The Wolf of Wall Street tells the story of the somewhat insane life and times of Jordan Belfort, a self-made, rather illegal, multimillionaire. Between the incessant partying, obscene office antics, and troubling family life, we barely notice that, in a testosterone fuelled industry, there’s only one female stockbroker on the floor at Stratton Oakmont.
While that may have been the norm in finance back in those days, things have definitely changed for the better and women around the world now play major and influential roles in the investment industry. From real estate, to Wall Street, to venture capital, we’ve rounded up some serious talent, and list our picks for the Top 8 Most Famous Woman Investors.
While she may be retired, when speaking of the most famous women in investment, one cannot ignore the success of Geraldine Weiss, aka The Grand Dame of Dividends, who put women on the map in the finance industry. Following countless rejections from firms who scoffed at the notion of hiring women beyond secretarial roles, Weiss started her own newsletter, Investment Quality Trends, in 1966.
On top of acting as publisher of IQT for 37 years, she was the first woman to ever hold a license in investment, her stock market analytics have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, and The New York Times, she’s written multiple books, and her dividend based investment system is still revered and celebrated in today’s financial world.
Sallie Krawcheck has had quite the career, and she is known to be one of the most powerful women on Wall Street today…take that, Jordan! Krawcheck began working as an equity analyst at one of Wall Street’s most prestigious firms, before moving on to becoming CEO of Citigroup’s Smith Barney unit. In 2009, she was appointed president of Merrill Lynch’s wealth-management unit, raking in an impressive 3.1 billion in profit over two years.
So what’s one of the most famous female investors working on now, you ask? This past May, Krawcheck launched Ellevest, a digital investment advisor for women. With hopes of bridging the investment gap, the Ellevest team will empower women misunderstood by their advisors, and give them a place in today’s severely male dominated market. Talk about girl power!
You may know her as part of the panel of investors on ABC’s Shark Tank, but truth be told, Barbara Corcoran has been a shark for much longer than that. Now one of the top women in real estate, Corcoran started from the humblest of beginnings…she was a waitress at a diner and borrowed $1,000 from her boyfriend to start her real-estate company in Manhattan.
Since then, she’s sold The Corcoran Group for a whopping 66 million, launched Barbara Corcoran Venture Partners, and invested in over 30 companies throughout her career on Shark Tank. As if she wasn’t busy enough, Corcoran is also a motivational speaker, has written critically acclaimed books, and contributes regularly on The Today Show.
Gail Kelly, former CEO of Westpac, Australia, is the most influential woman in finance in the land down under, and in 2014, she was named the 56th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. In 2002, Kelly was the first woman to ever hold a CEO position at a major Australian bank, and in 2005, she took the title for the highest paid woman in an Australian corporation.
Money aside, this famous female investor has set her sights on something bigger; bringing more women into the corporate world, where fellow females now occupy 40% of the 4,000 managerial roles at Westpac. Meeting that goal successfully, Kelly has increased the target to 50% by 2017.
Arlene Dickinson is celebrated as one of Canada’s most successful business leaders. She’s had quite a prolific career, spanning different industries, starting out at Venture Communications, where she helped make it one of Canada’s leading marketing firms. Dickinson is considered one of the most famous woman investors thanks to her role on Dragon’s Den – the Canadian version of Shark Tank – and appeared on the show from 2007-2015.
Embracing her snowy roots, she launched Arlene Dickinson Enterprises in 2012, which focuses on targeting and investing in Canada’s up and coming entrepreneurs. She’s a philanthropist, writer, speaker, and TV personality, has received a slew of awards, and has been inducted into Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Hall of Fame.
Another Wall Street maven, Mary Callahan Erdoes, is the CEO of J.P. Morgan Asset Management, overseeing close to 2 trillion dollars in client assets. At the time of her graduation from Georgetown Univeristy, she was the only woman to have completed a Major in Mathematics. In 2015, Erdoes generated a record-breaking 12.5 billion in revenue.
Like many of the top women in investment, she also wishes to include more women in the industry, and has initiated the J.P. Morgan Re-Entry program, which focuses on re-instating women who, prior to starting families of their own, had careers in the financial realm. For her outstanding performance in the world of investment, Mary was included on Business Insider’s list of Top 25 Most Powerful Women on Wall Street.
Saudi Arabian queen, Lubna Olayan, listed as Forbes’ 65th most powerful woman of 2016, is following in her family’s footsteps. Her father established the Olayan Financing Company in 1947, and the firm, one of Saudi’s leading stock market investors, specializes in manufacturing, distribution, and of course, investing. The company has an estimated revenue of 7 billion, of which Olayan is CEO, standing incredibly strong in a once man’s world-she was the only female employee of 4,000…for 18 years.
Over the course of her illustrious career, Olayan has successfully been breaking barriers in Saudi Arabia, bringing 400 women into the OFC workforce, while still respecting her country’s cultural norms. One of the top woman investors, Olayan is known for being the first female to give the keynote opening address at a conference in Saudi Arabia.
Debra Cafaro is a force to be reckoned with as a real estate investor. She’s the CEO of Ventas Inc, a real estate investment trust, focusing on the management of healthcare properties in the US, Canada, and the UK. Prior to her reign at Ventas, she was a lawyer, gaining experience in real estate, corporate, and financial law.
When Cafaro was appointed CEO and President in 1999, the company’s finances were in bad shape, on the verge of collapse, and their market value was approximately 200 million. Thanks to Cafaro’s brilliance, Ventas Inc is now worth 30 billion, and it’s no wonder that for two consecutive years, she was named one of the “Top 50 Best Performing CEOs in the World,” by The Harvard Business Review.
Here are a few additional resources to help you learn from the worlds best investors: