Top 10 Most Successful Bankers of All Time

Author:     Monday, February 24, 2014 12:00 AM

Some of the most successful bankers in history have become so famous that their names are synonymous with banking. JP Morgan and Charles Merrill, for example, are well known in circles outside of the banking industry among individuals who might not realize these are actual people. Here are 10 of the most successful bankers of all time.

Mayer and Nathan Rothschild

Father Mayer Rothschild created a banking system for Jews in the ghettos of Germany. In doing so, he established a system that would be carried on by his son Nathan, which pioneered international finance. Furthermore, Nathan established a centralized banking system for Europe that allowed the Industrial Revolution to begin in the 20th century.

JP Morgan

Morgan was part of the Industrial Revolution of the 20th century, which revolutionized banking thanks to the influx of money that came from steel and manufacturing. When New York banks were on the verge of financial ruin in 1907 he personally stepped up to the plate and saved them.

Paul Warburg

Warburg was involved in establishing a banking system in the US post Industrial Revolution. He used his knowledge of the European central banking system started by the Rothschilds to help design the US Federal Reserve.

Amadeo P. Giannini

As a Wall Street banker, Giannini revolutionized this financial mecca from an elitist institution to one that catered to the little guy. At one point Giannini went into retirement only to be replaced by a despoiler who attempted to reverse the democratization of Wall Street. The man was quickly replaced by Giannini who held onto the democratization of this banking institution.

Charles Merrill

Carrying on the democratic ideology of Giannini on Wall Street, Merrill believed in the people's capitalism. He took this concept to the next level by writing the Ten Commandments of banking in 1949. The commandments include several notations regarding disclosure of interest and having advanced notice of a firm's security sells—which are still used to guide banking today.

Ken Moelis

As one of the prominent bankers of the '90s, Moelis was president of UBS Investment Bank, which achieved a Top 4 ranking in the global market under his leadership. He was named one of the 50 Most Influential People of 2011 by Bloomberg Markets Magazine.

Bruce Wasserstein

A Harvard Business and Harvard Law School graduate, Wasserstein was a powerful and influential banker in his time. Before his death in 2009, he was involved in $250 billion of transactions in the mergers and acquisitions.

Bryon D. Trott

One of the candidates to succeed Warren Buffett is Trott, an American Banker and vice chairman of Investment Banking over at Goldman Sachs. Trott is known in Buffett's circle as the only banker he can trust.

Frank Quattrone

As an investment banker, Quattrone is responsible for establishing the technology sector franchises of several banking institutions including Morgan Stanley. It was Quattrone who saw the benefit of the tech boom for investing, and he assisted with helping go public.

Felix Rohatyn

As the former Ambassador to France, Rohatyn is one of the most prominent American bankers of the 20th century. He had a helping hand in prevention of the 1970s bankruptcy of New York City.

Source: BFI