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The 20 Most Notable Fordham University Alumni in the Business World


Going to school does not guarantee success; otherwise, the world would be littered with billionaires. However, some are fortunate to make it in the business world.  Among some of the most successful are students that graduated from Fordham University.  With that we decided to compile a list of the 20 most notable Fordham University alumni who have taken to the worlds of business and finance:

1. Eugene Shvidler

The company you keep says a lot about you so imagine if your best friend is a billionaire; maybe the success will rub off you. For Eugene, it is the case because his best friend happens to Roman Abramovich whose net worth is $13.1 billion as of the end of April 2019. According to Superyacht, Eugene has a net worth estimated to be around $1.4 billion, mostly realized from his stake in the sale of Sibneft for $13 billion in 2005. He also owns 12.5% of Highland Gold and is a director and shareholder at Evraz, a leading steel and mining company worldwide.

2. Anne M. Mulcahy

Getting to that coveted corner office usually is an uphill climb, and Anne knows that for a fact. However, her parents had prepared her for a world that viewed women as lesser human beings by letting her participate in sports with her brother and set career goals which she achieved. Anne started her career as a field sales representative at Xerox in 1976, and she assumed different roles with increasing responsibility until in 2000, she was asked to be the president and COO, a position she felt was less of a promotion and more of an invitation to war. In 2001 she was the CEO in a company whose stock was plummeting and in $17.1 billion debt. However she changed the fate of the firm from an imminent bankruptcy to a secure going concern; so confident was she that the firm was on its feet again that she resigned from her CEO position and left the firm in the capable hands of Ursula Burns.

3. Donna Redel

Donna is best known for her position as managing director of the World Economic Forum which she joined in 2000. However, his career began an investment banker at Blyth Eastman Dillon before moving on to the Wall Street Journal and later at Redel Trading Co. Inc. as the Executive Vice President. In 1992 she won the chairmanship of the COMEX thus making history as the first woman to be elected to the chair. Finextra reported that Donna was recently added to the advisory board of Wall Street Blockchain Alliance, to which the chairman of WSBA commented that her diverse experience would be invaluable.

4. Lorenzo Mendoza

Picture this: a man running a food company so efficiently that he feeds the hungry in his country and has the government so worried that it wants to take over his company. That man is none other Lorenzo Mendoza whose company, Empresas Polar, is the largest food company in Venezuela. Food is a basic need, and the government knows that if it can control food, it can control the masses. Therefore it looks for ways to take over Lorenzo's company; so much is the government interested in the company that it has inspected Polar over 4,800 times in the last ten years. Empresas Polar employs more than 30,000 and his competence in running the company has prompted the citizens to push him to run for the presidency, but Mendoza declined.

5. Rosemary Vrablic

Rosemary rose from bank teller to one of the top private bankers in the United States. It is no wonder that when Deutsche bank wanted to grow its private banking division in the United States, it recruited her. Rosemary was given the green light to take on complex loans, and of course such could only be obtained from high-profile clients. Consequently. Rosemary's client list comprises the crème de la crème of the society and President Donald Trump, and Herbert Simon, are among them. Rosemary is the Senior Private Banker and Managing Director at Deutsche Bank.

6. Angelo Mozilo

For most of us sleeping on a sofa only happens when you are watching television but for Angelo, the couch was his bed in his entire childhood because they did not have space on their home. He helped his father in his butcher shop by butchering chicken and sweeping floors. His desire for high school education had to be facilitated by working a part-time job at a mortgage company. Still, Angelo rose to become one of the biggest-paid executives; in 2006 alone, his pay was $142 million. He, however, lost his glory with the subprime mortgage crisis and his company, Countrywide had to be bought by Bank of America for $4.1 billion when it approached bankruptcy.

7. Stephen J. Hemsley

According to Wall Mine, by the end of November 2018, Stephen's net worth stood at $514 million which was mostly from his shareholding in UnitedHealth where he owns more than 169,683 units worth over $485 million. He is the CEO of UnitedHealth which provides insurance for more than 70 million Americans and in 2010, he was ranked 21 on Fortune's list of largest corporations.

8. John Leahy

John was the head of marketing at Piper Aircraft when Airbus North America hunted him to join the company as the sales chief in 1985. Before the call, he was getting ready to move to Geneva as the Director of the Eastern Hemisphere. When John joined Airbus, the market share of the company was 13%, but he promised to have it increase to 50%. John delivered on his promise in nine years. The other 50% is held by Boeing, and for him to get to the 50% market share, John had to find a way to get airlines to buy their aircraft. He, therefore, offered American Airlines 25 A300 planes with the option to give them back if they did not find them satisfactory. That bold move revolutionized Airbus' share in the market.

9. Maria Elena Lagomasino

When your family loses everything and has to move to a new country to rebuild their lives, it can be an eye-opening experience that can have an impact on your career path. Maria Elena's family moved to the United States, leaving behind cigar and cigarette business owned by her grandfather as well as properties that her parents owned. She was not keen on pursuing business, but when her aptitude test suggested she had strong business skills, Maria entered the banking industry where private banking caught her eye. By the time she became CEO of J.P Morgan, her client list comprised the major names in the private sector. So competent is she in her work that the founder of Global Crossing Holdings, Gary Winnick sought her out when he wanted to protect his fortune after his company's share price dropped to 83 cents in 2001, from a high of $64.25 in 1999.

10. Matt Higgins

For someone to drop out of high school to get their GED is quite daring, but Matt made that choice at sixteen years of age. According to the Life Advice Guide Matt had grown up poor with a sick mum struggling to raise four boys, and Matt knew that he did not want to remain poor for the rest of his life; his getting a GED could accelerate his way to college and hence a good job.
As CNBC revealed, Matt's first job was to scrape off gum from the chairs in the playroom of a McDonald's in New York. He was so passionate about his job that the bosses noticed him, so he ended up managing the maintenance function at the party room, in just nine months. He co-founded RSE Ventures with Stephen Ross in 2012 and became a guest judge on Shark Tank, which proves his success.

11. Mario Gabelli

Mario was fascinated by stock markets at an early age, so he read market reports and began building up his portfolio with his first stock at the age of 13. He graduated first in his class at Fordham University in 1965 and later became a security analyst at Loeb, Rhoades & Co. Mario used his education at Columbia University to analyze firms by cash flow instead of earnings to calculate private-market value and this method came to be known as The Gabelli Private Market Value with a Catalyst Methodology.
He founded GAMCO Investors to manage funds for his clients, and by 1986 the company had equity assets worth $1.6 billion.

12. Harry Crosby

The death of any of your relatives is devastating for anyone, and it takes strength to move past the heartache. Two of Harry Crosby's half-brothers killed themselves, two others, as well as his father, passed away but that has not stopped Harry from becoming a successful investment banker. According to Revolvy, Harry has been in investment for more than 30 years, ever since he began his career at Lehman Brothers in 1987 as an associate level and worked his way up to become a director. He has also worked in other firms such as Credit Suisse Financial Sponsors Group, Merill Lynch, and Snow Phipps. He joined Cranemere and became a general partner in 2012.

13. Kevin Burke

Some people keep shifting jobs until they find the right fit for them, but Burke worked for Con Edison for four decades since his recruitment in 1973. Being with the company for that long, Burke held various positions such as the president of Orange and Rockland Utilities, senior vice president responsible for customer service, electric transmission and distribution systems as well as vice president of corporate planning, Brooklyn electric operations, and construction.

14. John Mara

What you do now can have financial repercussions for generations, and that is the case for John's grandfather, Tim Mara. As Mental Floss reports, Tim was a bookkeeper in a horse racing circuit, and when his friend was offered the chance to buy the New York Giants in 1925, he passed his chance to Tim who bought it for $500. The ownership passed along to John's father, Wellington and finally to John. By 1991 when Bob Tisch offered to buy 50% of the team, he had to pay $70 million, and his stake passed along to his son, Steve Tisch. Before being the New York Giants' owner, John was an attorney specializing in employment and labor law and with him, and Steve at the helm the team has won two Super Bowls.

15. John J. McGrath

John co-founded EVCI, a firm that enabled video conferencing of undergraduate and degree programs from education institutions to major corporations in the U.S. He negotiated contracts with leading companies requiring corporate and higher education training through video conferencing. John served as the president of EVCI from 1997 to 2015 and took the firm public in 1999. He also was the CEO of EVCI from 2003 to 2015 and during his tenure, the firm raised more than $100 million from both private and public investors.

16. Robert B. McKeon

Robert might have had a thing for controversy otherwise how can you explain someone who buys companies that have been involved in scandals? In 1992 when Robert was 38 years old, he founded Veritas which was the beginning of his success as well as controversies. Through the company, he took over companies at the brink of death and implemented harsh cuts to make them profitable again, but not before removing them from the stock market. One of the companies Robert bought was DynCorp despite its being linked to a sex scandal. As if that was not enough, one of the Veritas consultants bribed a Connecticut official for him to approve a $125 million investment and although Robert was asked to refund the money, he refused. Unfortunately, this corporate cleaner died in 2012.

17. Robert A. Agresta

Robert Agresta has many titles to his name; he is a lawyer, inventor, investor, businessman, and politician. He holds citizenship to both the United States and Italy and speaks four languages; Italian German, Spanish and English. Such accomplishments are what define someone whose goal is to die having lived a life worth living, having taken nothing for granted and leaving what he came across better than he found it. Robert is the founder of Agresta Acquisitions, which is a private investment company that develops strategic international investment positions in real estate, lifestyle brands and consumer retail.

18. Ellen Alemany

Ellen Rose Alemany rank as the third most powerful woman in banking according to American Banker. She is the Chairwoman and CEO of CIT Group and took over the top position in April 2016 and has made several accomplishments but the one that gives her pride is appointing more women to executive positions at the company. She is determined to make even more progress in the firm as is evidenced by her raising the 2019 target for return on tangible common equity from 10% to 11%.

19. Darcy Antonellis

Darcy became the CEO of Vubiquity on January 2, 2014, and had gained extensive experience in the media by holding various positions. For instance, before her appointment to the CEO position at Vubiquity, Darcy was the CTO and President of Technical Operations at Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Besides working in the United States, Darcy has been to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War while working at CBS. Her competence has led her to receive several awards including Broadcasting and Cable's Technology Leadership Award.

20. Rose Marie Bravo

Rose started her career as a trainee buyer at Abraham & Strauss in 1971 before moving to Macy's as an assistant buyer. While at Macy's she climbed up the ladder and in 1983, she became group vice president and later on the senior president. Rose transformed Saks Fifth Avenue into the go-to store for designer items; therefore when in 1997 Rose decided to leave the high-end retailer for Burberry, a company that was failing, it was shocking. She managed to increase the value of the company from $360 million to $3.4 billion in seven years and by 2002, her salary was $9.2 million; the highest for a European executive at the time.

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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