What glass ceiling?
Stacey Cunningham made history on Tuesday, May 22, when she was named the first female president of the New York Stock Exchange in its storied 226-year history.
Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE - Get Report) announced Cunningham's appointment to the top spot at its NYSE in a statement , noting that she will begin her tenure on Friday, May 25. Cunningham will be the 67th president of the NYSE, succeeding Thomas Farley, who has been at the helm since 2014.
Here's what you need to know about Cunningham, the leader about to take over at the most-well-known stock exchange in the world.
She Knows Her Stuff
Cunningham began her time at the NYSE as an intern in the summer of 1994, then as a trading floor clerk in 1996. According to TheStreet's relationship mapping service BoardEx, she worked for more than eight years as a specialist for a unit of Bank of America after graduating from Lehigh University with a degree in industrial engineering.
Since the moment I stepped onto the trading floor, the @NYSE has always held a special place in my heart. I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to lead this organization. pic.twitter.com/600GP34hZe— Stacey Cunningham (@stacey_cunning) May 22, 2018
She's Got Insight
After her stint at the NYSE -- and a career tangent explained below -- Cunningham climbed the ranks at rival exchange Nasdaq.
She started out as the director of capital markets at Nasdaq in March 2007 and was eventually named head of sales for U.S. transaction services in August 2011.
In December 2012, Cunningham returned to NYSE and in under three years was named the exchange's chief operating officer. She began that position in June 2015. NYSE's global head of listing, John Tuttle, will become chief operating officer on Friday.
She's in Good Company
Cunningham will join the ranks of high-powered women leading Wall Street today. Among them is Adena Friedman, who became the chief executive of the Nasdaq exchange in January 2017.
Cunningham also told TheStreet in March that she has to "give Muriel props, because she had a profound impact on my life personally." Cunningham was referring to Muriel Siebert, the first woman to get a seat on the NYSE floor in 1967. "I was a woman trader on the floor and I never thought about it. I never thought for a moment whether or not that could happen."
Despite the new era of female leadership on Wall Street, Cunningham wants more. "We still struggle to get the more equal ratio of women in finance in general," she said.
She Can Handle the Heat
As the technological evolution began to overcome trading in the early 2000s, Cunningham left the hectic NYSE floor in 2005 and didn't make her move to Nasdaq until 2007. In the interim, she enrolled in a nine-month program at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. As part of that culinary education, Cunningham spent six weeks working in the since-shuttered uptown favorite Ouest.
"The environment was so much like the trading floor. Things that would not be okay in really any other place tend to be okay on the trading floor and in the restaurant kitchen," Cunningham told the Financial Times last year. "The way you interact with your coworkers during stress - everyone knows now to not take it personally for the most part. On the floor you might in the heat of the moment be aggressively fighting over a trade, and at the end of the day go grab a beer together."