You’ve likely heard of financial and business titans like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Jamie Dimon, Warren Buffett, and Carl Icahn. While these leaders are shaping today’s financial industry, others are poised to play a pivotal role in future trends.
Learn more below about the most important leaders and influencers, including these top financial leaders of tomorrow.
- Many of the new generation of business leaders shaping the future of the financial industry are in Silicon Valley and Wall Street.
- Anthony Noto, Brian Armstrong, Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, Cathie Wood, Chamath Palihapitiya, Jack Dorsey, Mellody Hobson, and Suzanne Shank are among the financial leaders of tomorrow.
- Watching key leaders and influencers can help you understand where financial trends may be headed.
Anthony Noto is chief executive officer (CEO) of SoFi Technologies Inc. (SOFI), an up-and-coming digital financial platform offering banking, investment, and lending services. Before SoFi, Noto worked as a managing director at Goldman Sachs, chief financial officer (CFO) of the National Football League (NFL), and chief operating officer (COO) of Twitter Inc. (TWTR).
The influential business leader oversaw the recent initial public offering (IPO) of SoFi and its transition to a national bank. As the top executive at an innovative financial company, Noto is a CEO to watch.
Brian Armstrong is the founder and CEO of Coinbase Global Inc. (COIN), one of the largest and most recognizable brands in the booming cryptocurrency industry. In the decade since the founding of the cryptocurrency trading platform, Coinbase has been at the forefront of a wave of growth in popularity. Armstrong and Coinbase are significant influencers in the digital currency industry.
While there are many well-known leaders in cryptocurrency, Armstrong’s position as the leader of a major public company based in the United States gives him unique influence over the future of cryptocurrency regulation and technology.
Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz gets part of her financial street cred from sharing a last name with her father, the namesake founder of financial firm The Charles Schwab Corp. (SCHW). But she has forged her own reputable career in the industry. Schwab-Pomerantz is the board chair and president of the Charles Schwab Foundation and works as a managing director and board chair for Schwab Charitable.
Schwab-Pomerantz holds a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation and is a regular writer and speaker on financial topics. She is someone who is likely to continue influencing the investment industry for years to come.
Catherine Wood, better known as Cathie, is the founder and CEO of ARK Investment Management, which she has run for more than eight years. In her time at ARK, Wood has built a reputation as a cunning investor focusing on technology, innovation, and disruptive businesses. That includes cryptocurrencies, space exploration, genomic research, and other risky but potentially lucrative areas.
Wood has become a regular media interviewee and is an influential speaker, including for the World Economic Forum and other prestigious audiences.
Special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) made big investment news over the past few years, and one of the biggest names associated with SPAC stocks is Chamath Palihapitiya. The founder and CEO of Social Capital is partially responsible for a spate of high-profile IPOs through mergers with an existing public company.
Past SPAC mergers led by Palihapitiya include Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. (SPCE), Opendoor Technologies Inc. (OPEN), Clover Health Investments Corp. (CLOV), Metromile (now part of Lemonade), and SoFi. While the SPAC trend may be less prevalent than it was during the financial market mania during the COVID-19 pandemic, Palihapitiya’s position as a SPAC and IPO leader makes him a leader to watch in the financial space.
Jack Dorsey is a serial entrepreneur known for founding Twitter and Block Inc. (SQ), formerly Square. While he left his post at the top of Twitter in late 2021, his role as CEO of payment company Block continues to provide him with an important position in the financial industry.
Dorsey manages a financial company known for its flagship Square credit card readers. Square offers a range of banking, ecommerce, and other financial solutions for businesses. Dorsey is also an outspoken fan of cryptocurrencies, with his opinions often making headlines.
Mellody Hobson is the board chair, president, and co-CEO at Ariel Investments, a large financial firm that she helped shape over roughly two decades. As an influential businesswoman, she serves as chair of the board at Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) and is a director at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM). She has past board experience with DreamWorks Animation and The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (EL).
Hobson is one of the most influential women of color in the financial industry. Ariel Investments operates several successful investment funds, giving Hobson unique insights into a wide range of companies. She is also a well-respected speaker and board member with ties to a list of noteworthy nonprofits.
Suzanne Shank is the president, CEO, and founder of Siebert Williams Shank & Co., an investment bank. She also works as a member of the board of trustees of Spelman College, a historically Black liberal arts college. The Wharton MBA graduate founded the first minority and woman-owned firm on Wall Street to rank among the top 10 municipal bond underwriters.
Aside from her investment banking business, Shank works to promote Black entrepreneurs and improve access to quality education and mentorship for Black Americans. She does work for a range of organizations, and her Wall Street influence puts her in the center of a critical financial niche.
What is cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is a form of digital asset based on a network that is distributed across a large number of computers. This decentralized structure allows them to exist outside the control of governments and central authorities. Advantages of cryptocurrencies include cheaper and faster money transfers and their decentralized structure, while disadvantages include price volatility, lack of customer protections, and potential use in criminal activities.
What is a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC)?
A special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) is a company without commercial operations formed to raise capital through an initial public offering (IPO) or for the purpose of acquiring or merging with an existing company. Also known as “blank check companies,” SPACs have existed for decades, but their popularity has soared in recent years. However, the SPAC trend has slowed since its high point during the financial market mania at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
What does a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) do?
Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is a formal recognition of expertise in the areas of financial planning, taxes, insurance, estate planning, and retirement. Becoming a CFP is a difficult process, requiring years of experience, completion of exams, a demonstration of ethics, and a formal education. CFPs have a fiduciary duty, meaning that they must make decisions with their client’s best interests in mind.
The Bottom Line
From Silicon Valley to Wall Street and beyond, financial leaders and entrepreneurs play an important and ongoing role in the development of new services, technologies, and trends. Keep an eye on these executives and leaders to help shape your expectations for future trends in the financial industry.