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Stacey Cunningham

Banker and Leader of the New York Stock Exchange

Who is Stacey Cunningham? 

As a very small child, Stacey Cunningham’s father told her he was a stock trader. She heard ‘sock trader.’ He never spoke more about what he did for a living, but there was a big painting of the New York Stock Exchange floor hanging on the wall. When she became the President of the New York Stock Exchange, he gave her that painting. But where did she start? She never knew she wanted to be in finance. It was chosen for her. She was eighteen years old and had an internship on the NYSE trading floor, and it was there that she knew — that was where her future was. 

Before she was the President, Stacey Cunningham was the New York Stock Exchange’s COO where she was responsible for five equity markets and two option markets. She led the company’s strategy for its equity, equity derivatives, and business. Prior to that, Cunningham was the President of NYSE’s Governance Sciences and the Head of Sales and Relationship Management. Before even joining the NYSE, Cunningham held several senior positions at Nasdaq. But to this day, Cunningham recalls first stepping out on the trading floor where she served as a specialist. 

“There were about 1,300 men at the Exchange when I became a member, and roughly 30 women.” How did she get through it, you may ask. “To be the first woman is less important to me, other than the fact that telling my story is important so women can hear that there are opportunities available to them that they may not have realized. Or when you do feel outnumbered, that it’s okay — and you can power through. You don’t have to fit in quite the way people might expect you to.” 

3 Things We Love About Stacey Cunningham:

  • Cunningham earned her B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University.
  •  She is the 67th President and the first woman to lead the NYSE Group in its 228 year history.
  • She led the implementation of Pillar, a major technology overhaul connecting all of the exchange’s markets. 

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