The 2017 Irish America Wall Street 50 is published. View the honorees here.
In 1998, we introduced the inaugural Wall Street 50 with the story of John J. Kiernan, the son of Irish emigrants who “would row from ship to ship in New York Harbor gathering financial information from overseas” for his 1860s Wall Street Financial News Service. The man had pluck and a good eye for talent, for it is because of him that today we have the Wall Street Journal and the Dow Jones – two of his early legmen were Charles Henry Dow and William Davis Jones, who founded both. Much has changed since Kiernan’s time (and much has changed since 1998), but the significance of Irish pluck to the industry remains.
For twenty years, Irish America has sought to draw attention to that influence by recognizing those financiers who share a commitment to bettering the American economy and a passion for their heritage. We have never been lacking for candidates, whether seventh-generation Irish Americans who are themselves the manifestation of their ancestors’ dreams or the many Irish-born who continually work to maintain the strong connections and forge new bonds between our two great countries.
What the Irish on Wall Street have always shared is a sense of responsibility – to shareholders, to clients, to colleagues, to family, to society. We see this in the innovative work this year’s honorees do for their companies; we see this in the dedication they take in their philanthropic efforts; we see this in the pride they take in their families’ stories of perseverance and the humility they take in their successes. Together, they are a testament to the power, purpose, and necessity of the diaspora.
Here’s to a hundred and fifty years of Kiernan’s legacy; here’s to our own twenty years; and here’s to many more years to come.
The Irish America Team