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Wall Street People

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Wall Street People

True Stories of Today's Masters and Moguls


15 min read
10 take-aways
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Meet the men and women of Wall Street: the influential, famous, and wealthy — and the robbers, thieves and scalawags.

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Writing with James R. Vertin, author Charles D. Ellis presents brief profiles of 85 Wall Street leaders who contributed to the growth of the world’s major financial marketplace. The authors divide these individuals – all men, which tells a tale right there – into four slightly arbitrary groups: masters of investing, movers and shakers, business builders, and wisemen and rascals. The collection is drawn from the other writers’ pieces about these men, and includes occasional articles the featured financiers wrote themselves. Apart from a few brief notes about some patterns that the author observed, these excerpts from various sources stand alone, with no overarching theme or exposition. getAbstract keenly feels the lack of a few analytical essays that might have pulled the collection together and integrated it thematically, but even so, this serves as a useful research tool and an interesting introduction to a unique confluence of powerful men.


The Men Who Built Wall Street

Some 85 men played a central role in transforming Wall Street, a narrow street in lower Manhattan, into a cultural icon and the global center of finance. As you consider their lives and the impact that these individuals had on Wall Street’s development, a few noteworthy patterns emerge:

  • Fame is fleeting - Most of these men will be forgotten by the time another portrait of Wall Street is created in the next century.
  • Celebrity does not match significance - Many of the most important contributors went relatively unrecognized, while several minor players became much better known.
  • Those who misbehave receive the most notoriety - Many thousands who are conscientious and effective labor in relative anonymity.

A host of fascinating people helped make Wall Street the world’s preeminent financial market, but the following men stand above the rest for their contributions.

The Masters of Investing

The investment masters catalogued are known for these landmark activities:

  • Bernard M. Baruch made a substantial fortune and a national reputation. He served as an informal counselor to powerful leaders...

About the Authors

Charles D. Ellis was a managing partner of Greenwich Associates for 28 years. He taught courses in investment management at Harvard Business School and Yale School of Management; served as a trustee on the investment committees of Phillips Exeter Academy, Yale University and the Whitehead Institute, and was chairman of the Association for Investment Management and Research (AIMR). James R. Vertin was the founding manager and chief investment officer of Wells Fargo Investment Advisors, which grew to become Barclays Global Investors, one of the world’s largest investment firms.

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