No. 26 - Ajay Banga (Mastercard)


Age: 58

 

Years at current company: 8

 

Nationality: Indian

 

Industry: Finance

 

Turnover: $12.1bn

 

Rate of growth: 50% over the last five years

 

 

The head of one of the world’s best known brands is the architect of a veritable fintech revolution. Since 2010 his company has made a number of acquisitions in this area, including analytics firm APT for 600 million dollars in 2015 and the VocaLink payment system for 970 million in 2016. The additional consulting and management services now available at Mastercard now account for around 735 million dollars in extra revenue and helped profits overall jump by 21% in 2017.   

 

Notable success: Transactions are now more secure than ever thanks to Selfie Pay, which uses the biometric data of a handset user, and AI systems that analyze their traits, gestures and habits. 

Read the full Special Report: Top 100 Executives – 2018 Edition

A lack of a long-term strategy is a good indication of a company that lacks ambition, and this is often a fatal flaw. For our first ever Top 100 Executives list, Leaders League took the conscious decision to highlight those executives who, without losing sight of the present, have been able to envisage the future. It’s notoriously difficult to find a way for these two temporalities to coexist in today’s fast-paced digital world, but all those on our list have outstanding leadership abilities, iron determination and, of course, The Vision Thing.
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