Alumni are of great importance to top business schools. If you are looking for good career opportunities it is essential to check the graduate networks before choosing a school for your MBA. It is widely known that the most successful graduates have always been role models in the eyes of the students. FT analysis shows that almost a third (31 per cent) of the world’s 500 largest listed companies by market capitalisation, as featured in the most recent FT500, are led by an MBA graduate. Most of these successful people earned their degree from one of the world’s top business schools.

And a little more statistics: the business schools in the top 100 in this year’s FT Global MBA rankings count 104 chief executives of FT500 companies among their MBA alumni. And just nine highly ranked schools account for 74 of these big corporate leaders.

At the top of this rating stands Harvard Business School, which now boasts 28 FT500 leaders among its MBA alumni — three more than in 2014, when this research was first conducted.

The only non-US business school to have more than two MBA alumni in these top corporate positions remains INSEAD in France which, by the way, is the leader in the 2016 Global MBA Ranking  with its one-year MBA programme. Furthermore, with nine FT500 leaders, it is better represented than its US competitors like Stanford Graduate School of Business (8th place) and the Kellogg and Wharton schools (tied in 6th place).

After the appointment of Satya Nadella and José Antonio Álvarez to lead Microsoft and Banco Santander respectively, the University of Chicago’s Booth school can also count six FT500 chief executives among its alumni.

Due to the fluctuating value of the world’s largest companies about one in nine were new to the FT500 in 2014.

The chart below contains data for the 104 FT500 chief executives with MBAs from business schools in the FT Global MBA Ranking 2015.

Where did chief executives of companies in the FT500 go to business school?

Harvard Business School

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Jamie Dimon

Graduated MBA in 1982, became chief executive of JPMorgan Chase (US) in 2005. Mr Dimon joined JPMorgan following its acquisition of Bank One in 2000. In January 2015, the largest US bank by assets became the first to settle civil lawsuits claiming damages for the alleged manipulation of foreign currency markets.

Jeffrey Immelt

Graduated MBA in 1982, became chief executive of General Electric (US) in 2001. Mr Immelt, who was named FT Person of the Year in 2003, joined General Electric after graduating from Harvard. Refocusing on industrial activities, the US conglomerate successfully bid $16.9bn for French industrial group Alstom in 2014.

Robert Bradway

Graduated MBA in 1990, became chief executive of Amgen (US) in 2012.

Charles Bunch

Graduated MBA in 1979, became chief executive of PPG Industries (US) in 2005.

John Cahill

Graduated MBA in 1983, became chief executive of Kraft Foods Group (US) in 2014.

Gregory Case

Graduated MBA in 1989, became chief executive of Aon (US) in 2005.

Marc Casper

Graduated MBA in 1995, became chief executive of Thermo Fisher Scientific (US) in 2009.

Vittorio Colao

Graduated MBA in 1990, became chief executive of Vodafone Group (UK) in 2008.

Victor Dodig

Graduated MBA in 1994, became chief executive of CIBC (Canada) in 2014.

Erik Engstrom

Graduated MBA in 1988, became chief executive of Reed Elsevier (Netherlands/UK) in 2009.

Mark Fields

Graduated MBA in 1989, became chief executive of Ford Motor Company (US) in 2014.

John Hess

Graduated MBA in 1977, became chief executive of Hess (US) in 1995.

Darren Huston

Graduated MBA in 1994, became chief executive of Priceline Group (US) in 2014

Steven Kandarian

Graduated MBA in 1980, became chief executive of MetLife (US) in 2011.

Raymond Kwok

Graduated MBA in 1977, became chairman and managing director of Sun Hung Kai Properties (Hong Kong) in 1990.

Alan "AG" Lafley

Graduated MBA in 1977, became chief executive of Procter & Gamble (US) in 2013 (previously CEO 2000-09).

Michael Mack

Graduated MBA in 1987, became chief executive of Syngenta (Switzerland) in 2008.

Jim McNerney

Graduated MBA in 1975, became chief executive of Boeing (US) in 2005.

Charles Moorman

Graduated MBA in 1989, became chief executive of Norfolk Southern (US) in 2005.

David Nelms

Graduated MBA in 1987, became chief executive of Discover Financial Services (US) in 2004.

James Robo

Graduated MBA in 1988, became chief executive of Nextera Energy (US) in 2012.

Carlos Rodriguez

Graduated MBA in 1991, became chief executive of ADP (US) in 2011.

Ulf Mark Schneider

Graduated MBA in 1993, became chief executive of Fresenius (Germany) in 2003.

Sir Martin Sorrell

Graduated MBA in 1968, became chief executive of WPP (UK) in 1986.

Michael Ward

Graduated MBA in 1976, became chief executive of CSX (US) in 2003.

Wendell Weeks

Graduated MBA in 1987, became chief executive of Corning (US) in 2005.

George Weston

Graduated MBA in 1992, became chief executive of Associated British Foods (UK) in 2005.

Meg Whitman

Graduated MBA in 1979, became chief executive of Hewlett-Packard (US) in 2011.

INSEAD Business School

INSEAD

André Calantzopoulos

Graduated MBA in 1984, became chief executive of Philip Morris International (US) in 2013. Mr Calantzopoulos joined Philip Morris International, the makers of Marlboro cigarettes, in 1985. The world’s largest tobacco company outside China, whose brands include Marlboro, entered the electronic cigarette market in 2014.

António Horta-Osório

Graduated MBA in 1991, became chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group (UK) in 2011 before joining the bank – part-owned by the UK government – in 2011, Mr Horta-Osório worked at Banco Santander for almost two decades. A three-year performance-related bonus of £7m in shares is due to lift the bank chief's pay to £11m in 2015.

Börje Ekholm

Graduated MBA in 1990, became chief executive of Investor (Sweden) in 2005.

Gonzalo Gortázar

Graduated MBA in 1992, became chief executive of CaixaBank (Spain) in 2014.

Ben Keswick

Graduated MBA in 2002, became chairman and managing director of Jardine Matheson (Hong Kong) in 2012.

Helge Lund

Graduated MBA in 1991, became chief executive of BG Group (UK) in 2015.

Flemming Ornskov

Graduated MBA in 1989, became chief executive of Shire (UK) in 2013.

Tidjane Thiam

Graduated MBA in 1988, became chief executive of Prudential (UK) in 2009.

Bob van Dijk

Graduated MBA in 2000, became chief executive of Naspers (South Africa) in 2014.

Stanford Business School

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Carlos Brito

Graduated MBA in 1989, became chief executive of Anheuser-Busch InBev (Belgium) in 2005 Brazilian-born Mr Brito entered the brewing industry after Stanford. As chief executive of InBev, he oversaw the $52bn acquisition of Anheuser-Busch, which created the world’s biggest brewer by sales.

John Donahoe

Graduated MBA in 1986, became chief executive of eBay (US) in 2008. Before joining eBay in 2005, Mr Donahoe was chief executive of Bain & Company, the management consultancy firm. The ecommerce company announced the spin-off of payments business PayPal last year.

Mary Barra

Graduated MBA in 1990, became chief executive of General Motors (US) in 2014.

Jeffrey Bewkes

Graduated MBA in 1977, became chief executive of Time Warner (US) in 2008.

Richard Fairbank

Graduated MBA in 1981, became chief executive of Capital One Financial (US) in 1988.

Tom Linebarger

Graduated MBA in 1994, became chief executive of Cummins (US) in 2012.

Ken Powell

Graduated MBA in 1979, became chief executive of General Mills (US) in 2007.

Miles White

Graduated MBA in 1980, became chief executive of Abbott Laboratories (US) in 1998.

University of Chicago: Booth

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Satya Nadella

 Graduated MBA in 1997, became chief executive of Microsoft (US) in 2014.Mr Nadella took over leadership of the world's largest software company in February 2014, having joined in 1992. Microsoft became the largest seller of cloud services to business customers in 2014.

John Watson

Graduated MBA in 1980, became chief executive of Chevron (US) in 2010. Mr Watson started his Chevron career upon graduation from Chicago. Under his leadership, the second-largest US oil company has sustained large-scale capital investment, including a $52bn gas project in Australia, to increase production.

José Antonio Álvarez

Graduated MBA in 1996, became chief executive of Banco Santander (Spain) in 2014.

Arnold Donald

Graduated MBA in 1980, became chief executive of Carnival (US/UK) in 2013.

Brady Dougan

Graduated MBA in 1982, became chief executive of Credit Suisse Group (Switzerland) in 2007.

Masaaki Tsuya

Graduated MBA in 1983, became chief executive of Bridgestone (Japan) in 2012.

University of Pennsylvania: Wharton

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Alex Gorsky

 Graduated MBA in 1996, became chief executive of Johnson & Johnson (US) in 2012. Mr Gorsky has been at Johnson & Johnson since 1988, apart from four years at Novartis. J&J, the world's largest pharamaceutical group by market capitalisation, started clinical trials of an Ebola vaccine in January.

Phebe Novakovic

Graduated MBA in 1988, became chief executive of General Dynamics (US) in 2013. Ms Novakovic joined the US aerospace and defence group in 2001 having worked at the US Department of Defense. Shares in the company, whose products include Gulfstream private jets, almost doubled in value in the two years from January 2013, when Ms Novakovic took the helm, to $138.47 on January 2 2015.

John Bryant

Graduated MBA in 1992, became chief executive of Kellogg (US) in 2011.

Jay Fishman

Graduated MBA in 1974, became chief executive of Travelers Companies (US) in 2001.

Vincent Forlenza

Graduated MBA in 1980, became chief executive of Becton Dickinson & Co (US) in 2011.

Asim Ghosh

Graduated MBA in 1970, became chief executive of Husky Energy (Canada) in 2010.

Kellogg School of Management

kellog

Bill McDermott

Graduated MBA in 1997, became chief executive of SAP (Germany) in 2010. Before joining SAP in 2002, Mr McDermott’s career included 17 years at Xerox. The German software company has responded to cloud-based competition with acquisitions including the $8.3bn takeover of Concur.

Ivan Menezes

Graduated MBA in 1985, became chief executive of Diageo (UK) in 2013. Mr Menezes joined Diageo in 1997 after spells at consumer goods companies Whirlpool and Nestlé. Emerging markets have been a focus since he became chief executive in July 2013.

Bernard Fornas

Graduated MBA in 1972, became chief executive of Richemont (Switzerland) in 2013.

Ellen Kullman

Graduated MBA in 1983, became chief executive of DuPont (US) in 2009.

Alex Molinaroli

Graduated MBA in 2005, became chief executive of Johnson Controls (US) in 2014.

Ernest Santi

Graduated MBA in 1994, became chief executive of Illinois Tool Works (US) in 2012.

Columbia Business School

columbia

César Alierta

Graduated MBA in 1970, became chief executive of Telefónica (Spain) in 2000. Mr Alierta has overseen Telefónica’s transformation from Spanish state monopoly to fully listed company. The telecoms group acquired Vivendi's Brazilian broadband business for €7.5bn in 2014.

James Gorman

Graduated MBA in 1987, became chief executive of Morgan Stanley (US) in 2010.Before joining Morgan Stanley in 2006, Mr Gorman worked at competitor Merrill Lynch. Under his leadership, the US bank has shrunk its fixed-income trading business and is focusing on wealth management.

Michael Fries

Graduated MBA in 1988, became chief executive of Liberty Global (US) in 2005.

David Simon

Graduated MBA in 1985, became chief executive of Simon Property Group (US) in 1995.

University of Virginia: Darden

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Robert Hugin

Graduated MBA in 1985, became chief executive of Celgene (US) in 2010. Mr Hugin worked at JPMorgan following his MBA, until joining Celgene in 1999. Under his leadership, the US biotechnology company’s share price has more than tripled.

Michael Pearson

Graduated MBA in 1984, became chief executive of Valeant Pharmaceuticals (Canada) in 2008. Before joining Valeant in 2006, Mr Pearson worked at consultants McKinsey for 23 years. The share price of the Canadian pharmaceutical group, which specialises in dermatology and eye health, rose 10-fold from the start of 2010 to $143.97 on Jan 2 2015.

John Strangfeld

Graduated MBA in 1977, became chief executive of Prudential Financial (US) in 2008.

NYU: Stern

ny_stern

Gerald Hassell

Graduated MBA in 1979, became chief executive of BNY Mellon (US) in 2011. Mr Hassell has spent his entire career at the US bank, having joined as a management trainee in 1973. As of September 30 2014, BNY Mellon had $28.3tn in assets under custody and/or administration.

Charles Scharf

Graduated MBA in 1991, became chief executive of Visa (US) in 2012. Visa recruited Mr Scharf from JPMorgan, where he had been head of retail financial services. In 2013 the credit card company launched an online payment system which allows consumers to pay without re-entering details.

George Barrett

Graduated MBA in 1988, became chief executive of Cardinal Health (US) in 2009.

Source: Financial Times