Sunday, August 31, 2014

Executive profile: Tom Farley, President, NYSE

When he was just 30, Farley, was named the head of the New York Board of Trade. It was a tough gig: the NYBOT was an also-ran commodities exchange that did most trading on its physical floor at a time when the rest of Wall Street was going electronic—and being young and coming from the tech world won Farley immediate enemies with its old school traders. Five years later trading volume on the NYBOT—which was renamed ICE Futures US— had doubled and earnings were up sixfold. Farley’s new assignment is similar but exponentially bigger and more prominent: In May, he was named president of the New York Stock Exchange, making him the second-youngest person to ever run it (the youngest was William McChesney Martin, who was 31 when he was named in 1938; he went on to become the longest-serving chairman of the Federal Reserve). Farley’s plan to keep the old man of Wall Street relevant: modernize and simplify everything, from the NYSE’s trading systems to its office space. He’s already overhauled management. Says Jeffrey Sprecher, CEO of the Intercontinental Exchange, which bought the NYSE last year: “it’s his show.”

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