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Making History at NYSE

 

When the opening bell to the world’s largest stock exchange rang at 9:30 a.m. on May 25, a woman was at the helm.

Stacey Cunningham ’96 became the first woman president of the New York Stock Exchange in its 226-year history.

“Since the moment I first stepped onto the trading floor over 20 years ago,” Cunningham shared on her LinkedIn page, “the NYSE has always held a special place in my heart. I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to lead this organization.”

Cunningham earned her bachelor’s in industrial systems and engineering, beginning her career as a summer intern in 1994. After graduation, she joined NYSE as a specialist for Banc of America Securities. Prior to taking over as president, Cunningham was NYSE’s chief operating officer, overseeing the equities, equities derivatives and exchange-traded products businesses.

In a 2016 interview with Lehigh’s alumni Bulletin, Cunningham credited her Lehigh degree for her ability to think through complex problems. Earlier that year, she had supervised the introduction of NYSE Pillar, a new trading technology platform, to the organization.

“When I look at my evolution,” Cunningham said then, “I had three defining stints— the engineering education, the trading floor and the years focused on sales and client relationships. As COO at the NYSE, I put all three together.”

Cunningham’s appointment makes her the 67th president of the NYSE since 1792.

Story by Mary Ann Lynch ’16G

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