NYSE Group COO Stacey Cunningham will become president of the organization on Friday, marking the first time a woman has led the exchange in its 226-year history. She will take over from Thomas Farley, who has led NYSE Group since 2014.
Cunningham began her career as on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor in 1996 and will become the 67th president of NYSE. (Part of Intercontinental Exchange, NYSE Group includes the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE American and NYSE Arca.)
“Stacey is really smart and wants to get things done. She’s an executive kind of person,” said John Jacobs, executive director of the Center for Financial Markets and Policy at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, in an interview. “I am not surprised at all that she was appointed. It’s great news.”
Others agree. “More than a half century after Muriel Siebert became the first woman to own a seat on the NYSE, Stacey represents a new generation of leadership for the NYSE Group,” said Jeff Sprecher, chairman and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange, in a statement.
“I’m confident that Stacey, who started as a summer intern on the NYSE floor in 1994, will continue to propel this vital institution forward. Stacey and our team are steadfastly committed to ensuring that the U.S. remains the center of world’s capital markets,” Sprecher added.
Other female leaders of exchanges include Adena Friedman, the president and CEO of Nasdaq, who took on that role in early 2017. She was president and COO of the organization in 2016 and served as president starting in mid-2014.
“These are highly capable women who have really earned the positions,” said Jacobs, who knows both Cunningham and Friedman.
Could the ascendancy of these two women be a sign of more female leaders on Wall Street? “Definitely,” he said. “Both of these women are industry veterans who’ve been in the business for a long time, which is what’s required for such posts in [financial services] organizations.”
John Tuttle, currently the NYSE’s global head of listings, is set to replace Cunningham as chief operating officer of NYSE Group. Tuttle, who joined the NYSE in 2007, will lead NYSE’s global listings, capital markets and exchange-traded products businesses.
Cunningham is taking over as preident as Farley, who joined ICE in 2007 and the NYSE in 2013, prepares to become CEO of a special-purpose acquisition company.
“I have had the honor of standing at the NYSE Bell Podium with hundreds of inspiring entrepreneurs during my years as the NYSE’s president and I am now thrilled to join their ranks by building on an idea and starting something from scratch,” Farley explained in a statement.
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