Meet Some of Europe's Top Financiers

Leda Braga

Photo: checkfundmanager.net

All eyes have been on Europe recently, as the Eurozone debt crisis has become a never-ending debacle of power struggles and intrigue between some of Europe’s most powerful officials.But they shouldn’t get all the attention.

European financial firms – banks, hedge funds, private equity, etc – rank among some of the best and most influential in the world.

We rounded up some of the most interesting executives and other financiers from Europe’s financial industry – it’s a pretty varied list, including a hedge fund manager from a line of Russian nobles, an American (guess who!) and a female fund manager who’s up 12% YTD.

Michael Hintze

Name: Michael Hintze

Company: Founder of Convertible & Quantitative Strategies (CQS) Management (hedge fund)

European HQ: London

Year Founded: 1999

Background: He has a Harvard MBA, and has worked for Saloman Brothers and Goldman Sachs before starting his own hedge fund.

Street Cred: Last year, four of his funds saw returns from 7% to 27%.

Fun fact: He's REALLY cool - Hintze is descended from Russian nobility and was born in China. He was raised in Australia and is an ex-Australian army captain. He's also an extremely well-known philanthropist in the UK.

Source: Forbes, The Telegraph, BI

Dominique Senequier

Name: Dominique Senequier

Company: CEO of AXA Private Equity

European HQ: Paris

Year Founded: 1996

Background: She's been in PE for a while, some refer to her as one of the few private equity queens.

Street Cred: Senequier's firm has over $25 billion in AUM. Her fund has bought a $1.8 billion investment portfolio from Bank of America and $1.7 billion portfolio from Citigroup.

Fun fact: She matriculated at France's Ecole Polytechnique in 1972, the first year the school let women attend.

Source: Forbes

Alfredo Sáenz Abad

Name: Alfredo Sáenz Abad

Company: CEO of Banco Santander (The Santander Group)

European HQ: Santander, Spain

Year Joined: 2002

Background: He used to be a managing director at Banco Central Hispano, which merged with Banco Santander Central Hispano to form the Santander Group.

Street Cred: The Santander Group was the most valuable Eurozone bank in Sept. 2010, with a market value of $104 billion.

Fun fact: His demand for efficiency is said to be a key to his success. He pushed for revamping the IT department at a previous company he worked for.

Source: Bloomberg, European CEO, FT

Peter Clarke

Name: Peter Clarke

Company: CEO of Man Group

European HQ: London

Year Joined: 1993, Group CEO in 2007

Background: Used to be an investment banker, worked at Citi.

Street Cred: Led the Man Group acquisition of GLG Group - a multi-billion dollar hedge fund run by former Goldman traders.

Fun fact: Man Group is one of the world's oldest financial firms - its hedge fund arm has over $69 billion in AUM.

Source: Man Group, Yahoo! Finance, Investment Europe

Leda Braga

Name: Leda Braga

Company: President of BlueCrest Capital Management

European HQ: London

Year Joined: 2001

Background: Braga has a Ph.D. in engineering and worked at JP Morgan before starting at BlueCrest.

Street Cred: She holds the title of female fund manager with the most assets under management ($8 billion) for her own portfolio.

Fun fact: Her quantitative BlueTrend Fund is up 12% YTD.

Source: Hedge Fund Journal, Texas Wall Street Women

Josef Ackermann

Name: Josef Ackermann

Company: CEO of Deutsche Bank

European HQ: Germany

Year Joined: 1996, CEO in 2009

Background: He has a PhD in economics.

Street Cred: He basically saved the German banking system from collapse in 2008 - when he arranged bankers to put up a €8.5 billion bailout.

Fun Fact: DB really likes him - the bank's board unanimously agreed to have Acerkmann in contract to stay CEO until 2013 after his leadership boosted the bank's performance.

Source: Deutsche Bank, Reuters, NYTimes

Alan Howard

Name: Alan Howard

Company: Co-Founder of Brevan Howard Asset Management

European HQ: London

Year Founded: 2002

Background: He used to be head of proprietary trading at Credit Suisse.

Street Cred: Brevan Howard has over $30 billion in AUM.

Fun fact: It is apparently extremely hard to get a photo of Howard.

Source: BI, TradersLog

Frédéric Oudéa

Name: Frédéric Oudéa

Company: CEO of Societe Generale

European HQ: Paris

Year Joined: 1995, CEO in 2008

Background: Before going into finance, Oudea worked for the French government for eight years.

Street Cred: He studied at the prestigious Polytechnique graduate school in France, the university is nicknamed 'X,' implying a ''nothing more to be said' level of confidence among France's rigorously trained elite.'

Fun fact: His interests include various sports and collecting art, he's a fan of 16th and 17th century Dutch and Flemish paintings.

Source: Bloomberg, Reuters

Bob Diamond

Name: Bob Diamond

Company: CEO of Barclays

European HQ: London

Year Joined: 1996, CEO in 2011

Background: He's worked at Morgan Stanley before, and was key in leading the purchase of parts of Lehman Brothers for Barclays during the financial crisis.

Street Cred: He's of the highest paid bankers in London.

Fun fact: Despite being head of London-based Barclays, Diamond is American - he's from Massachusetts and a Red Sox fan.

Source: Barclays, The Guardian

Stuart Gulliver

Name: Stuart Gulliver

Company: CEO of HSBC

European HQ: London

Year Joined: 1980, CEO in 2010

Background: Spent years in Hong Kong and later was in global markets at HSBC.

Street Cred: He was the highest paid banker at HSBC in 2009, before he was even CEO.

Fun fact: Gulliver was appointed CEO after an extensive 'internal struggle' amongst HSBC upper management that saw the departure of former head Mike Geoghegan - who had been at the bank for 37 years.

Source: The Guardian, WSJ

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