’s future in the way of a political position: Donald Trump had stated that if elected president, he would bring Icahn in as treasury secretary — a position which Icahn said he would accept.
RAY DALIO: Founder of Bridgewater Associates. Country: US.Age: 66. Dalio’s hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, is the biggest in the world, managing a near-$160 billion portfolio, and Dalio himself is worth at least $11 billion.
Such money is just part of what fuels his power; since being named to TIME magazine’s 2012 list of the most influential people in the world, his “investment secrets” have become highly coveted, and last year he shared them in an unorthodox manner for a hedge funder: in a 30-minute YouTube video, which has been watched more than 2 million times. His 123-page, self-published manual on his principles of money management and leadership is also seen as somewhat of a bible among the investment world.
He’s always taken a radical approach to management, making everything he and his fund does completely transparent to employees. And it’s worked well for him: Bridgewater, while sometimes viewed as “cultish,” is one of the most coveted places to work on Wall Street. Dalio has said that he attributes his success, in part, to reminding himself that history repeats itself and keeping track of the decisions he’s made which didn’t work.
YNGVE SLYNGSTAD: CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management .Country: Norway . Age: 53. At the helm of Norges Bank Investment Management, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund with $840 billion in assets, Yngve Slyngstad commands Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global, the biggest holder of stocks in the world. The CEO, who holds four master’s degrees, has overseen a number of global market fluctuations this year including currency swings and falls in oil commodity prices.
Slyngstad firmly believes in the fund’s investment strategy of investing about 60% in equities, 35% in fixed income, and 5% real estate — but lately he’s been angling to dip into the $20 trillion infrastructure market.
LLOYD BLANKFEIN : CEO of Goldman Sachs. Country: US .Age: 61. As the CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein oversees the company’s $880 billion in total assets. Goldman is one of the strongest banks on Wall Street, ranking in the top two (alongside rival JPMorgan) in global investment-bank revenue across fixed income, equities, and banks for the first nine months of the year.
With a personal net worth topping $1.1 billion, Blankfein officially became a billionaire this summer as well. Most of his wealth is tied up in Goldman stock, but the CEO also owns a significant amount of real estate, including a duplex on Central Park West.
In September, Blankfein announced that he is battling cancer — a “highly curable” form of lymphoma, as he described it — but the banker isn’t slowing down. Blankfein continues to run the company as usual, coming into the office every day and keeping GS on top of Wall Street.
DING XUEDONG : Chairman and CEO of China Investment Corporation .Country: China. Age: 55. As the chairman and CEO of China Investment Corporation, the world’s fourth-largest sovereign wealth fund, Ding Xuedong manages over $700 billion in assets. A longtime employee of China’s finance ministry, Ding was appointed as chairman in 2013, following the exit of Lou Jiwei months prior.
The fund, founded in 2007, oversees China’s foreign exchange holdings. CIC has branched out into countries all over the globe, from Canada to Russia to Australia, and in November it expressed interest in purchasing a development site near Sydney Olympic Park, a deal worth about $660 million.
In addition to managing CIC, Ding also oversees China International Capital Corp, a huge investment bank that went public in November — the first Chinese company to do so in months. China curbed IPOs during a market plunge, but CICC’s IPO built confidence that the market had stabilized.
GEORGE SOROS: Chairman ofSoros Fund Management and Open Society Foundations. Country: US Age: 85. Born in Budapest, George Soros lived through the Nazi occupation of Hungary during WWII before fleeing to England and later settling in the US. He remains actively interested in politics today and recently made news for supporting the refugees flooding into Europe, a move Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban saw as an attempt to undermine the authority of European nations. Soros is also seen as a friend to liberals and an enemy of conservatives in the US, and he donated $2 million to super PACs supporting Hillary Clinton earlier this year.
Touted as “the man who broke the bank of England,” Soros is best known in the finance world for the Quantum Fund, a hedge fund he launched in 1973 under his Soros Fund Management company. In 1992 he shorted the British pound, a risky move that ended up earning the fund $1 billion in a single day and solidifying Soros’ place in finance. Quantum Fund also generated annual returns over 30% under Soros’ leadership, making it one of the most successful hedge funds of all time.
Today, Soros, who has a personal net worth upwards of at least $23.3 billion, remains chairman of Soros Fund Management, which manages more than $25 billion in assets. He’s also the chairman of Open Society, an organization he founded in 1979 that operates as a network of foundations and partners across the globe who promote the values of open society and human rights.-Asfar