A solid builder of businesses who moonlights as a nightclub DJ, David Solomon took over as the chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. last October, nearly two decades after joining the company as a partner, rare for an outsider. Solomon has worked to lift the secrecy that fostered Goldman’s mythic status but wore thin after the financial crisis. He’s also hiring more women, as he also reduces the number of partners at the firm.
The 2019 Finance Power 50; 6 - 50
The 2019 Finance Power 50; 6 - 50
Leading one of the world’s most admired companies while also being named the top minority executive in the world? Priceless. Mastercard president and CEO since 2010, Ajay Banga is diversifying the Purchase, New York-based payments company, which employs nearly 15,000 people in dozens of countries. A native of India, Banga became a U.S. citizen in 2007, and he co-chairs the Partnership for New York City, which represents business interests in the city.
Few people in New York have backed the charter school movement as fervently as Daniel Loeb. The founder of hedge fund Third Point and antagonist of Mayor Bill de Blasio, Loeb steered Success Academy Charter Schools’ growth as its chairman before stepping down in May 2018. A prolific political fundraiser – he gave $1 million to charter-friendly New Yorkers for a Balanced Albany last year – he and his wife have given $170,000 to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
CEO of Morgan Stanley since 2010 and chairman since 2012, James Gorman steadied a bank that nearly toppled in the financial crisis and has been sought out by the New York political establishment for his counsel. Mayor Bill de Blasio visited Morgan Stanley in 2015 and Gov. Andrew Cuomo met with Gorman the previous year. More recently, Gorman warned the U.S.-China trade war could have a “devastating effect” on the global economy.
Wells Fargo recently announced the hiring of Charles Scharf as its new CEO, and he will take over on Oct. 21. A job The New York Times called “the hardest job in banking,” Wells Fargo hired Scharf to improve its tarnished reputation. The appointment of the former head of BNY Mellon and former Visa CEO ended the lender’s monthslong search to replace Tim Sloan, who abruptly stepped down in March.
A powerful voice in a male-dominated industry, Stacey Cunningham is the first woman to head the New York Stock Exchange in its 227-year history. Named president last year, she started out as a floor clerk in 1996 and had worked her way up to chief operating officer by 2015. She says she wants to create new types of financial listings and prioritize diversity. Cunningham earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Lehigh University.
President and CEO of Nasdaq, Adena Friedman is overseeing its transition into a multifaceted company that provides technology to other global exchanges. After a childhood of hanging out with her dad on the trading floor, Friedman joined Nasdaq in 1993, heading corporate strategy and then was named chief financial officer in 2009. She joined The Carlyle Group as its chief financial officer in 2011 and then came back to Nasdaq three years later.
As Bank of America’s New York state president, Jeffrey Barker oversees the company’s consumer operations. The former Barnes & Noble regional director helped Bank of America provide $1.2 billion in credit to small businesses in the state and another $60 million in grants and matching funds to local nonprofits. He also co-chairs an annual New York Yankees Homecoming Dinner, the proceeds of which support the baseball team’s foundation.
American Express chairman and CEO since early 2018, Stephen Squeri runs New York City’s 13th-largest employer and helped launched the “Don’t Live Life Without It” marketing campaign. In his previous role as vice chairman, Squeri melded disparate units into the company’s global commercial services group, which now accounts for 40% of spending by its members. Squeri has been with the company since 1985, and he earned two degrees from Manhattan College.
Leading Wells Fargo Multifamily Capital in New York, Alan Wiener specializes in large multifamily loans to landlords and developers. He came to Wells Fargo in 2009 when the bank bought Wachovia, which had acquired American Property Financing, founded by Wiener in 1992. A legal services lawyer early on, Wiener spent nine years in government, including as an assistant to then-New York City Mayor Abe Beame and deputy commissioner in the city’s housing department.
Executive vice president and eastern division executive for PNC Business Credit, W. Craig Stillwagon oversees teams handling new business development and managing relationships. He joined in 1997, after compiling more than 30 years in middle-market lending at Norwest Bank, CIT Business Credit and Marine Midland Bank, Stillwagon earned a bachelor’s degree from Denison University and finished his post-graduate work at the University of Nevada. He’s a member of the Association for Corporate Growth.
Chairwoman and CEO of CIT Group, Ellen Alemany left retirement to oversee a turnaround at the struggling but systemically important U.S. bank in 2016. Her more than 40 years in banking include stints at Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citizens Financial Group, from which she retired as chairman and CEO in 2013. Born and raised in the Bronx, Alemany earned an MBA from Fordham University and served on the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City board.
As chairman, president and CEO of New York Private Bank & Trust and its operating bank, Emigrant Bank, Howard Milstein runs the country’s largest privately owned, family-run bank and New York City’s oldest savings institution. Chairman of the state Thruway Authority for three years starting in 2011, the billionaire developer remains close to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, donating $220,000 to his 2018 reelection bid. The former co-owner of the New York Islanders now owns Golf Magazine.
As a 27-year-old new hire, René Jones had a chance lunchroom encounter with M&T Bank’s then-Chairman and CEO Robert Wilmers. Jones stayed with the bank another 27 years, and succeeded Wilmers when he died in December 2017. Jones has overseen major technological upgrades in recent years, while continuing a tradition of gathering the bank’s top 15 leaders every Tuesday. The bank posted $1.9 billion in profits last year.
A lawyer by training, Raymond McDaniel has led Moody’s since 2004 as the credit rating agency’s president and CEO. At Moody’s for decades, he faced a hostile crowd in 2010 on Capitol Hill, defending his firm’s role in the subprime mortgage crisis. While his counterparts at S&P Global and Fitch Ratings left their positions in the wake of the housing market collapse, McDaniel remained, diversifying Moody’s business to focus more on data and analytics.
As TD Bank’s regional president for the New York City metropolitan area, Andrew Bregenzer oversees all of its retail, consumer, commercial lending and government banking activities in New York City, northern New Jersey, Long Island, Westchester County and the lower Hudson Valley. With the bank since 2002, Bregenzer has led its New York office for three years. Under his watch, his bank invested $10 million last year toward low-interest loans for minority- and women-owned business enterprises.
Appointed CEO of Fitch Group in 2012, Paul Taylor had already been named president of Fitch Ratings in 2010, leading the rating agency’s presence in Europe and managing its major rating analytic groups. Taylor joined Fitch in 2000 after its merger with Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co., where he was executive vice president. The London-based Taylor also worked at Standard & Poor’s and Lloyds Bank, and holds a bachelor’s degree in management and marketing from Lancaster University.
Elected president and CEO of S&P Global in 2013, Douglas Peterson has since introduced several initiatives to combat gender inequality, telling CNBC he had to “take a stand.” Peterson joined the company two years earlier as president of Standard & Poor’s ratings services, after 26 years at Citigroup. Active in the World Economic Forum, he also serves on an advisory board for a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. committee.
After 30 years at Morgan Stanley, Paul Taubman struck out on his own, forming investment bank PJT Capital. The gamble paid off as The Blackstone Group spun off its advisory arm to join forces and create PJT Partners in 2015. Known as a good listener who puts people at ease, Taubman is the board president of New York Cares and serves as a vice chairman on the board of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
As president and CEO of Evercore, Ralph Schlosstein presides over one of the largest global independent investment banking firms. During his 10-year reign, Evercore has grown from an upstart boutique into a credible challenger to top global banks. A co-founder of BlackRock in 1988, Schlosstein gave economic advice to President Jimmy Carter and Congress in the 1970s. A fundraiser for prominent Democrats, he serves on the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ board of directors.
Appointed managing partner of Ernst & Young’s New York City office in 2018, Herb Engert leads more than 9,000 employees at the multinational professional services firm, one of the Big Four accounting firms. A proponent of mentorship and passionate about entrepreneurship, the self-described dog lover and foodie is active in the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, a nonprofit group devoted to training and educational programs for young people in low-income communities.
As manager partner of Deloitte’s New York practice, Steve Gallucci oversees the auditing and consulting giant’s business operations and its more than 5,000 workers in New York. At Deloitte for 27 years, Gallucci held leadership roles within the company’s national audit and risk advisory functions. On the national board of directors of the scholarship-granting Posse Foundation, Gallucci also chairs the organization’s local New York advisory board. He earned an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.
A former audit partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Kathryn Kaminsky is now among the highest-ranking women in accounting after taking over as the firm’s managing partner for the New York City metropolitan area in July. Responsible for managing a team of more than 11,000 tax and consulting professionals, Kaminsky hopes to advance women and diverse professionals at the firm, and she is a highly sought leadership mentor and a regular speaker on career development at universities and conferences.
As the managing partner of KPMG’s New York office for the past decade, Bob Garrett is responsible for the accounting firm’s performance and culture. With KPMG since 1986, he’s devoted to mentoring and advocating for diversity in the workforce, and this year pledged to work to help more women advance into leadership roles, particularly on corporate boards. A second-generation Irish American, Garrett belongs to the American Ireland Fund.
Chairman, president and CEO of Apple Bank since 2016, Steven Bush runs an institution that’s played a role in New York City and the surrounding area since 1863. Its 79 branches dot East Hampton, East Harlem, Staten Island and Westchester and Rockland counties. Bush joined Apple Bank in 1992 and had served as the bank’s chief operating officer. He previously worked at Chemical Bank as a vice president in the asset and liability management and finance divisions.
As KeyBank’s capital region market president, Ruth Mahoney oversees the retail bank in the Albany area, central to the employer of 2,600 people in New York state. Mahoney directly supervises more than 500 workers in 57 branches, and coordinates the work of another 500. Co-chairwoman of the Capital Region Economic Development Council, she’s helped bring in funding for area projects. Born in Ireland, Mahoney graduated from Marist College and joined KeyBank’s management associate program in 1991.
Joseph Ficalora started working at New York Community Bank as a teller when he was 18 and never left. Named president and CEO in 1993, he’s overseen the acquisition of several smaller banks throughout Queens and Long Island, including Atlantic Bank and Roosevelt Savings Bank. Ficalora also helped Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration launch a banking development district in Brentwood in 2014, while managing steady growth at his bank, which had assets exceeding $50 billion last year.
As president of Capital One’s commercial banking business, Michael Slocum runs multiple business lines, including commercial real estate and corporate banking. He’s also the bank’s Northeast regional president. Slocum joined Capital One after nearly two decades at Wachovia. A resident of New York City, he used to be a member of the board for the Jewish Museum and currently serves on the Roundabout Theatre Company board. Slocum graduated from Colgate University with an economics degree.
Working for Brooklyn’s Dime Community Bank since 1980, Kenneth Mahon has been president and CEO since 2017, the year after it dropped Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh as its name of more than 150 years. Mahon now oversees an operation with 29 branches in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Nassau and Suffolk counties. He serves on the board of Southside United HDFC, a nonprofit that advocates for affordable housing in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood.
As chairman, president and CEO of Ridgewood Savings Bank, Leonard Stekol runs the largest mutual savings bank in the state of New York, overseeing 35 branches through New York City, Long Island and Westchester County. At Ridgewood Savings Bank for a quarter century, Stekol took the helm in 2018, after serving as president and chief operating officer since 2016. The bank’s assets hit $5.5 billion in 2018, the highest level in its 98-year history.
Kevin Cummings left KPMG after 26 years to join Investors Bank in 2003, becoming its president and CEO in 2008, just months ahead of the financial crisis. Touted as the highest-paid bank CEO in the U.S. for drawing $20 million in total compensation in 2015, Cummings also serves on the board of the Scholarship Fund for Inner-City Children. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College and an MBA from Rutgers University.
President and CEO of Community Bank System since 2006, Mark Tryniski joined the commercial bank, based in DeWitt, a suburb of Syracuse, three years earlier. Previously a partner in the Syracuse office of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Tryniski spent 18 years working with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission registrants in banking and other industries. He’s active in the New York Bankers Association, the New York Business Development Corp. and SUNY Oswego, where he earned a bachelor’s degree.
Jack Kopnisky has led Sterling Bancorp and its subsidiary Sterling National Bank since 2011, overseeing the bank’s growth from $3.2 billion in assets to $32 billion last year. He previously served as CEO of SJB Escrow Corp., president and CEO of First Marblehead Corp. and president of consumer banking at KeyBank, among other roles. Kopnisky is on the boards of St. Thomas Aquinas College, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and the Westchester County Association.
Kevin O’Connor could teach seminars on how to handle job interviews. After applying for the chief financial officer position at what’s now called BNB Bank, he was offered the CEO job instead. President and CEO of the fast-growing community bank since 2008, O’Connor’s BNB Bank operates 45 branches in Long Island and the greater New York City metropolitan area. A Brooklyn native, O’Connor had been treasurer at North Fork Bank, where he spent 20 years.
As president and board member of First Republic Bank, Hafize Gaye Erkan oversees its investment portfolio and deposits and runs its operations in New York and Boston. She joined the bank in 2014 as chief investment officer and co-chief risk officer. Born and raised in Turkey, Erkan earned a scholarship to Princeton University, where she earned a doctorate. She then developed investment algorithms at Goldman Sachs. Erkan is a board member of the Partnership for New York City.
President and CEO of Tioga State Bank, Robert Fisher is a fifth-generation community banker who has helped his Spencer, New York-based institution expand to more than a dozen locations upstate. Active in the Independent Bankers Association of New York State, he also serves as vice chairman of the Independent Community Bankers of America. An ROTC scholarship student at the University of Notre Dame, Fisher’s stint in the Air Force included service in the first Gulf War.
Perhaps one of the first African American women to build submarines who then moved on to run a publicly traded financial institution, Suzanne Shank helped start Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co. LLC in 1996. As chairwoman and CEO, she’s overseen its growth from a startup into an investment banking firm that’s taken part in more than $2 trillion in transactions. A Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania graduate, she was an engineer at General Dynamics.
When the world’s currencies are standardized to Bitcoin, who will be laughing then? Former Fortress Investment Group hedge fund manager Michael Novogratz has been investing in cryptocurrency since 2013. His merchant bank Galaxy Digital lost $134 million in the first quarter of 2018 but gained $12.9 million in the first quarter this year. He’s also the chairman of the Hudson River Park board and backed Tiffany Cabán’s failed bid for Queens district attorney.
President, chief operating officer and a director at Fiserv, Frank Bisignano previously served as chairman and CEO of First Data, helping a turnaround that changed the payment processor into a technology and commerce firm. The Brooklyn native was co-chief operating officer and CEO of mortgage banking at JPMorgan Chase & Co., and held senior roles at Citigroup. Credited with supporting LGBTQ and female workers, Bisignano serves on the National September 11 Memorial & Museum board.
Bill Ackman is having a good year. Founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, the hedge fund manager and philanthropist oversaw a 45% rise in his fund’s value in the first half of this year. A fundraiser for Democrats like U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, Ackman has worked on improving mental health in New York City with first lady Chirlane McCray. Ackman earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
President and CEO of Accion, Michael Schlein came to the nonprofit that’s devoted to building a financially inclusive world in 2007. Initially a member of its board, Schlein took the helm in 2009. He previously worked at Citigroup and served as chief of staff at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed him as the chairman of the New York City Economic Development Corp. in 2014.
Steven Cohen is executive vice president, chief administrative officer and general counsel at MacAndrews & Forbes Inc., the investment company owned by billionaire investor Ronald Perelman. In private practice, Cohen has taken on complex commercial, criminal and regulatory cases. Before returning to the private sector in 2011, Cohen worked for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, starting in 2007 as the governor’s counselor, chief of staff and then secretary. He remains close to the governor.
Keun Taek Han founded NewBank in Queens’ Flushing neighborhood in 2006 as its president and CEO. Catering to the financial needs of minority small-business owners, Han’s community bank serves entrepreneurs in Korean, Chinese, Hispanic and Indian communities. He spent the previous decade as president, chairman and CEO of the Korean-owned Cho Hung Bank of New York. Han’s bank now operates five branches in New York City and New Jersey.
When bankers needs a voice in Albany, they turn to Michael Smith. President and CEO of the New York Bankers Association since 1989, the group’s members oversee $10 trillion in assets. Smith has worked to modernize the state’s banking system while weighing in on rate and fee deregulation, tax policy and interstate banking. His group also offers professional development across the state. Smith most recently got the banking “wild card” law extended through 2024.
As president and CEO of the Independent Bankers Association of New York State for the past five years, John Witkowski speaks for more than 60 independent community banks across the state. The former National Football League quarterback went into banking after football, serving as executive vice president and retail banking executive at Five Star Bank. In his current role, he’s worked on reducing regulations on community banks and deploying technology already in use at larger banks.