Why power? Why 100? Well, besides the fact that the 'Ineffectual 37' didn't quite have the right ring to it, we felt it time—after three years of publishing this magazine—to go big.
This is our version of big. This list—the inaugural Power 100, listing the most influential and powerful asset owners on earth—amounts to 100 profiles, totaling 27,000 words, about what power means in the world of pension, endowment, foundation, insurance, and sovereign fund investing. Whether they garner power from the sheer size of their capital pools or from the esteem their peers hold them in (and thus the influence they're able to wield), the men and women of the Power 100 all have at least one thing in common: They are the kings and queens of this business. Well, that, and the fact that they're now on this list.
How did we decide upon these 100 individuals? It's quite simple. First, the aiCIO editorial team sat down in early June to discuss the biggest trends in asset owning, the point being to frame the discussion of exactly what was meant by power. We then discussed these trends, and the idea of power, with the group of asset management industry veterans, consultants, and asset owners that informally make up the aiCIO Advisory Board. From this, we decided upon the obvious names—those people who could simply not be left off a list of the most powerful asset owners on earth. Finally, like any group of journalists worth their salt, we asked these people which of their peers deserved to be alongside them on the Power 100. All in all, we collected hundreds of potential names and through interviews, research, and general skepticism, narrowed the list to 100. We then interviewed all but the most reticent members of the list. Finally, through a consternation-filled process that saw the editorial team nearly come to blows on numerous occasions, we ranked the list from #100 to #1.
Of course, this is not the result of months of work, but years—for both this magazine and for the asset owners on the list. The business of managing capital is a long-term game, as is the stewardship of a magazine. There is an alignment there that we appreciate—much more so, perhaps, than any alignment with the "Ineffectual 37". Although that would be kind of fun to read, wouldn't it?