In a year of upheavals and sudden surprises, Treasury & Risk's list of the 100 most influential movers and shakers in finance is a true reflection of the times. Adversity brings out the best in the best. In some cases, the CFOs, treasurers and risk managers on this year's list face the greatest challenges of their careers. We chose Fed chief Ben Bernanke for the cover because views on the U.S. economy, which were so negative earlier this year, have lately taken a turn for the better. If that holds--and the worst of the subprime and credit market crisis is behind us--we could be at the start of a new era at the Fed and for the economy. Other important themes include XBRL and international accounting convergence, which are expected to keep rising in importance for U.S. corporations in the year ahead, bringing massive changes to the old ways of doing business.
THE FINANCIAL C-SUITE
Elizabeth Beshel, Global Treasurer, The Goldman Sachs Group
Beshel was the first line of defense for Goldman's liquidity risk, funding and balance sheet throughout the turmoil in the global credit markets.
CONTROLLERS & CAOs
Nicholas S. Cyprus, Controller and CAO, General Motors Corp.
Cyprus is recruiting top technical-accounting talent at GM, while overhauling the automaker's global accounting, controls and financial reporting functions.
Catherine P. Bessant, President of Global Product Solutions, Bank of America Corp.
Bessant recently presided over the merger of Bank of America's treasury and credit organizations to successfully integrate product delivery, accelerate innovation and improve client services.
GOVERNANCE AND COMPLIANCE
Steven B. Adler, Director, Data Governance Solutions, IBM Corp.
An adjunct professor at NYU, Adler chairs an international group of more than 50 competing executives who are collaborating to develop a blueprint of comprehensive data governance solutions for security, privacy, trust and compliance issues.
Jamie Dimon, CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase, under Dimon, was hardly immune to the fallout in the credit and subprime markets, but it faired much better than most, and the expected $1.5 billion takeover of Bear Stearns should provide benefits for years to come.
Ethan Berman, CEO, RiskMetrics Group
Berman's timing was perfect. Wall Street's stunning losses due to poor risk management made RiskMetrics's January IPO a success.
RETIREMENT AND BENEFITS
John Hunt, CEO, Institutional Business in the Americas, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
In this post-Pension Protection Act and FAS 158 world, Hunt builds "strategic partnerships" with plan sponsors to provide holistic solutions to their micro and macro investment needs.
David Childers, CEO, EthicsPoint Inc.
While heading up a company that provides sophisticated solutions for enhancing governance, Childers finds time to contribute to the broader ethics and compliance community by serving on nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving the principles of good governance.
Ben Bernanke, Chairman, U.S. Federal Reserve System
He had big boots to fill when he arrived as Fed chairman in 2006 and his first two years on the job were anything but smooth. But seven consecutive rate cuts have helped stabilize the economy, as well as financial markets, and Chairman Bernanke's standing continues to rise.
U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus (R.-Ala.), Ranking Republican on the Financial
The ranking Republican on the Financial Services Committee has countered Barney Frank's initial proposal for new regulation in the post-subprime crisis world with a much narrower bill with far less money involved. But even he agrees increasing FHA funds to help financially strapped homeowners with cheaper fixed-rate mortgages is a good idea.
Sheik Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President and Ruler, Abu Dhabi
With $700 billion in oil reserves, Abu Dhabi and its secretive, government fund, controlled by the sheik, turned heads with its trend-setting 4.9% stake in Citibank.