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The 20 Richest Investment Bankers in the World


Investment banking is among few areas that have attracted top brains across the world, and most of those who have invested in this career have emerged with massive success. However, you have to note that it takes a lot of work to build a profile as good as that of already successful investment bankers. 

Often times an investment banker will start as an analyst and work up to 120 hours a week for their first few years.  And even if they achieve the coveted level of Managing Director, the hours aren't all that better if they want to be one of the top producers in the business.

We all want money, but to achieve the amounts claimed by top investment bankers you need quite the effort, which is also not to mean this is unachievable. Few people have proved that indeed, you can be among the richest people on earth by working in this industry.

Here are 20 of the richest investment bankers (in no particular order) in the world that you can learn from.

1. Nathaniel Rothschild (Net worth: $5 billion)

You cannot come up with a list of the richest people without finding a slot for a Rothschild. This is a family that traces its lineage to the 1700s while they lived in Germany and their area has been largely banking.

It is said the dynasty claims a total net worth of more than one trillion dollars, which is some kind of money not so easy to visualize. After dealing with money and learning from his family, Nathaniel Rothschild is one of the most accomplished investment bankers around with a net worth of more than five billion dollars.

He boasts of a skill in investment banking that helps him to convert millions of dollars into billions, something that has placed him among the most successful investment bankers we have around.

2. Ken Griffin (Net worth: $8.6 billion)

Ken Griffin has been managing assets with Citadel and his net worth is estimated around $7.6 billion. He has helped to build a diverse fund pool, which makes part of one of the most competitive investment banks across the U.S.

He oversees assets amounting to more than $25 billion and his success has been as a result of ensuring all the transactions he initiate lead to successful endings that benefit both the firm and clients. His efficiency and tactfulness has seen Citadel attract more investors.

3. Ihor Kolomoyskyi (Net worth: 1.47 billion)

From Ukraine, you will find Ihor Kolomoyskyi, one of the richest individuals in the country. Before the land war that rocked his country, he was wealthier but even after losing millions, his wealth remained unshaken and is now one of the richest investment bankers you can find around. According to his profile, most of the wealth he boasts was sourced through his investment bank, Provatebank.

Ihor Kolomoyskyi is among post-soviet oligarchs who came up during the transition of Ukraine to a market-based economy, and in this period he gained a lot of wealth that gave him a base on which to initiate his goal of becoming a wealthy partner in investment banking. He benefited a lot from the connections he made with some government leaders. Although some people see him as being corrupt because he worked with the government then, he has worked hard to keep his wealth hovering at above one billion dollars

4. Andre Esteves (Net worth: 2.5 billion)

Andre Esteves has a background in computer science. He is among the most aggressive investors and players in the investment banking world you might want to know about. Many who know him personally understand that he is a workaholic and his life has been about trading and capturing opportunities in the markets.

He started his career with working at Pactual at the foreign debt division of the company and in this position he was able to establish himself as a professional who was smart and committed to working on various tasks.

Due to his ambition and success at different levels, the company made him a partner in 1992 when he made a 59% return on capital. He later left and created BTG, which worked as a globally-positioned investment company. He has been continually creating wealth using his already acquired assets and wealth, but he has also been supporting various philanthropic foundations.

5. Jorge Paulo Lemann (Net worth: 30.8 billion)

Jorge is on record as the richest Brazilian in the world. He is the son of an immigrant of Swedish origin who enjoyed a humble beginning as his father worked as a dairy manufacturer. Jorge worked and lived in Switzerland before be migrated to Brazil in early 70s to launch an investment bank.

His new firm, called Banco Garantia, would soon grow to become a prestigious employer in the country. He later sold it in 1998 making a whooping $675 million.

This gave him another chance to establish Ambuev, an equity firm that effectively controlled the beer market across South America. The company entered into a merger with Interweb from the European market, and this shift made Lemann a new king in the beer industry.

6. Joseph Safra (Net worth: 21.8 billion)

Joseph Safra is a Brazilian investment banker who also holds a huge stake in running the banking industry of Brazil. He chairs several Safra companies including Bano Safra and the Safra National Bank.

Born in Alepo, Syria, Safra grew up in a family that enjoyed connections in the banking industry. In 1952, his family relocated to Brazil and his father began working as a banking professional in the country.

In 1955, Joseph established Banco Safra, which today stands as the 6th largest bank in Brazil. He also worked as an investment banker and his influence was felt across North America, Europe and South America. He owns the largest shares in Safra Group Companies and his wealth portfolio has continually been growing.

7. Petr Kellner (Net worth: $14.2 billion)

Petr Kellner is a business figure and investment banker who owns several businesses in Czech and abroad. His current estimated wealth hovers around $11.4 billion, and this makes him the richest person in Czech.

He made most of his wealth from managing portfolios with the most significant being the purchasing of a 20 percent stake in Ceska pojistovna, which he took part in managing. He also bought majority shares in Komercini banka and these transactions came with a huge profit overlay that gave him a platform on which to launch his businesses.

He has interest in businesses in the banking sector as well as transportation. Kellner has kept his wealth growing by focusing on high-stake transactions in the business world, and most of these have included acquiring shares in companies that have a promising future.

8. James Lee Jr (Net worth: $185 million)

Jimmy Lee Jr worked in investment banking and built a fortune that has amounted to over $185 million over the years he served in the industry. He was popularly known for coming up with solutions for leveraged finance markets across the United States.

His career in investment banking began in 1975 and continued to rise as he worked with the Chemical Merchant’s Bank based in Australia. After this position he shifted to the United States where he established a bank by the name Chase Manhattan Bank.

He also ran an investment bank within the institution until the time it was acquired by J.P Morgan in 2001. He was one of the most respected strategists in the investment banking scene as he provided solutions that not only helped him reap well, but also ensured his clients earned awesome profits.

9. Roger Altman (Net worth: $180 million)

Born in 1946, Roger Altman is a successful American investment banker who is also the founder of Evercore. He formerly was a Democratic politician and he also served as an assistant of the Carter administration secretary. In 1995, Roger Altman co-established Evercore, a firm that would operate as an independent investment banking institution.

He currently chairs the firm, which has been his biggest source of wealth. This is a major firm in the investment banking scene and with its presence in the market it has transacted more than $14 bullion, which includes assets under management.

The investment banking advisory arm of the firm boasts of total announced transactions amounting to $1.5 trillion. With the input of Roger, the firm has worked with leading companies including General Motors. He is among the most influential leaders in the U.S. and across the world, so his success is not only in the investment banking sector.

10. Gary Kohn (Net worth: $266 million)

Gary Kohn currently works as the chief economic advisor of President Donald Trump. Before this, he worked at Goldman Sachs as the Chief Operating Officer, a position he held between 2006 and 2017.

His career in investment banking began when he joined Goldman Sachs in 1990. After working at the firm for six years, he was elevated to serve as the head of commodities department. He took part in key transactions that earned him good commissions and that also drove up his compensation as an investment banker working with the firm.

His salary at the firm in 2014 was $22 million and in 2015 he was paid $21 million. In addition to these good packages, he was issued a severance package of $285 million by Goldman Sachs before he left. Apart from excelling as an investment banker, Gary Cohn has also been supporting various philanthropic causes.

11. Anshu Jain ($60 million)

Anshu Jain is among individuals who engineered the transformation of Deutsche Bank to make it a powerhouse with influence globally. He succeeded CEO Josef Ackermann and his input has helped steer the firm to greater heights.

Anshu has transacted billions for the group and his involvement in its growth has also come with awesome rewards. As an investment banker, he has been taking part in key strategy meetings that have helped to transform the public service agenda of the firm to make it one of the most successful across the world.

He is among the youngest leaders in the financial markets. In 2010, he made more than $12 million, which was higher than that of the previous CEO Josef Ackermann who only made about $9 million. He has also committed part of his effort in philanthropy and this saw him get an award in 2005 for his contribution.

12. Sergio Ermotti (Net worth: $400 million)

Sergio Ermotti is a Swiss investment banker who is the CEO of the UBS Group serving since 2011. As part of restructuring in the company, they appointed Sergio the CEO of the new Group AG. With his skills in investment banking, he helped shrink the investment bank portfolio of the company in a bid to cut costs to help it get out of the challenges it was facing then.

He took over when the company was facing severe challenges and through key effort he has helped to transform it to a successful entity. In 2016, his salary reached $13.9 million and he has continually been working to give the company the best support to take it to higher heights.

His involvement in management has shaped the UBS Group and is helping to offset some of the challenges that necessitated restructuring back in 2011. He is among people in investment banking whose future is to watch.

13. Lawrence D. Fink (Net worth: 1.27 billion)

Lawrence Fink is a financial executive who has interest in financial banking. He founded BlackRock and he has worked to transform the company into the biggest investor across the world. BlackRock manages about $4.6 trillion from various sources in the form of assets.

The money management firm he chairs has continued to grow and his input has been a factor that has helped bolster the growth of different portfolios placed under the firm.

Fink has overseen several mergers with one of the most significant being the 2006 merger with Marrill Lynch. His firm has acquired other in the financial markets and this has served to expand the power of the firm across the world. He is among people most respected in Wallstreet.

14. Bill McNabb (Net worth: 370 million)

Bill McNabb, the CEO of Vanguard Group, is a successful investment banker who has overseen huge investment portfolios. He has managed the Vanguard Group that has accumulated more than $3 trillion in assets.

The firm has been on the forefront managing a booming exchange-traded market and their investment banking operations have been the most successful under the support of Bill McNabb.

He is among the most highly paid CEOs in the financial industry and his influence has continued to grow even across Wallstreet. Towards the end of 2016, the firm announced he would step down for Tim Buckley to take over, but he would continue to serve as the chairman of the firm.

15. Timothy J. Sloan (Net worth: $700 million)

Timothy is the CEO of Wells Fargo and has been serving in this position since 2016. He succeeded John Stumpf after he previously worked as the President and Chief Operating Officer of the firm.

Through his support, the firm has maintained a presence in more than 50 countries and its investment banking unit has continued to grow over the years. He boasts of skills in wealth management and this has helped to shape the firm as a successful investment bank.

In 2016, Wells Fargo earned more than $2 billion in investment banking fees and this has continued to grow in 2017. Considering Timothy is among the most treasured individuals at the firm, his compensation is among the highest paid executives in the financial services sector.

16. John Paulson (Net worth: $7.8 billion)

John Paulson is said to have a net worth of $13.5 billion which he has earned from his involvement in the investment banking industry as well as managing a hedge fund. He founded Paulson and Co., a hedge fund that has been growing progressively over the years.

In 2013, the company returned 63% of investment. John has also had interest in various other industries including real estate and travel. He recently featured in talks where he plans to buy an established resort in Puerto Rico.

17. Ray Dalio (Net worth: $17 billion)

Ray Dalio is another personality who has excelled in investment banking with a net worth hovering slightly over $17 billion. He came up with a firm named Bridgewater Associates in 1975 and today it manages over $120 billion in investments.

Although the firm has faced some challenges in the recent past, his net worth according to Forbes has remained above $14.4 billion. He is also a philanthropist who has supported many initiatives across the world.

18. James Simons (Net worth: 18.5 billion)

James Simons is a self-made billionaire who has made strides in investment banking as well as running a hedge fund firm. His net worth stands at $14.3 billion. He came up with a mathematics-based strategy that has helped to revolutionize hedge funds and investments.

He previously worked as the chair of the math department in Stony Brook University before he left to launch a quantitative –trading firm. The firm today has over $65 billion worth of assets under management. Apart from coming out as a successful player in the investment banking sector, James has also been supportive to various philanthropic foundations.

19. Jamie Dimon (Net worth: $1.16 billion)

Jamie has been working with the biggest bank in America and his role as an investment banking expert has been overseeing processes that include moving more than $5 trillion every day.

His net worth, according to Forbes, is about 1.1 billion and he has continued to grow his wealth portfolio by initiating more trades that include high risk assets that are managed under the firm.

20. Leon Black (Net worth: $4.8 billion)

As the head of Apollo Global Management team, Leon has instituted measures that have seen the firm grow its portfolio base. His net worth currently stands at $4.8 billion and the firm has been overseeing $170 billion. He is known for investing in downtrodden assets and building them to huge portfolios.

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Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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