1. Stephen Ross
What makes him haute: After founding The Related Companies as a government assisted housing company, founder, chairman and CEO Stephen Ross has since expanded the company into the force behind numerous high profile projects around New York City and throughout the United States – most famously, the Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle. Ross also currently serves as owner of the Miami Dolphins football team. He is also active in philanthropy, making the single largest contribution to the University of Michigan business school and aiding in the planning for the renovation of the Guggenheim’s Frank Lloyd Wright building.
2. Richard LeFrak
What makes him haute: Lefrak took up the position of chairman of Lefrak Organization after his father’s death in 2003. Today the company portfolio includes 5,000 apartments in LeFrak city and a $3 billion investment in the 16 million square foot commercial, residential, retail complex in Newport, New Jersey. LeFrak has expressed interest in bidding for the Stuyvesant towns and has already bought interest in Bank United and Blackstones Mineral Company. His net worth stands at $4billion.
3. Loren and JR Ridinger
What makes them haute: JR and Loren founded Market America in 1992. JR is the creator of the UnFranchise business development system and founder of beingjrridinger.com. With his wife and business partner Loren, an internet fashion and cosmetics mogul, JR has revolutionized the online entrepreneurial market by creating a business that not only affords people the opportunity to buy cost efficient and quality products, but also provides struggling workers the opportunity to build success. Loren is an entreprenur in her own right, serving as Senior Vice President of e-commerce sites Marketamerica.com – which she formed with husband JR –and shop.com and meeton.com. Loren is the mind behind cosmetic line, Motives® by Loren Ridinger and the skincare line, Cellular Laboratories™. She is also founder of the Loren Jewels®.
4. Aby Rosen
What makes him haute: After launching the RFR Holding LLC with partner Michael Fuchs in 1991, Rosen has since transformed the company into a citywide phenomenon by acquiring two of New York’s trophy buildings: The Lever House and the Seagram Building. In 2006 Rosen collaborated with famed art collector Ian Schrager to re-open the glitzy Gramercy Park Hotel. Rosen is an investor in a number of haute restaurant locations including Fishbar and Chinatown Brasserie.
5. Brian Benstock
What makes him haute: After starting out under the guidance of Paul and Edith Singer in 1982 as a car salesman, Benstock quickly moved up to Vice President of Paragon Auto Group in New York City. Benstock created the online car sales site Paragoncars.com. The company’s digital strategy enabled them to dominate the crowded digital space allowing them to sell twice as many certified vehicles as the next closer competitor in the world- this has not only changed the way cars are sold it’s changed the franchise itself by creating a franchise within the existing franchise.
6. Richard Mack
What makes him haute: Richard Mack is a managing partner of Apollo Real Estate Advisors. A multibillion dollar company, Mack’s father founded Apollo. The firm was recently honored for their commitment to community service.
7. Joseph Cayre
What makes him haute: As founder and principal of Midtown Equities,Caytronics, GoodTimesEntertainment,GT Interactive Software Corporation and CORE Group Marketing, LLC, and The Joe and Trina Cayre Foundation, he is not one to be overlooked. He was part of the deal to buy the World Trade Center in 2001, and the Sears Tower in 2004.
8. David Seelinger
What makes him haute: David Seelinger is chairman and CEO of EmpireCLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services. The company is based in the New York area, but has subdivisions in over 650 cities across the globe. Seelinger’s firm is also behind private aviation services and concierge travel services, proving CLS’s dedication to providing their clients with the utmost in comfort and luxury. A-listers like the Kardashians are loyal fans.
9. Kenneth Chenault
What makes him haute: After joining American Express in 1981, Chenault quickly rose through the ranks and is now the CEO and Chairman. Chenault is currently co-chair of the Business Roundtable, a director at IBM and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Chenault was inducted into the Junior Achievement Business hall of fame in 2002. In 2010 the Old North Foundation honored Chenault for his significant contributions to the preservation efforts of many significant monuments and landmark structures, including the steeple of the Old North Church. Chenault is the third African American CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
10. Andrew Farkas
What makes him haute: Farkas founded the Insignia Financial group in 1990, and led it to become the largest owner and operator of commercial space in the United States. After Insignia merged with CB Richard Ellis in 2003, Farkas founded the Island Capital Group LLC, a real estate merchant banking firm specializing in real estate investing. He is now Chairman and CEO of Island Group LLC. Farkas is involved with the Fresh Air Fund, The Doe Fund and various other health and education organizations. He lives in New York City.
11. Tony Goldman
What makes him haute: It is through Goldman’s real estate endeavors that SoHo came to be the active, trendy neighborhood that it is today. From his post as chairman and CEO of Goldman Properties, Goldman opened the doors to the Greene Street Café and the Soho Kitchen and Bar. Since his New York beginnings, he has moved on to South Beach, buying up 18 properties in Miami Beach, including the Park Central Hotel. Goldman is currently working on developing the Wynwood Arts District in Miami. He also founded The Goldman Properties Company and is the Chairman and CEO. Goldman, it seems, has the Golden touch.
12. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner
What makes them haute: Real estate scion Jared Kushner purchased the New York Observer at the age of 25 for $10 million, moving the paper towards a tabloid direction. Kushner has been credited with expanding the Observer Media Group and increasing the Observer’s online presence. Kushner is also principal of the family company, Kushner Companies. But Ivanka Trump is not one to be outdone; she has modeled, made several television appearances and authored The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life.
She is also Executive Vice President of Development & Acquisitions at The Trump Organization. Ivanka joined forces with Dynamic Diamond Group in order to design her first jewelry line, called Ivanka Trump.
13. Donald and Melania Trump
What makes him haute: Larger than life personality Donald Trump is chairman and president of The Trump Organization and founder of Trump Entertainment Resorts. Trump began his career at his father’s company, originally called Elizabeth Trump & Son. When Trump took over, he renamed it The Trump Organization. Trump’s projects included the upscale Commodore Hotel, the Grand Hyatt and the iconic Trump Tower. In 2003, he became executive producer and host of The Apprentice, a competitive reality show. He sits at number 17 on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list. Melania is a star in her own right, with a wildly successful QVC line and an impressive modeling career.
14. Michael Bloomberg
What makes him haute: Michael Bloomberg has held the post of mayor since 2002. With a net worth of more than $18 billion, Bloomberg clocks in at the 13th richest person in the United States. Bloomberg also founded financial news source Bloomberg LP, of which he owns 85 percent. Bloomberg is also active in philanthropy, having recently donated $50 million to Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign, an organization focused on closing older coal plants and preventing new ones from being built.
15. David Koch
What makes him haute: David Koch took over the family business and now serves as co-owner of Koch Industries with his brother Charles. Koch Industries is now America’s second largest privately-held company. Koch is the second-richest New Yorker and has contributed widely to causes including Lincoln Center, Sloan Kettering and the American Museum of Natural History and the New York City Ballet – which named its theater the David H. Koch Theater after Koch’s gift of $100 million.
16. Stewart Rahr
What makes him haute: Rahr started wholesaling products to other drugstores out of his father’s Brooklyn pharmacy in the late 1960’s. Since that time, Rahr has transformed his privately owned pharmaceutical business, Kinray–which was bought out by Cardinal Health in 2010– into a $4 billion a year business. Rahr’s estimated net worth is $1.3 billion.
17. Jeff Immelt
What makes him haute: As CEO and Chairman of the Board of General Electric, Immelt has also served as chairman on President Obama’s outside panel of economic advisors. He was named to Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2008; and in 2009, Immelt was appointed as a member of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. In 2010, he was named number 35 on Forbes list of the World’s Most Powerful People.
18. Ron Perelman
What makes him haute: Under Perelman’s leadership, the MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, Inc. has done dozens of deals with such recognized brands and strong businesses such as Revlon, Marvel and New World Entertainment. But it isn’t all work and no play; Perelman opened Manhattan’s Monkey Bar with fellow Haute-listerGraydon Carter. He also has a taste for philanthropy; this year, hosted his second annual benefit for the Apollo Theater, raising over $1.5 million. Perelman’s net worth is estimated at upwards of $12 billion.
19. Mikhail Prokhorov
What makes him haute: Billionaire entrepreneur Mikhail Prokhorov began by becoming one of Russia’s leading industrialists in the precious metals sector. While running Norilsk Nickel, the company became the world’s largest producer of nickel and palladium. Prokhorov is the chairman of Polyus Gold and the president of Onexim Investment Group. Prokhorov is the third richest man from Russia and the 39th richest man in the world, with an estimated $18 billion net worth. He also is co-owner of the New Jersey Nets.
20. William and Arthur Zeckendorf
What makes him haute: After founding The Related What makes them haute: The brothers behind Terra Holdings and Zeckendorf Realty, these brothers are best known for the development of the post address 15 Central Park West and the 43-story 515 Park Avenue. Up next for the brothers? A 35-story condo on East 60th Street.