His grasp of finance and his deal-making acumen are matched only by communication skills and connections. Among those who might be on his speed dial: French investor Vincent Bollore and entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein-he's done deals with both this year. But he knows the value of lesser folks, too: Colleagues joke that he doesn't only know the name of the editor of the Estonian ad trade, but her kids' names and her shoe size.
2 Sergio Zyman
Want to reach the country's top chief marketing officers? Contact Sergio Zyman. The former Aya-Cola has got most all off them in his little black book-and that's one reason Miles Nadal's MDC Group snatched a stake in his Zyman Group marketing consultantcy in Atlanta. Chief marketing officers know to return his call; they don't want their CEO to hear a zinging criticism of the most recent marketing campaign first from Zyman.
3 Michael Kassan
If it's true you can judge a man by the company he keeps, Kassan is golden. His travels in the same circles as Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder and entertainment giant Harvey Weinstein. Among the former business partners of Kassan, now head of consultancy Media Link: Hollywood heavyweights Frank Biondi Jr. (ex-Universal Studios, Viacom); Howard Weitzman (ex-Universal Studios) and Greg Meidel (ex-Universal Studios Group).
4 Harvey and Bob Weinstein
Louis B. Mayer should have known so many people. Titans of government (Bill and Hillary Clinton), advertising (see Martin Sorrell), sports (see Dan Snyder) and media (Tina Brown) at one point or another have been on the speakerphones of the two Miramax founders. Not to mention a Who's Who of the film industry from stars to directors, producers and the like getting busy signals at the Weinstein Co.
5 Mitch Kanner
OK, we admit it: We're not really sure what he does. But who cares? This guy knows absolutely everybody. And we mean everybody. Kanner, via a series of entertainment companies-most recently 2 Degrees Ventures-is a fixture on the L.A. circuit and legendary for his indefatigable networking skills. He's so connected that MSN held a party in his honor this year, which it called the "Six Degrees of Mitch Kanner Party."
6 Howard Rubenstein
Cardinal Egan, Rev. Al Sharpton, New York's Sen. Hillary Clinton, Gov. George Pataki, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Yogi Berra, George Steinbrenner, Rupert Murdoch, Mort Zuckerman, Sarah Ferguson, Halle Berry-they're all there, the sinners and the saints, on Rubenstein's Rolodex (we won't say who falls into what category). The PR maestro knows them all.
7 Phil Guarascio
Talk about the best of both worlds. The dapper, stogie-smoking Guarascio spent years in Detroit as the head of marketing for the country's biggest automaker, General Motors, then went to work for the National Football League. So that means he spent part of his career helping to sell what America drives, and now he helps sell what drives America. Puppets, paupers, pirates, poets, pawns, kings and politicians are a phone call away, to be sure.
8 Richard Johnson
We love Lloyd Grove and Rush & Molloy at the Daily News, but editor Johnson has helped turn The New York Post's "Page Six" into its own brand. It's not so much the famous people on his Rolodex as it is the unfamous-restaurant waiters, hotel clerks, flight attendants, anybody with a tip and valuable information. We could have gone with Cindy Adams or Liz Smith at the Post, but we wanted to make sure people in the Rolodex were still alive.
9 Steve Heyer
We hear he still hobnobs, even if on the phone, with the mayor of Atlanta from his days spent there as the president-chief operating officer at Coca-Cola. Somehow, the mayor of White Plains, N.Y., where Heyer is now CEO of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, doesn't have the same cachet, but we're betting his love of Madison & Vine and his penchant for such playas as P. Diddy give him a pretty neat phone tree.
10 Mark Cuban
There's no question Cuban has NBA Commissioner David Stern on speed-dial, given the amount of fines the estimable entrepreneur accumulated early in his tenure as the Mavericks owner. Cuban is cool, though. When he signed Dennis Rodman to a brief contract several years ago, he let Rodman crash at his mansion for a few days. Bet he got a few good phone numbers that week.