The Global Finance 600: The World's Most Powerful Financial Players

Global Finance, September 1998 | Go to article overview

The Global Finance 600: The World's Most Powerful Financial Players


GERMANY

Josef Ackermann

Ackermann, 50, who quit Credit Suisse two years ago to join Deutsche Bank's Vorstand, presses for central control of investment banking. In the January management reshuffle, he garnered responsibility for all trading activities-and seems to be gaining on main rival Ronaldo Hermann Schmitz, 60, who oversees the bank's underperforming investment banking business.

INDONESIA

Nienie Narwastu Admadjaja

Founded in 1956, Bank Danamon didn't become a major player until Nienie Narwastu Admadjaja, sister of bank chairman Usman Admadjaja, took the helm in the late 1980s. Nienie and Usman recently pushed Bank Danamon into a powerful syndicate with cigarette tycoon Putera Sampoerna, Anthony Salim, timber tycoon Prajogo Pangestu, and Suharto golf partner Bob Hasan to control giant auto assembler Astra.

ITALY

Giovanni Agnelli

Former Fiat boss Gianni Agnelli, 76, still exercises great influence as patriarch of Italy's leading industrial family. With the passing of the postwar generation, however, his alliance with Mediobanca's Enrico Cuccia is no longer so central to Italian finance. Younger brother Umberto increasingly decides family strategy.The hiring of General Electric's Paolo Fresco to guide Fiat looks like a brilliant stroke to instill fresh thinking.

ITALY

Umberto Agnelli

Gianni's younger brother, Umberto, 64, runs family investment companies IFI and IFIL. When Mediobanca's Enrico Cuccia thwarted his bid for Fiat's top job, he shifted his banking allegiance to Luigi Arcuti at IMI-a move that helped open Italian investment banking to competition. But the death of his son, Giovanni Antonio, of cancer in December, was a terrible blow. The young Giovanni was expected to succeed Cesare Romiti, who got the Fiat post instead of Umberto.

SPAIN

Claudio Aguirre

Goldman Sachs's advisory business dropped and Merrill Lynch's soared when Aguirre moved over to head Merrill's Madrid operation. Considered Spain's best international investment banker,Aguirre has been in on virtually every international Spanish M&A, privatization, and IPO deal of recent years.

INDIA

Montek Singh Ahluwalia

Foreign executives know that to get things done in India you have to talk with Ahluwalia, who is the finance ministry's permanent secretary and India's most powerful bureaucrat. Formerly with the World Bank,Ahluwalia, 55, has held his post for 12 years and supports financial liberalization as long as it's gradual and preserves India's convoluted legal system-that is, as tong as it keeps him in power.

RUSSIA

Vagit Alekperov

Alekperov 49, headed the old Soviet energy ministry and now controls Lukoil, Russia's largest integrated oil company, which he assembled from Soviet reserves and refineries when communism collapsed.Alekperov holds the high cards in the Caspian oil rush. He teamed with Oneximbank,s Vladimir Potanin to bid on the privatization of Rosneft but backed away when falling oil prices made the Kremlin's starting price too high.

SPAIN

Cesar Alierta

Brought in last year by the government to oversee the privatization of Tabacalera,Alierta is buying the biggest US cigar distributor and a raft of companies in Latin America. He won his stripes running capital markets at Urquigo, an investment bank bought by Banco Central Hispano americano. Alierta then made his fortune by starting Beta Capital, an asset manager and stock broker that he sold to ABN-AMRO.

UNITED STATES

Herbert A. Allen

Allen, 58, runs secretive New York investment house Allen & Company Son of the late investment banker Herbert Allen and nephew of legendary investor Charlie Allen, he is probably Hollywood's top dealmaker. His Sun Valley weekend retreats are a must for the biggest wheeler-dealers in US entertainment.

UNITED STATES

Paul G. …

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