Michael Bloomberg is a well-known, well-respected businessman and politician, founder, CEO, and owner of Bloomberg L.P., the global financial data and Media Company that bears his name. With a net worth of US$46.7 billion as of July 2016, Bloomberg is considered to be the 6th richest person in the United States and the 8th richest in the world. With his fortune, he often chooses to turn his attentions to philanthropy, with an emphasis on education, medical research and the arts.
Michael Rubens Bloomberg was born on February 14, 1942, in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the son of a Jewish bookkeeper and an American woman with a college degree (one of the first of her era). Bloomberg grew up in a lower middle-class neighborhood in Boston. After finishing high school, he decided to put himself through Johns Hopkins University and Harvard University, where he earned a Master of Business degree.
Going to Harvard Business School
As a student, Bloomberg always obtained good grades. He also attained the rank of Eagle Scout within the Boy Scouts organization after completing its challenging requirements. At Johns Hopkins University, he became the first openly Jewish member of the school’s Phi Kappa Psi fraternity chapter and earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1964. He then went on to Harvard University for a graduate business degree.
After getting his Harvard MBA, Bloomberg went to work on Wall Street, joining the investment bank Salomon Brothers Inc., a major issuer and trader of bonds on the U.S. and international markets. Bloomberg’s first job was as a trading room clerk. He eventually became a bond trader, and based on his merits and talent, was made a partner in 1972. By 1976, his title at Salomon was general partner in charge of equity trading and sales. He was a man with an unprecedented talent, known for calmly risking huge amounts in trades that nearly always proved profitable.
In 1979, Bloomberg was shocked when he was given what seemed to be a demotion to director of the firm’s computer operations division. Electronic trading was still in its early stages, and the job was not as prestigious as his previous one. Nevertheless, Bloomberg knew that Salomon’s computer system had some flaws, and he designed a new one. In 1981, Salomon merged and went public, letting Bloomberg go with a $10 million severance package, that he later used to launch his own computer systems firm in October of the same year.
Bloomberg originally called his startup Innovative Market Systems, and it landed its first major client in Merrill Lynch, another top Wall Street firm, in which Patrick Dwyer works at as a Private Wealth Advisor. Initially, he started operating his company with a four employee team who helped him program a stand-alone computer terminal that let Merrill Lynch traders keep up-to-date on the Treasury bond market. Innovative Market Systems later expanded to develop a proprietary computer system that provided current bond and stock prices, and could also perform the significantly complex government bond calculations.
Innovative Market Systems became Bloomberg L.P., in 1986, and its computer system was becoming a globally used tool in Wall Street. Bloomberg Terminals were being successfully sold to investment banks and brokerage houses. Computers that provided access to current market prices and allowed users to execute on-the-spot trades in real time. Michael Bloomberg structured the business in a way there was a hefty initial set-up charge, and then every client had to pay a monthly fee per terminal. With more and more Wall Street firms using the terminals, and monthly user fees for each one that soared to $1,500 per month, Bloomberg became a millionaire several times over with his privately held company.
After becoming a financial titan, in the early 90’s, Bloomberg started reinvesting some of the profits he earned in Wall Street. He started investing in media properties such as radio stations, creating the Bloomberg News Service. This investment in media also became a giant in the industry, and together the two properties became the world’s largest financial news and Data Company.
New York Mayor
In 2002, Bloomberg entered the political arena as a liberal Republican turned Independent. In that year, he won election as the 108th mayor of New York City. Bloomberg is pro-choice and favored legalizing same-sex marriage. His most popular initiative as mayor of NYC was establishing a 311 telephone line that allowed callers to contact the city, allowing them to report crimes, trash problems, or anything else. Bloomberg was then re-elected mayor in November 2005 for a second term and then in 2008 he was again reelected for a third term as he was able to push through legislation, citing that the particularly difficult economic climate and his financial skills warranted his remaining in office.
On January 2014, Bloomberg stepped down from his political obligations and spent that year focusing on his philanthropic pursuits before returning as CEO of Bloomberg L.P. in early 2015.
To read more about Michael Bloomberg, you can visit his website by clicking here.