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May 24, 2018

NYSE to be female-led for the first time

Stacey Cunningham becomes the exchange’s 67th – and first woman – president

The NYSE is to be run by a woman for the first time in its 226-year history. The exchange has announced that Stacey Cunningham will become its 67th president.

Cunningham, currently the NYSE’s chief operating officer (COO), started her full-time career at the exchange as a floor clerk in 1996. She replaces Thomas Farley, who has run the stock exchange since 2014 and will now become CEO of a special purpose acquisition company. John Tuttle, currently the NYSE’s global head of listings, will become COO.

Cunningham’s appointment means both the NYSE and the technology-focused Nasdaq will now be run by women following the appointment of Adena Friedman as Nasdaq president and CEO in January last year.

‘As our COO, Stacey Cunningham successfully managed our equities, equities derivatives and [exchange-traded funds] businesses, distinguishing herself as a customer-focused leader who is respected across our industry,’ says Jeff Sprecher, chairman of Intercontinental Exchange, owner of the NYSE, in a statement.

‘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. 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 the US remains the center of the world’s capital markets.’

The biggest challenge Cunningham faces is the diminished significance of major exchanges in an era of electronic trading.