“Muriel kept going when most would’ve stopped. She broke down walls. She had more stamina than any 20-year-old. And better than anyone, she understood Wall Street — from every element that made it run to the powers that oversaw the enterprise.”
That’s how Jennifer Openshaw, president of Finect, a social media platform, and founder of the Women’s Financial Network describes Wall Street legend Muriel Siebert — known as Mickie — who died on Saturday at 80 of complications of cancer.
A college dropout who left Western Reserve University after two years because her father became ill, Siebert became a bastion of Wall Street. She was the first woman to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange in 1967 as well as the first woman to be in charge of one the exchange’s member firms. In 1975, she transformed Muriel Siebert & Co., which is a now a subsidiary of Siebert Financial, into a discount brokerage. In 1977, she became the first female superintendent of banking for New York state.
Siebert was chairwoman and CEO of Siebert Financial until her death.
Joseph Ramos, Siebert Financial’s chief operating officer, will continue performing “a similar function to those performed by Siebert,” the company said in a statement.
“Mickie was a pioneer and recognized as a leader throughout the industry and beyond,” said Ramos. ”She was respected as a strong voice of integrity, reason and sound business practices. Although she is best known as the first woman to own a seat on the NYSE, she really became one of the great personalities on Wall Street of either sex. Those of us who worked with her will miss her spirit, leadership and great commitment to her clients and the securities markets. We will work to continue her legacy.”
In 2000, Seibert bought the Women’s Financial Network. “I had first met [Siebert] to see if she would consider funding Women’s Financial Network, an idea I had to provide women with investment education and resources that would allow them to move toward financial security,” Openshaw recalls. “Like others, she first wanted to see how it did.”
After witnessing WFN’s success as the first company “to focus specifically on the financial needs of women,” Openshaw says, Siebert bought WFN. “Muriel liked to be the first.”