Business

NYSE reveals sweeping changes to top leadership

Intercontinental Exchange has made sweeping changes to its top management, including the two most senior positions at the New York Stock Exchange.

Stacey Cunningham, who became the first woman to lead the NYSE in 2018, will step aside as president. Jeff Sprecher, ICE’s co-founder and chief executive, will relinquish his role as chair of the NYSE, which he has held since ICE bought the Big Board in 2013 for $8.2bn.

In an email to staff on Monday, Sprecher said the changes were the widest-ranging in ICE’s 21-year history and were intended to allow a new generation of executives to gain more experience as the group enters its third decade.

“I’m not going anywhere, but . . . challenging this group of global leaders with new or expanded roles is fundamental to good governance and stewardship of our firm,” he wrote.

Sprecher, who founded ICE as an energy trading business at the turn of the century, built the Atlanta group into a $70bn giant trading derivatives and shares, as well as supplying data and clearing.

He said investors increasingly wanted products and services to address climate change and social concerns. He also spoke of more opportunities at Ellie Mae, the mortgage software provider ICE bought last year for $11bn.

The changes were announced as part of a broader shake-up that included appointments of a new group chief operating officer and chief information officer, and expanded roles for several other senior managers. All the appointees were existing ICE employees.

Lynn Martin, president of ICE’s fixed income and data services business, will take over from Cunningham in January.

Martin started her career at IBM before moving to what became NYSE’s derivatives business in 2001. She has led ICE’s data business since 2015, when it acquired Interactive Data Corp.

Sprecher will be replaced as chair by Sharon Bowen, a former commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the main US derivatives market regulator.

Sprecher said Cunningham was “beginning a new chapter in her career”, and would join the NYSE’s board of directors.

He said she had “led the NYSE through an extraordinary era that saw its technology prove resilient and its trading systems thrive in even the most turbulent times. She begins a new chapter with the exchange better and stronger for her tireless efforts, and with our deepest thanks.”

Stuart Williams will move from head of ICE Futures Europe, its top European role, to become chief operating officer. Jennifer Ilkew, who ran ICE’s Asian business from Singapore, will return to the US to run its US futures unit.


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