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NYSE, Euronext Name Director

The exchanges pick a French financier to balance their board between U.S. and European directors.

NYSE Group (NYX) and Euronext have selected French financier Sylvain Hefes to balance their board between European and American directors, Euronext said Thursday.

Euronext also set Dec. 19 as the date when its shareholders can vote on the two companies' proposed merger at a special meeting in Euronext's hometown of Amsterdam.

Hefes formerly worked as a banker at Goldman Sachs and is now an adviser at private banking group Rothschild. He is an outsider at both NYSE and Euronext.

If NYSE and Euronext successfully consummate their planned merger, it will be the first major trans-Atlantic exchange combination. The industry is undergoing rapid consolidation.

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NYSE shares gained $4.36 Wednesday to close at $108.96.