BlackRock - Just How Effective Is Larry Fink ?

We looked at 10 bosses of some of the world's largest banks / financial institutions and rated them on 5 key criteria in terms of their effectiveness.

Here's how they came out (marks out of 10):

Larry Fink, BlackRock

Leadership - 10 (You have to be a strong leader to achieve what Fink has done at BlackRock these last 20 years)

Likeability factor - 6 (Keeps a lower profile than you'd expect him to. Will the real Larry Fink please stand up ?)

Luck - 8 (Mostly made the right calls at the right time since he established BlackRock. Another canny market player who has learned from his early mistakes and made his own luck)

Political awareness - 7 (Kept his head down and said very little. Content to let his fellow Wall Street executives take the heat)

Strategic thinking / vision - 10 (Build up a hugely successful franchise. The purchase of BGI is but one example of how he can spot an opportunity, exploit it and then capitalize on it)

Total 41

Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs

Leadership - 7 (Not the most inspirational CEO. Shouting from the rooftops is just not his style, but does inspire the loyalty of his stakeholders)

Likeability factor - 7 (Fairly low key in his approach, he is known for his good sense of humour, but rarely lets his guard down)

Luck - 5 (Not the best of times to have been the CEO of Goldman Sachs)

Political awareness - 4 (His performances before Congress and the FCIC were weak. Many feel that he should have reached a deal with the SEC before civil fraud charges were filed against his firm)

Strategic thinking / vision - 9 (Knows where he wants his firm to be, and not afraid to take the big decisions to ensure it gets there)

Total - 32

Bob Diamond, Barclays / Barclays Capital

Leadership - 9 (A tough, competitive uncompromising professional who is respected by those who matter)

Likeability factor - 7 (Doesn't go out of his way to be liked, but difficult to dislike someone who has made a career out of succeeding)

Luck - 10 (Has made his own luck, and will continue to do so)

Political awareness - 8 (fully aware of the highly political environment his firm operates in, but prepared to fight his corner when required)

Strategic thinking / vision - 9 (Another man with a plan, but opportunistic and prepared to take calculated risks, as seen by the Lehman deal)

Total - 43

Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase

Leadership - 9 (An uncompromising leader. Straight as an arrow. Highly visible, comfortable 'in the arena')

Likeability factor - 6 (If he likes you, you probably like him)

Luck - 9 (Another one who makes his own luck, but the financial crisis came at the right time for him)

Political awareness - 7 (He is fully aware of the political aspects of his role, but doesn't seem to care much for politics these days)

Strategic awareness / vision - 9 (Wants to build a Citigroup-like institution that avoids all the problems suffered by his flawed giant rival)

Total - 40

Brady Dougan, Credit Suisse

Leadership - 7 (Not rocked the boat. Inherited a well-positioned firm, and done nothing to screw up)

Likeability factor - 7 (Popular with staff, as he is loyal and rewards success. Externally, not got a high profile)

Luck - 9 (Right place, right time)

Political awareness - 9 (Successfully navigates the political challenges of being an American in Zurich)

Strategic thinking / vision - 6 (Not had to do much apart from keep the firm steady)

Total - 38

Oswald Gruebel, UBS

Leadership - 9 (Not frightened to make the tough decisions. Consistent, tough but fair-minded)

Likeability factor - 6 (not easy to warm to, and tends to keep a low profile outside the organisation. Has the respect of his staff, though)

Luck - 9 (came into his current role at a time when the only way was up)

Political awareness - 9 (does a lot behind the scenes to ensure that his bank keeps the right side of politicians. No public misstatements)

Strategic thinking / vision - 9 (A man with a plan, which is always clearly articulated and simply implemented)

Total - 42

Stephen Hester, Royal Bank of Scotland

Leadership - 8 (A strong leader who has competently set about a difficult task. Not easily fazed by the critics)

Likeability factor - 6 (Not at RBS to make friends, and probably not made too many)

Luck - 7 (Had the good fortune to take on his current role at the bank's lowest ebb, but the challenges have been many and difficult)

Political awareness - 9 (Totally in tune to the political climate. He gets it, but will not simply roll over as it's the easy option)

Strategic thinking / vision - 5 (His current role is more about implementing the only strategy his bank can adopt - get smaller, repay the taxpayer and return to profit as soon as possible)

Total - 35

John Mack, Morgan Stanley

Leadership -  8 (Certainly leads from the front and sets a good example)

Likeability factor - 9 (A straight-talking guy with a fine sense of humour. Comes across well in the media. Will always be a hero to his staff by refusing to merge with JPMorgan in 2008)

Luck - 10 (A bit of a 'teflon' man. The mess that was Credit Suisse didn't prevent him riding back to rescue Morgan Stanley, and, by and large, the problems experienced by Morgan Stanley in recent years haven't damaged his reputation)

Political awareness - 7 (Hasn't gone out of his way to stir up a fuss, but has fought his corner when he needed to)

Strategic thinking / vision - 2 (Often read the market wrong as CEO, which is strange considering he was a trader. His timing was awful, taking risks when he should have been reining them in, and reining in risk when he should have been encouraging his traders to push the boat out)

Total - 36

Brian Moynihan, Bank of America

Leadership - 7 (Still finding his feet, but the early signs are good. Confounding the doubters, he is clearly working hard to ensure all his stakeholders are on board)

Likeability factor - 5 (He's not someone you immediately warm to, and often appears a little uncomfortable on the larger stage. Has to learn to relax)

Luck - 9 (One minute you're told you'd better resign, the next you're CEO. With Moynihan, timing was everything. He could quite easily have become a mere footnote in the bank's history)

Political awareness - 10 (Now President Obama's favourite banker. Has worked hard to ensure that he has a good brand in Washington)

Strategic thinking / vision - 7 (Has a clear plan about what Bank of America needs to look like in the brave new world, and is competently going about implementing that plan)

Total - 38

Vikram Pandit, Citi

Leadership - 8 (Leads by example, communicates well and often)

Likeability factor - 7 (Although can seem aloof and living in his own intellectual world, has gained respect by the manner in which he has faced his critics and supported his staff)

Luck - 3 (Landed one of the most difficult jobs in the markets at one of the worst times for the industry)

Political awareness - 9 (Mostly kept his head down during the financial crisis, became a $1-a-year-man to show he was aware of the mood in Main Street, and navigated the challenges of running a business in which the US government has a significant stake)

Strategic thinking / vision - 8 (Not had a lot of opportunity to show much vision, as he is on a mission to reduce Citi's size and comply with new capital and regulatory rules

Total - 35


1. Bob Diamond - Effectiveness rating 43

2. Oswald Gruebel  - 42

3. Larry Fink - 41

4. Jamie Dimon - 40

=5. Brady Dougan - 38

=5. Brian Moynihan - 38

7. John Mack - 36

=8. Stephen Hester - 35

=8. Vikram Pandit - 35

10. Lloyd Blankfein - 32

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