Who Is the Most Powerful Person in the Finance Industry?

Finally… Friday And DeFrancesco in NYC, and we’ve got an update on the “cocaine hippos.”

First, I need your help. I’m collecting readers’ questions that I’ll answer in next Friday’s newsletter (A mail bag? For a newsletter? Groundbreaking.) So if you’ve got Wall Street-related questions, submit them here.

Also, we’ve got a big people move. Merrill Lynch Wealth Management President Andy Sieg is leaving the firm to lead rival Citi’s wealth business. Meanwhile, Lindsay Hans and Eric Schimpf are taking over as co-heads. Read more about Hans and Schimpf here.

Friday fun facts: The concrete used in ancient Rome is actually stronger than the stuff we use today. Here’s why.

Today, we’ve got stories on the latest on what’s going on at Quinn Emanuel, M&A league tables through the start of the year, and a very expensive workout routine.

But first, there can be only one!

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Jamie Dimon on a blue circle

Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Time; Insiders

1. Who holds the keys to the kingdom?

Finance is a game of ups and downs. From share prices to bank accounts to assets under management, the business amounts to numbers rising and falling.

But it’s not just numbers. The power held by key executives is a fluid situation, and one that can change at the drop of a hat. One day you’re navigating the takeover of your biggest rival, the next you’re looking for a new job.

Insider’s Carter Johnson has a story on one executive whose profile continues to rise: Jamie Dimon. The latest banking crisis has provided yet another opportunity for Dimon to swoop in as Wall Street’s knight in shining armor, and bolster his legacy.

Carter’s story got me thinking: Who’s the most powerful person in finance?

Jamie Dimon: Let’s start with the JPMorgan CEO. When you run the largest bank in the world’s biggest economy, you can all but guarantee a spot on this list. Dimon has long been the world’s most visible banker, but the recent banking crisis solidified that position, as Carter’s story details.

Ken Griffins: I’ve made the case in the past for Griffin being the top dog in finance. Let’s recap: He founded one of the most powerful hedge funds and trading firms in the world, Citadel and Citadel Securities, respectively. He made the most money of any hedge fund manager in 2022. He’s the richest person in finance, per Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. Oh, and he’s looking to influence politics too!

Jerome Powell: It’s only fair to throw one regulator in the mix. With all due respect to Gary Gensler and Janet Yellen, this is a no-brainer. Powell’s decision to raise rates over the past year has had the single greatest impact on the wider markets. Don’t believe me? Go ask SVB.

Larry Fink: When you run the world’s largest asset manager, you need to be in consideration. Fink’s the poster child for ESG, for better or for worse. In addition to the trillions of dollars his firm manages, he’s also built a powerful consulting arm. Fink’s so powerful it’s contagious! Even working alongside him can supercharge your career. It’ll be interesting to see who tries to fill in those shoes when he steps down. (If you have some thoughts, let Insider’s Rebecca Ungarino know.)

Warren Buffett: Before you jump down my throat, realize this is a list of the most powerful people in finance not on Wall Street. While Buffett may not have the Street cred of the others on this list, he has something equally important: the ear of the people. Average Americans won’t recognize most of these names, but they all know who Buffett is. That type of influence, while not evident on league tables or AUM, greatly matters. (He also had a cameo in “The Office,” so there is that.)

What do you think? Place your vote here — or someone else’s name — for who you think is the most powerful person in finance.

Click here to read more about how Jamie Dimon’s legacy could be defined by his handling of the latest crises.

In other news:

pain and gain paramount pictures

Paramount Pictures

2. What’s next at the world’s “most feared law firm?” Check out this fascinating story on the shake-up at Quinn Emanuel, the world’s largest litigation firm. John Quinn, the firm’s founder and a legendary attorney in his own right, discusses the recent shift in power at the firm. Here’s what’s next for one of the pillars of Big Law.

3. Office buildings aren’t in trouble… unless they’re really outdated. Whether by choice or by force, people are coming back into the office. But the time spent working from home has raised expectations. That’s bad news for office buildings that need an upgrade. Meanwhile, one group hoping office buildings figure it out: banks. Here are 20 firms with some big exposure to property debt.

4. Companies people actually like working for. Workplace review site Comparably has released its rankings for the best companies to work at in the New York and San Francisco metropolitan areas. Neither cities’ lists had a strong showing from finance, but it’s still worth checking out. Here are the top 25 in NYC, and the top companies in the Bay Area.

5. They’re always watching. A recent survey found 96% (!) of companies whose workforce is either mostly WFH or hybrid uses software to monitor employees’ productivity. (Good thing reading 10 Things on Wall Street is approved by all companies.) More on how your boss is probably watching you right now.

6. M&A league tables for Q1. The latest rankings are in for the top advisory firms through the start of the year, and there are some surprising entrants towards the top, the Financial Times reports. Check out the entire list here.

7. The average banker’s bonus in New York this year was only $176,700. The industry saw roughly a 26% drop in average bonus size compared to last year, Bloomberg reports. One wonders how they’ll survive. More on the plight of the banker.

8. Oh, Wells Fargo. Not again! The bank was hit with a nearly $100 million fine for letting a foreign bank make prohibited transactions, The Wall Street Journal reports.

9. This is why your Uber rating sucks. Uber drivers explained why users might have lower ratings than they expected. Why everything from leaving crumbs in the backseat (understandable) to loud friends (really?!) could end up knocking you down. Find out what’s keeping you from a perfect 5-star rating.

10. Meet NYC’s “hardest, most expensive workout class.” Few things seem to bring Wall Streeters more joy than paying an absurd amount of money to get yelled at while working out. Here’s 54D, a fitness studio that’s all the rage, according to the New York Post. Read more about the $5,400 workout routine.

Curated by Dan DeFrancesco in New York. Feedback or tips? Email [email protected], tweet @dandefrancesco, or connect on LinkedIn. Edited by Jeffrey Cane (tweet @jeffrey_cane) in New York and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.