President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
As the president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, William Dudley leads one of the country’s 12 regional Fed banks.
But since New York is the center of the financial sector, Dudley is one of the Fed’s most influential policymakers.
The Goldman Sachs alum took the post in 2009, replacing predecessor Timothy Geithner after a critical behind-the-scenes role propping up the economy in the wake of the financial crisis.
The economy has stabilized and gradually improved since then, prompting Dudley and his colleagues to begin raising interest rates. President Donald Trump has made a point of criticizing the Fed, which could lead to a showdown with Dudley – although he’s expected to retire in January 2019.
Global Head of Real Estate, Blackstone Group
One of Manhattan’s most powerful sectors is finance. Just as politically savvy is the real estate industry.
Jonathan Gray, the global head of real estate at the Blackstone Group, straddles both worlds.
Gray, who joined Blackstone in 1992, has helped amass what the private equity firm described as “the largest real estate platform in the world with $102 billion in investor capital.” The innovative investor is reportedly a potential successor to Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman.
While his work is international in scope, he’s a key player locally and nationally. He joined New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2015 to announce Blackstone’s acquisition of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village. And he even caught the eye of President Donald Trump, who considered him as a potential Treasury secretary.
Founder, Boston Provident LP
Orin Kramer’s hedge fund, Boston Provident, is not the largest or most well-known.
Instead, it’s Kramer’s high-powered political ties that make him a key player to watch on Wall Street.
Kramer, who as a young man worked in former President Jimmy Carter's administration, has stayed involved in government, serving on various state and federal commissions over the years. A generous donor, he also supported the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
In New York City, he was a key backer of Bill de Blasio during the 2013 campaign, helping introduce him to others in the business community and landing on his transition committee. With de Blasio up for re-election this fall, Kramer could be called on to help the mayor once again.
President and CEO, Amalgamated Bank
Many top bankers have an Ivy League education and spend years climbing the corporate ladder.
Keith Mestrich graduated from Kalamazoo College and spent decades in labor unions before becoming president and CEO of Amalgamated Bank. He took the post after overseeing the bank’s operations in the Washington, D.C., region.
Of course, Amalgamated Bank has always done things differently. It was the first labor bank in New York City when it was founded in 1923 by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. While it’s often overshadowed by bigger Wall Street banks, it’s a powerhouse when it comes to union pension fund investments.
Now the largest union-owned bank in the country, the $40 billion institution is open about what Mestrich calls its mission to be “the progressive bank for the progressive community.”
Chairman and CEO, MacAndrews & Forbes
MacAndrews & Forbes, Ronald Perelman’s lucrative holding company, started out in the mid-19th century as licorice and chocolate manufacturer.
Since being purchased by Perelman in the early 1980s, MacAndrews & Forbes’ wide-ranging portfolio has expanded to include Revlon makeup, media and marketing firms, and a military vehicle manufacturer.
The multibillionaire has also earned a reputation as a leading philanthropist. His name has been added to several medical facilities at New York hospitals, to academic centers at leading universities and to a planned performing arts center at the World Trade Center site.
He’s also cultivated strong ties with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, bringing on former top administration aides Steven Cohen and Josh Vlasto while landing one of his own executives, Barry Schwartz, on the CUNY board of trustees.