Worth Names Pope Francis Most Powerful Person In Global Finance

Other leading figures on Worth's Power 100 Include President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping

Oct 05, 2015, 10:02 ET from Worth

GREENWICH, Conn., Oct. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Worth magazine released its list of the most powerful people in global finance, revealing a surprise No. 1 pick:  Pope Francis, a figure who has used his position as leader of the worldwide Catholic Church to offer a stinging rebuke of capitalism and warn against the devastating impact of climate change on the world's poor.

Worth unveiled Pope Francis as its #1 pick at its annual Power 100 Summit today, a one day invitation-only gathering for 75 to 100 members of Worth's Leading Wealth Advisors Program.  The designation of the Pope as Worth's 2015 most powerful person in global finance was the highlight of a day that featured remarks by four visionary business leaders—David Rubenstein, Tony Robbins, Omar Johnson, and Elliot Weissbluth—who shared their advice and insights during an intimate and interactive forum.

By choosing Pope Francis as the leader of the sixth annual Power 100, Worth recognizes the growing intensity of the global movement to address income inequality—an issue that Francis has made a centerpiece of his papacy.

"This pope has an emotional connection with people around the world, whether Catholic or not, that is extraordinarily powerful," said Worth Editor-in-Chief Richard Bradley.  "He is the most prominent figure addressing issues that have dominated global debates since the financial crisis began."

In addition to Pope Francis, the other top 10 names on the Worth Power 100 include: U.S. President Barack Obama (2), German Chancellor Angela Merkel (3), Chinese President Xi Jinping (4), European Central Bank President Mario Draghi (5), Russian President Vladimir Putin (6), U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen (7), U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron (8), Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (9), and Alibaba founder and executive chairman Jack Ma (10).

The top spots on the 2015 Worth Power 100 went primarily to heads of state and central bankers —a reflection of ongoing global instability and the fact that the world's banks have not fully recovered from the 2008 financial crisis.

"The figures at the top of the list are in similar positions to those who had to intervene to help world economies recover from the financial crisis," Bradley said. "While many pundits think that the crisis is behind us, the truth is that we're still addressing the damage done.  And those folks in the banking world who are thought to have caused the crisis still haven't recovered the cultural prestige or financial power they had beforehand."

The 2015 Worth Power 100 is a dramatic turnaround for some of the most powerful names from the previous year's list. The top name from 2014—Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York— dropped to No. 48, after recent court rulings undermined his near-perfect conviction record on inside trading cases and jeopardized the viability of future prosecutions. The 47-spot drop was the biggest fall of any No. 1 pick on the Worth Power 100.  Other figures who lost ground include U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who dropped from 10 to 20, and New York Mayor Bill De Blasio, who dropped 14 spaces to No. 34.

In politics, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) debuted at an impressive No. 17. The Democratic presidential candidate, who is filling stadiums by espousing a progressive economic message, eclipsed establishment political figures, including fellow Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton (63), who is struggling to connect with voters on her economic message amid questions surrounding her email usage while secretary of state. U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) is the sole GOP candidate on the list (93), a sign that the notably large Republican field is focusing on immigration and social issues more than the economy.

The Worth Power 100 covers a broad swath of the financial industry, from Wall Street bankers such as Lloyd Blankfein (16), to alternative asset and hedge-fund managers, including David Rubenstein (41), co-founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, and Anthony Scaramucci (91), CEO of SkyBridge Capital and host of the newly revamped "Wall Street Week." The list also takes note of financial firms that are rewriting the traditional rules of Wall Street, with Elliot Weissbluth, CEO of HighTower, an independent advisory firm with $32 billion in assets, making the list at 89.

Silicon Valley is a growing presence on Worth's list of financial power. Google CFO Ruth Porat, formerly CFO at Morgan Stanley, debuted at 72, a sign of the tech world's siren song to bankers, particularly women, who see greater opportunity in the Valley than on Wall Street.  Greg Becker, CEO of Silicon Valley Bank, which finances 65 percent of U.S. tech startups, made the list at 69; and Apple CEO Tim Cook appears on the list at No. 57.

The Worth Power 100 also features several figures from outside those traditional power centers. They include: Tony Robbins (49), world-renowned life and business strategist and author of the No. 1 New York Times bestselling book: "Money Master the Game – 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom;" comedian John Oliver (82), host of HBO's "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver;" New York Times columnist Paul Krugman (95); and Henry Blodget (99), co-founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Business Insider.

While the bulk of the list is comprised of figures from the United States, other countries with a significant presence included China, Germany, England and India.

"The Worth Power 100 provides a window into the world of finance and which direction it's going," Bradley said. "By and large, it's going west towards California and east to Asia; New York is static and Europe is important particularly because of unresolved issues such as Greece."

Assembling the Worth Power 100 is a year-long effort, with Worth editors scouring the globe to review thousands of suggestions, select an initial list of 1,000 nominees and ultimately pare it down to the final 100 names. In preparation for next year's list, the Worth Group has already identified several key people to watch. They include: Charles Cascarilla, CEO and founder of itBit; Adena Friedman, president of NASDAQ; Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Privateer Holdings; New York Times reporter Nathaniel Popper; and Yale University Lecturer Vikram Mansharamani.

For more information about the Worth Power 100, please contact Terri Kayden at 973-850-7310 or tkayden@jcprinc.com

About Worth Group

Worth, a 23-year-old brand initially launched by Fidelity, has had over $120 million invested in it since inception. Now owned by Worth Group, LLC, Worth magazine, its printed product, was re-launched in 2008, targeted specifically to an audience of sophisticated readers composed of consumers (B2C) and wealth advisors (B2B).

The publication is distributed to a guaranteed, BPA-audited audience of 125,000, which includes distribution to 120,000 affluent households and individuals and 5,000+ select wealth advisory firms. Worth's consumer distribution channels include: subscriptions mailed directly to affluent households in 11 U.S. cities; select newsstands where it is sold for $18.95 per issue; a network of 250 FBOs, where the magazine is distributed via proprietary newsstands; and select partners, such as Peninsula Hotels, where the magazine is featured.

Worth Group holds select educational and social networking events for its consumers and wealth advisors throughout the country. Committed to excellence, Worth strives to continue to be the place where the most discerning readers come for trusted information that is relevant to their lives. Formed in May 2015, Worth Group is owned and operated by a group of investors, who include Chairman Kirk Posmantur, CEO Eric Sinoway and visionary media executive Adam Sandow.

Contact:
Terri Kayden
JCPR
973-850-7310
tkayden@jcprinc.com

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