Friday, Oct 9, 2015 Mark Paul, IrishTimes

Denis O’Brien will have to wait another year to be entered on to prestigious list

It looks like Denis O’Brien will unfortunately have to wait another year for entry, but the annual Wall Street 50 list, compiled by Niall O’Dowd’s Irish America magazine, has just been published.

The list comprises the top 50 Irish-born or Irish-American executives who work in and around Wall Street, or have a connection to New York’s heart of finance.

Among the heavyweight names on the list is Brian Moynihan, the chief executive of Bank of America, whose ancestors immigrated to the United States in the 1850s and whose wife comes from a staunch Irish-American family in Boston’s “Southie”.

Perennial list member Kerryman Denis Kelleher also makes an appearance. Kelleher, who runs a trading business called Wall Street Access, has legendary status among the Irish-American community, having started as a messenger boy for Merrill Lynch 57 years ago.

Anybody who has seen the 1980s Richard Pryor movie Brewster’s Millions will forever associate that name with wealth. So it is appropriate that midlands man Michael Brewster, a top fund manager with Credit Suisse who previously worked for Lehman Brothers until its collapse, makes the list yet again.

Brewster’s story is high finance gold. He studied at Athlone Institute of Technology, where he was inspired by a visit from a hot-shot trader. After his J1 summer in the US, he never left and after a succession of bar and casino jobs, he joined Lehman in 1993.

The list also contains 14 high profile Irish-American women, including Morgan Stanley investment banker Siobhán Dunn, Fidelity Investment’s Kathleen Murphy and Mary Callahan Erdoes of JP Morgan Chase.

The dinner was held in New York’s swanky Metropolitan Club last Thursday, with Belfast man Shaun Kelly, KPMG’s US chief operating officer, as guest speaker. Tables of 10 cost up to $15,000. High finance indeed.


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