Haute 100: New York City

The most influential people in the world’s most powerful city

Richard Meier
CATEGORY: Originators
COMPANY: Richard Meier & Partners, Architects LLP
INDUSTRY: Architecture
What Makes Him HAUTE: The “starchitect” is the brainchild behind the three glass towers amongst the brownstones in the West Village at 173 and 176 Perry Street and 165 Charles Street, which have attracted celebrity inhabitants such as Martha Stewart, Natalie Portman, and Calvin Klein.

Rupert Murdoch
CATEGORY: Billionaires
COMPANY: News Corporation
What Makes Him HAUTE: The global media mogul is founder, chairman, and CEO of News Corp., the conglomerate that reigns over Fox, the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal, and HarperCollins Publishers, just to name a few. The company reported its 2010 full year revenue had increased 8-percent to $32.8 billion. According to Forbes, Murdoch is the 117th richest person in the world, with a net worth of $6.2 billion (an increase of roughly $2 billion over the course of just one year).

Si Newhouse, Jr.
CATEGORY: Billionaires
COMPANY: Condé Nast Publications
What Makes Him HAUTE: Newhouse is the chairman and CEO of Advance Publications, which most notably owns Condé Nast, the publisher of more than two dozen magazines including Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Bon Appétit, and The New Yorker.  He is also well known for his philanthropy, and a generous $15 million donation to Syracuse University, which resulted in the school naming the SI Newhouse School of Public Communications after him.

Vikram Pandit
CATEGORY: Thinkers
COMPANY: Citigroup
What Makes Him HAUTE: He’s been the CEO of Citigroup since 2007. Since the economic crisis, Pandit has been the subject of scrutiny as he has tried to rebuild the world’s largest financial services network and the American banking system.  He has since succeeded in helping the company recover, as Citigroup is now expecting to earn more than $11 billion this year. Pandit currently serves on the boards of his alma maters Columbia University and Columbia Business School, where he received his PhD in Finance.

Richard Parsons
CATEGORY: Entrepreneurs
COMPANY: Citigroup
What Makes Him HAUTE: This former CEO of Time Warner is now the chairman of Citigroup. His financial advice is coveted by some of the most powerful individuals including President Obama, for whom he serves on the economic advisory team; and Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner, who met with Parsons as many as 17 times during his first year in office.

Ronald Perelman
CATEGORY: Billionaires
What Makes Him HAUTE: A self-made billionaire, Perelman made his fortune by buying various companies at cheap and then later reselling them. According to Forbes, in March 2010 he ranked #52 in the world’s richest people, with a net worth of $11 billion.  He is a notable charity donor, often regarded as one of the top philanthropists in the world.

Peter Peterson
CATEGORY: Philanthropists
COMPANY: The Blackstone Group, Peter G. Peterson Foundation
What Makes Him HAUTE: This 84-year-old has certainly had his fair share of prominent positions throughout his career. Among them, U.S. Secretary of Commerce under Richard Nixon and chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of NY. He’s also authored numerous books on American political and financial issues. It was only as recently as 2008 that his private equity firm, The Blackstone Group, was listed on the NYSE, which earned Peterson himself a whopping $1.88 billion almost instantaneously. Peterson has established The Blackstone Charitable Foundation and his namesake foundation, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, whose mission is to increase public awareness regarding fiscal issues that pose a threat to the future of the United States.

Mikhail Prokhorov
CATEGORY: Billionaires
What Makes Him HAUTE: He is founder of ONEXIM Group, a private investment fund based in Russia with assets valued at approximately $17 billion. He may be the second richest man in Russia but this billionaire has also been making it big in New York as the majority owner of the New Jersey Nets; he purchased them in May for $200 million. He’s also part owner of the Barclays Center arena currently being built in Brooklyn.

Stewart Rahr
CATEGORY: Billionaires
INDUSTRY: Pharmaceuticals
What Makes Him HAUTE: This Pharma Billionaire and Philanthropist Stewart “Stewie Rah Rah” Rahr has been living the American dream. His is a true rags-to-riches story, starting out making 50 cents per hour delivering for his father’s pharmacy to becoming one of the wealthiest men in the world. He just sold his company Kinray, the world’s largest privately held distribution company of generic pharmaceutical products for $1.3 billion. But Rah Rah isn’t all work and no play, the number one self-proclaimed “King of All Fun” is a fixture on Hollywood’s red carpet; and his second annual “Celebration of Life for Exceptional Friends” at his Hamptons estate is one of the toughest tickets to obtain on the planet, possibly harder than those for the annual Vanity Fair party in Los Angeles. This coming year he is rumored to have Andrea Boccelli, James Blunt, and Enrique Iglesias perform. Additionally, Rah Rah is well known for being the Make a Wish Foundation’s largest donor, dedicating to them more than $5 million total, and for his recent $500,000 donation to Alicia Keys’ “Keep a Child Alive” charity, rescuing numerous celebrities from their “digital death.” Lady Gaga sure knew what she was shouting out in her song by blasting “Rah Rah Rah Rah Rah!”

Emily Rafferty
CATEGORY: Thinkers
COMPANY: Metropolitan Museum of Art
What Makes Her HAUTE: Rafferty started working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art back in 1975 as an assistant in the development office. She subsequently worked her way up to the top and is now president of the museum. She is the first woman to run the day-to-day operations in the Met’s 135-plus-year history.

Denise Rich
CATEGORY: Philanthropist
COMPANY: Angel Foundation
What Makes Her HAUTE: She’s a Grammy Award-winning songwriter who has been a staple in the New York City social circuit for years. But she’s also a philanthropist, with the creation of the Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research in 2008 in honor of her daughter who passed away from leukemia. The charity’s annual Angel Ball has raised more than $13 million for cancer research.