In finance experience is everything, but these people show you can be 18, 38, 68, or 108 and still be a powerhouse on Wall Street. From teen traders to veteran executives, we found the most powerful person in finance at every age. These big names are influencing budding businesses as well as macroeconomics. They make things happen in the finance industry.
To compile this list, we considered three factors. Those on this list are commanding money, making major business deals, and executing financial decisions that affect people or companies. Because of the nature of the industry, we began the list at age 16 and skipped wherever appropriate people for certain ages couldn’t be found. We also took into account the nominations that were submitted by Business Insider readers.
Did we miss anyone? Let us know in the comments!
Founder of Ducas Capital Management
What makes him powerful: Ducas began investing at 13, and started his own educational financial research company in 2013. He invests in several companies using private capital and writes articles on finance and economics. According to Ducas' bio, he has taught stock market basics to 1,700 students through his online course. He has more than 10,000 subscribers to his YouTube news show, The Young Informer.
Founder of Marchese Financial
What makes him powerful: Marchese bought his first stock at age 8 and has since appeared on BloombergTV, CNBC, Business Insider, and several other outlets. He founded his own platform for financial and economic commentary, Marchese Financial, which features blog posts, articles, and educational videos. The Canadian high-school student cofounded the Leaders Investment Club, a community organisation for teens who are interested in investing.
Proprietary Trader at FXWW and Contributing Editor at ForexTell
What makes him powerful: Cutkovic started trading on the foreign-exchange market when he was 14 and is a part of the prop trading program at FXWW, a network of professional traders in the interbank and hedge fund markets. He also writes regular market commentary for ForexTell.
Analyst at Yale Student Investment Group
What makes him powerful: Pigeon took his first training course at age 11 and has appeared on the Dallas News at Nine, the Martha Stewart Show, local CBS program Great Day Houston, Biz Kids on PBS, and MoneyTrack to discuss trading, finance, and his book. A first-year student at Yale, Pigeon also started the Black Box Trading Fund for high school students interested in investing.
What makes him powerful: Parker started studying stocks and economics at age 12 and currently trades out of his own account with a focus on super-performance stocks. He is a founding member of the Leaders Investment Club, a community for young traders and investors. Parker passed his Series 6 & 63 licensing exam last year, which allows him to sell packaged investment products such as mutual funds.
Venture Capital Associate at Alsop Louie Partners
What makes him powerful: Last year Banayan was featured in Fortune as the world's youngest venture capitalist. A student at the University of Southern California, Banayan said his VC duties include looking at pitches, meeting new startups, and reporting entrepreneurial trends.
Another powerful 21-year-old: Stephanie Weiner successfully led two deals as the founding partner of First Round Capital's Dorm Room Fund.
CEO of Clinkle
What makes him powerful: Stanford grad Duplan has raised over $US30 million for his secretive startup, Clinkle, a comprehensive mobile payments app. Although Duplan has been in the middle of company layoffs, bad PR, and quitting executives, Clinkle's latest $US25 million round was the largest early-stage investment in Silicon Valley history.
Senior Associate at Alsop Louis Partners
What makes her powerful: Fu joined Alsop Louis Partners in 2010 and closed her first deal two months later. She was featured on the cover of Forbes in August 2011 for being the youngest venture capitalist in Silicon Valley and now blogs for Forbes about social entrepreneurship.
Founder of SSB Research Group
What makes him powerful: While studying at the California Institute of Technology, Barnett started his own quantitative hedge fund, SSB Research Group, which now manages about $US115 million in assets. Barnett is studying for his doctorate at Northwestern University. He has a black belt in karate and is a nationally ranked tennis player.
Cofounder of Coinbase
What makes him powerful: Ehrsam is one of the cofounders of Coinbase, a digital wallet for Bitcoin, which has raised $US31.7 million in funding from prominent investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, and Ribbit Capital. Ehrsam previously worked as a trader at Goldman Sachs.
Founder and CEO of Yooli
What makes him powerful: In 2012 Liu founded Yooli, a peer-to-peer lending platform in China. He previously worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, both in London and Hong Kong, and TPG Capital in Beijing, dealing with transactions of more than $US3 billion.
Founder of Estimize
What makes him powerful: Drogan founded Estimize, which uses financial data to more accurately estimate company earnings. Estimize has over 3,700 contributing analysts and 22,000 registered members. He runs his own investment management firm, Surfview Capital.
Another powerful 27-year-old: Chris Paik, a partner at Thrive Capital, has been a major player in a series of important investments in startups like Zaarly and GroupMe.
CEO of Georgian Co-Investment Fund
What makes him powerful: The Georgian Co-Investment Fund, a $US6 billion private investment fund, was started in 2013 and is run by Bachiashvili. Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili backed the fund with $US1 million of his own, and Bachiashvili plans to invest the capital over the next five years to aid the country's economy.
Another powerful 28-year-old:Joshua Kushner founded his own venture capital firm, Thrive Capital; Eric Khrom founded his hedge fund Khrom Capital Management in 2008, which manages $US40 billion in assets.
Financial Assistant to Warren Buffett
What makes her powerful: At 29, Cool is a top trusted adviser to the legendary Warren Buffet at Berkshire Hathaway. She is responsible for overseeing subsidiaries with total sales of over $US4 billion, as well as over 10,000 employees.
Founder of Bowery Capital
What makes him powerful: Brown is the founder and former general partner of venture capital fund AOL Ventures. After leaving AOL Ventures, Brown started Bowery Capital in 2013, a $US30 million fund that invests in early-stage startups such as mParticle, Wizeline, and Codecademy.
Another powerful 30-year-old:Mike Rothenberg founded Rothenberg Ventures in 2012, which has early investments in several tech startups; Nikhil Kalghatgi, partner at
Vast Ventures, has also led several deals with his firm and holds board seats with about four startups.
Chief Financial Officer at Venmo
What makes him powerful: Kortina cofounded Venmo, a mobile app that allows people to pay each other quickly and securely. Venmo already channels as much volume in total dollar value of transactions as Starbucks' mobile payment app, and it took Venmo less than two years to do it. In 2012 Venmo was acquired by Braintree for $US26.2 million.
Managing Director at Lerer Ventures
What makes him powerful: Lerer and his $US60 million fund have invested in companies such as The Huffington Post, OMGPOP, Warby Parker, BuzzFeed, GroupMe, and Venmo. Lerer also started and runs his own national media company, Thrillist Media Group.
Disclosure: Lerer Ventures is also an investor in Business Insider.
CEO of Kushner Companies
What makes him powerful: Kushner took over Kushner Companies in 2008 after his father was arrested for tax evasion, illegal campaign donations, and witness tampering. Despite his premature start, Kushner grew the company to 750 employees and $US7 billion in assets. He also owns The New York Observer and is married to Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump.
Former Partner at Founders Fund
What makes him powerful: Parker spent eight years as a partner at Peter Thiel's Founders Fund before leaving earlier this year. As the cofounder of Napster and founding president of Facebook, Parker has a successful track record in entrepreneurship. He's an investor and board director for Spotify. His net worth is $US2.7 billion.
Managing Director of U.S. Acquisitions at Morgan Stanley
What makes her powerful: Silverman oversees $US4 billion in assets at Morgan Stanley and has helped execute more than $US3 billion in deals with her expertise in real-estate investing.
CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management
What makes him powerful: Brown cofounded Ritholtz Wealth Management with fellow financial blogger Barry Ritholtz, where he does financial planning and asset management. Brown is a contributor to several finance publications and runs a blog, The Reformed Broker.
Other powerful 37-year-olds: Bryan Harkins is an executive VP at BATS Global Markets, where he runs U.S. markets for the growing stock exchange; Thomas Farley is the successor to Duncan Niederauer and new CEO of the New York Stock Exchange.
Founder of Tiger Global Management
What makes him powerful: The world's youngest billionaire hedge funder, Coleman joined Tiger Global Management right out of college. He runs a $US6.3 billion hedge fund at the $US13 billion firm. His net worth, according to Forbes, is $US1.6 billion.
Another powerful 38-year-old:Mick McGuire is the founder of the $US2.2 billion Marcato Capital Management, and a protégé to famous investor Bill Ackman.
Chief of Staff to the Secretary of the Treasury
What makes him powerful: Weideman was named Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew's right-hand man in 2013, putting him in charge of day-to-day operations in both foreign and domestic economic matters. Weideman joined the Treasury Department in 2010 and has also worked closely with former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.
Other powerful 39-year-olds: Peter Wallace has worked at Blackstone Group since 1997 and is now senior managing director; Jacki Zehner, president of Women Moving Millions, was the first woman and youngest trader to become a partner at Goldman Sachs.
Chief Operating Officer at BlackRock
What makes him powerful: Goldstein joined BlackRock as an analyst 20 years ago, and helped the company grow into a firm with $US4.32 trillion in assets under management. Now he oversees day-to-day global business for the entire firm.
What makes her powerful: The oldest daughter of Angola's president, José Eduardo dos Santos, Isabel dos Santos owns large stakes in telecommunications, gas, oil, media, financial services, and a number of internet companies. She is Africa's richest woman, with a net worth of $US3.9 billion.
Codirector of Enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission
What makes him powerful: Ceresney joined the SEC as it planned to take on more complex cases and more litigation cases. Previously a member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force and Major Crimes Unit in New York, he handled cases of security fraud, mail, and wire fraud, and money laundering.
CFO and executive VP of JPMorgan
What makes her powerful: Lake is the Chief Financial Officer of the biggest bank on Wall Street. Her comments on what's going on at JPMorgan are considered must-reads as they are indicators of what's going on in the financial system at large. Lake became CFO and executive VP of JPMorgan in 2013 and is one of the most powerful women on Wall Street.
Another powerful 43-year-old:Martin Spitznagel of Universa Investments, the famously bearish investor known for making a killing by predicting the carnage of 2008.
Global Head of Real Estate at Blackstone
What makes him powerful: Since the financial crisis, private equity firms like Blackstone have been snapping up real estate left and right. As the global head of real estate at Blackstone Grey is a driving for and has been with the company since 1992. He's considered a contender to succeed Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman.
President and Founder of Greenlight Capital
What makes him powerful: When Einhorn speaks, stocks move. As one of the most influential hedge fund managers on Wall Street, Einhorn began his own hedge fund, Greenlight Capital, with less than $US1 million assets under management. Today it has $US8 billion. With a net worth of $US1.6 billion, Einhorn is known for his short calls on Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Allied Capital, and Lehman Brothers.
Russian Businessman and Oligarch
What makes him powerful: With a net worth of $US9.4 billion, Abramovich started making his fortune in oil exports, then diversified his investments to include steel, startups, and other businesses. He owns the world's largest yacht and the U.K.'s Chelsea Football Club and has a global real-estate portfolio.
CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management LP
What makes him powerful: Ackman runs his own $US13.7 billion hedge fund and has a net worth of $1.5 billion. He's known for his long positions and aggressive activist strategy in companies, having taken over J.C. Penney, Canadian Pacific, and Proctor and Gamble; most recently, he attempted to take over Allergan Inc as well.
Owner of Ellevate Network
What makes her powerful: Krawcheck bought women's professional network 85 Broads in 2013, changing its name to Ellevate and its focus to investing in ethnically and gender-diverse companies. The fund will be the first and only mutual fund in the U.S. to invest 'in the highest-rated companies in the world in advancing women's leadership,' according to the fund's new website. Krawcheck previously headed wealth management divisions for both Bank of America and Citigroup.
Cofounder of Maverick Capital
What makes him powerful: Ainslie launched his hedge fund at 28 and has since grown it from $US38 million to an estimated $US10 billion in assets under management. Ainslie previously worked under Julian Robertson and his legendary hedge fund, Tiger Management.
Another powerful 50-year-old: Frédéric Oudéa joined Société Générale in corporate banking in 1995 and was named CEO in 2008.
Managing Director of the World Bank Group
What makes her powerful: Before joining the World Bank in 2010, Indrawati was Indonesia's minister of finance and coordinating minister of economic affairs. Indrawati handles poverty reduction, economic management, and financial and private-sector developments.
Another powerful 51-year-old:Yngve Slyngstad, CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management, runs the asset management unit of the Norwegian central bank.
CEO and Founder of Third Point
What makes him powerful: Loeb founded his hedge fund, Third Point, in 1995. Today it manages $US14 billion in assets. An activist investor with a net worth of $2.2 billion, Loeb is also a trustee of the U.S. Olympic Committee, Mount Sinai Hospital, the Manhattan Institute, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
Another powerful 52-year-old: President Obama runs one of the most powerful nations in the world.
Founder of Avenue Capital Group
What makes him powerful: With a $1.7 billion net worth, Lasry has been investing in distressed assets for 30 years. He founded Avenue Capital Group in 1995, which manages over $US12 billion in assets.
Another powerful 53-year-old: From one of Spain's most prominent families, Ana Patricia Botín is the CEO of Santander UK, of the Spanish company Santander Group.
CEO of Bank of America
What makes him powerful: Moynihan was appointed CEO at Bank of America, one of the world's largest financial institutions, in 2010. After taking over, Moynihan has been tasked with turning around the banking giant and battling the aftermath of the financial crisis.
Other powerful 54-year-olds: Duncan Niederauer is the president of the IntercontinentalExchange Group and former CEO of the New York Stock Exchange; Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, is overseeing the bank's first large reorganization in almost 20 years; Xuedong Ding is the chairman of China Investment Group, a $575.2 billion sovereign wealth fund.
Entrepreneur and Investor
What makes him powerful: Cuban stars on ABC's 'Shark Tank' as a shark investor and holds the power to provide funding and guidance to aspiring entrepreneurs. He owns the Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatre, Magnolia Pictures, and HDNet. He has an estimated net worth of $2.6 billion.
Another powerful 55-year-old: Maria Ramos is the CEO of Absa Group Banks, South Africa's largest bank.
President and Founder of Kynkinos Associates
What makes him powerful: Chanos started his career as something of the child prodigy back in the 1980s, calling what was then the biggest corporate bankruptcy in American history, Baldwin Piano. He and his short-focused fund Kynikos Associates made waves again in 2001 when they accurately called that massive energy company Enron was a fraud. Chanos still moves markets when he speaks, and his fund is the largest short-focused fund in the world with around $4 billion assets under management.
Another powerful 56-year-old: As the president and Founder of Appaloosa Management, David Tepper has exhibited an impressive history for most of his career, but 2013 was his year, with returns of over 42%, outperforming many other hedge fund managers as well as the U.S. stock market itself.
Founder of Moore Capital Management
What makes him powerful: Bacon founded Moore Capital Management and has accumulated a personal net worth of $1.6 billion. In 2012, the fund returned $2 billion to investors after a difficult year. Bacon has numerous land holdings, including a ski resort in New Mexico and a ranch in Colorado.
CEO of JPMorgan Chase
What makes him powerful: Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, led the company and its $2.3 trillion in assets through the global financial crisis relatively unscathed.
Another powerful 58-year-old:Christine Lagarde is the first woman in charge of the International Monetary Fund
and has spent a lot of her time battling the debt crisis in Europe and encouraging ailing global economies to take necessary steps for growth.
Chancellor of Germany
What makes her powerful: Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, led the country though the euro crisis.
Another powerful 58-year-old:LloydBlankfein runs the extremely powerful investment bank, Goldman Sachs, with $938 billion in assets.
Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve
What makes him powerful: Bernanke may have retired from the Federal Reserve in January but that doesn't keep him from being an expert on Fed fund matters both present and future. Since moving on, Bernanke has joined the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank, and continues to share his wisdom at conferences.
President of China
What makes him powerful: Jinping is quickly earning the title of the most powerful Chinese leader in decades, ruling over 1.3 billion people. He has shown a unique willingness to change, with promises of economic reform. China is also the largest shareholder in U.S. debt, with about $US1.3 trillion in U.S. securities.
Another powerful 61-year-old: Larry Fink is the CEO and cofounder of BlackRock, a company with $3.8 trillion in assets.
JPMorgan Chase Vice Chairman and Cochairman of JPM's Investment Bank
What makes him powerful: Lee has earned the title of biggest dealmaker on Wall Street after his 30-plus years at JPMorgan. He has also been called the company's Trillion-Dollar Man by CEO Jamie Dimon. His work as a client person has resulted in countless invaluable deals for the firm.
Cofounder and CEO, MatlinPatterson
What makes him powerful: Patterson was born and educated in South Africa before earning his MBA at NYU and cofounding a multimillion-dollar private equity firm. MatlinPatterson was established with funding from Credit Suisse, where he previously worked. The CEO also races in his free time as a driver for United Autosports.
Former Chairwoman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
What makes her powerful: Walter dedicated over two decades of her career to the SEC before being appointed chairwoman by Obama in 2012. In February she was selected to join the Board of Directors of Occidental Petroleum Corporation. She has received many awards and honours for her services, including the Presidential Rank Award (Distinguished) and the SEC's Distinguished Service Award.
U.S. Senator for Massachusetts
What makes her powerful: Warren's actions may be controversial, but since her election in November 2012 she has done a lot for consumer financial protection. She has advocated for an updated Glass-Steagal Act and an improved Volcker Rule to restrict the profits that large banks can make off trading.
President of the European Central Bank
What makes him powerful: Draghi is the chief banker in control of nearly $US17 trillion across 17 countries. Born in Italy, he now balances the needs of the wide variety of countries in the eurozone and has even earned the nickname Super Mario for his successful tactics.
Another powerful 66-year-old: Mary Jo White is the chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission and was the first female U.S. attorney in Manhattan.
Federal Reserve Board Chair
What makes her powerful: Before her appointment, many people hadn't even heard of Yellen, who now has one of the most important policymaking roles in the world. Yellen is the 15th chair but the first woman to receive the job. She has already shown the scope of her influence as her announcements have direct effects on both boosting and dropping the stock market.
Cochairman and Cofounder of Evercore Partners
What makes him powerful: The founder of investment-banking advisory firm Evercore Partners has an impressive background, first as a partner at Lehman Brothers and then vice chairman at the Blackstone Group. He placed on our list of the 50 Most Respected People on Wall Street for his strong resume and political involvement as former U.S. deputy Treasury secretary.
Another powerful 68-year-old: David Booth is cofounder, chairman, and co-CEO of Dimensional Fund Advisors, which focuses on selling low-cost index funds.
Cofounder and Co-Chief Investment Officer of Pacific Investment Management
What makes him powerful: Gross may have a shaky reputation, but he still holds on to his place as the most powerful man in the bond market. PIMCO's former CEO allegedly left the firm because of his strenuous relationship with Gross, but the billionaire's management of the largest bond fund in the world keeps him in a high place of power.
Another powerful 70-year-old: Stanley Fischer is about to become vice president of the Federal Reserve, second to Janet Yellen.
Cofounder and Managing Partner of TPG Capital
What makes him powerful: TPG Capital has $US56 billion in assets under its management, and Bonderman himself is worth $2.7 billion. The company is in talks to go public like its rivals, but no concrete plans have been made. TPG has had major success with companies like Burger King, Continental Airlines, and the $US6 billion sale of Neiman Marcus.
Founder and owner of Bloomberg LP
What makes him powerful: Bloomberg's invention of the Bloomberg Terminal, an informative computer system, allowed him to serve as the mayor of New York for 12 years on a $US1 salary. Worth $34 billion, he is the 16th-richest man in the world. After completing a dozen years of service to the city at the end of 2013, he launched a consulting group, Bloomberg Associates, to help cities around the world improve life for their residents.
Executive Vice President of Koch Industries
What makes him powerful: Following Bloomberg both in age and wealth, Koch is the second-richest man in New York with an estimated net worth of $17.5 billion. The Koch Industries co-owner is philanthropic and highly involved in politics. He's even referred to as the Tea Party's Wallet for his supposed financial influence.
Honorary Chairman of América Móvil
What makes him powerful: The successful Telecom magnate has reigned for four years as the world's richest billionaire, and while Slim lost the spot this year, his net worth still stands at $71.1 billion.
Another powerful 74-year-old:Jorge Paulo Lemann is Brazil's wealthiest man, mainly from his shares of Anheuser-Busch InBev, but the investor also has a large stake in other American brands, recently acquiring both Heinz and Burger King.
Chairman of Safra Group
What makes him powerful: Safra has developed a banking empire with influences across the globe and tens of billions in assets. The Brazil resident has over $50 billion in assets at his largest bank, Banco Safra, which is Brazil's eighth-largest bank. His recent endeavour, Bank J. Safra Sarasin, resulted from the merger of Bank Sarasin, a private bank in Switzerland, with his other European banks.
Chairman and CEO of WL Ross & Co.
What makes him powerful: The billionaire investor is a private equity legend who knows exactly how to take a failing company, figure out its issues, and give it life again. His wealth was built on this practice, resolving bankruptcy for companies like Diamond S. Shipping.
Another powerful 76-year-old: Although retired, James Simons founded the billion-dollar hedge fund Renaissance Technologies.
Founder of Janus Capital Group
What makes him powerful: After moving from Wall Street to Denver, Bailey founded mutual fund giant Janus in 1969. Although he resigned and sold his stake in the firm in 2002, the company saw huge returns throughout his years.
Founder of Icahn Capital Management
What makes him powerful: Icahn is a veteran billionaire investor, known for the fact that he's not shy about saying exactly what's on his mind. Icahn is an activist investor who battles major corporate boards, buying stakes in public companies and urging certain reforms. This tactic with companies like Netflix, Herbalife, Apple, and, recently, eBay have helped bring his net worth to a whopping $US23.8 billion.
CEO and Founder of WR Hambrecht + Co.
What makes him powerful: Hambrecht cofounded Hambrecht & Quist before founding his second and current company in 1998. He's previously served as director of Motorola and AOL and has been involved in the IPOs of tech giants like Google, Apple, Amazon, and Adobe.
Professor Emeritus at Princeton University and Author of 'Thinking, Fast and Slow'
What makes him powerful: Kahneman won the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics and was also named to Bloomberg's list of the 50 Most Influential People in Global Finance this year. With an impressive psychology background, his book 'Thinking, Fast and Slow' focuses on behavioural economics and has been known to influence people in economics and finance.
Prime Minister of India
What makes him powerful: As prime minister, Singh has had major influence in developing India's economic and social-welfare reforms. He is an economist who was educated at Oxford and Cambridge.
Founder of Tiger Management
What makes him powerful: Though now retired, Robertson is a hedge fund vet who founded the extremely successful Tiger Management. He also has two charities, the Tiger Foundation and the Robertson Foundation, which have given over $US1 billion in grants to various causes from medical research to fighting poverty. With his own fund now closed, Robertson has been seeding other hedge funds and is working on a book.
CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
What makes him powerful: With a net worth of nearly $65.1 billion, Buffet has made, and continues to make, very impressive deals. Last year he and 3G Capital purchased the famous ketchup company H.J. Heinz for $US23.2 billion and invested in other companies like ExxonMobile. The Oracle of Omaha is also very philanthropic and cautious with his family money, making sure that his children grow up with the right values.
Founder and Chairman of Public Bank
What makes him powerful: Teh Hong Piow took Malaysia's Public Bank public in 1967, a year after its beginning. He has impressively and consistently produced returns of almost 20% a year to his company's shareholders.
Another powerful 84-year-old: Tsai Wan-Tsai is a billionaire investor who founded Fubon Group, one of Taiwan's biggest financial companies with $151 billion in assets.
Chairman of Hutchinson Whampoa
What makes him powerful: While Ka-shing is the richest man in Asia with a net worth of $35.1 billion, his success can't be easily measured by a number. His contributions to Hutchinson Whampoa have resulted in great wealth, but the investor continuously impresses with his sharp insights in tech developments. Ka-shing was an early investor in Facebook but all money made was given to his charity, the Li Ka-shing Foundation.
Founder and CEO of Deutsche Vermögensberatung
What makes him powerful: The German mutual fund heavyweight founded his own fund and turned it into a leading German finance company. Focusing on areas of finance, insurance, and banking in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, the company has about 6 million clients. The 86-year-old is still chairman and owns 48% of the firm, while his sons own the rest.
Business magnate and Chairman of BP Capital Management
What makes him powerful: The oil and gas tycoon is well known for his corporate raids against companies like Gulf Oil and Unocal. Recently, he has developed the Pickens Plan to urge the growth of wind, solar, and natural gas usage. Pickens isn't afraid to impart his wisdom, with a humorous Twitter presence and a novel, 'The First Billion Is the Hardest.'
What makes her powerful: Glasmeier is an advocate for the elderly, bringing attention to the financial mistreatment and scamming that often occurs in this age group. She wrote a proposed law that would require notaries to report any financial abuse they witnessed.
Vice Chairman, Berkshire Hathaway
What makes him powerful: The Harvard-educated 90-year-old met his business partner, Warren Buffet, in 1959. Berkshire Hathaway's continued success allows Munger to remain a billionaire while donating his shares to a huge variety of causes.
Chairman and Founder of Azrieli Group
What makes him powerful: Azrieli built his empire through real estate, with a global presence in Israel, Canada, and the U.S. He is often known as the grandfather of the shopping mall, with 13 Israeli shopping malls owned by the Azrieli Group. He owns various office buildings and has investments in water, oil, and energy distribution companies. Azrieli also donates hundreds of millions to charity through the Azrieli Foundation to causes like education and Holocaust commemoration.
Founder of Conglomerado Alfa
What makes him powerful: Faria inherited Banco Real from his father and ran it for years before selling to Dutch bank ABN Abro for $2.1 billion. He used these earnings to start Conglomerado Alfa, a holdings company that controls financial firms.
Founding Investor of Kleiner Perkins
What makes him powerful: Hillman's wealth originated from his inheritance of the Pittsburgh Coke & Chemical fortune from his father but grew when he invested in various real-estate, private equity, and venture-capital projects. Hillman has contributed millions to successful startups, playing a major role in companies like AOL, Google, and Citrix.
Founder of MGM Resorts International
What makes him powerful: Kerkorian continues to increase his net worth, which hovers around $4.5 billion, even at the age of 97. While he stepped down in 2011 as director of MGM Resorts International and sold $US750 million in shares, he still owns a fifth of its shares. The company is the largest casino operator on the Las Vegas strip, with properties including the Bellagio, the Mirage, and the MGM Grand.
Former chairman and CEO of Chase National Bank
What makes him powerful: The Rockefellers have been a symbol of American status and family money for decades, and David Rockefeller Sr. is the only living grandchild of the Standard Oil founder. He retired as chairman and CEO of Chase in 1981 and is worth $3 billion. He now focuses his money and energy on contributing to the arts, philanthropy, and international relations.
Investor and Founder of Kahn Brothers
What makes him powerful: At 108, Kahn has more years of experience than almost any other investment banker out there. He continues to work part-time at Kahn Brothers, the small family investment firm he founded. Good genes are in his blood -- his brother is 106 and his sister lived to 110.