Global 100: Duncan Niederauer, NYSE

Business | Mon 20 Aug | Author – Business & Finance
Duncan Niederauer

The man behind the systems that run Wall Street, Duncan Niederauer has embraced Ireland as a place to develop financial software.

As CEO of NYSE Euronext, Duncan Niederauer is the key man in what is the by far the world’s largest stock exchange at Wall Street. At the New York Stock Exchange, Euro-American multinational financial services corporation NYSE Euronext overseas a market capitalisation of its listed firms that at the end of last year stood at $14.24 trillion.

A leading global operator of financial markets and provider of innovative trading technologies, NYSE Euronext operates markets not just in New York but across Europe also. It is the holding company and the first cross-border exchange group created by the 2007 merger of NYSE Group, Inc. and Euronext NV.

The company’s exchanges – located in Europe and the United States – trade equities, futures, options, fixed-income, and exchange-traded products.

With approximately 8,000 listed issues from more than 55 countries, NYSE Euronext’s equities markets represent one-third of the world’s equities trading and the most liquidity of any global exchange group. The company lists 70 of the largest 100 global corporations and 84% of those listed in the ‘Fortune 500’.

NYSE Euronext also operates NYSE Liffe, a leading European derivatives business and the world’s second-largest derivatives business by value of trading.

Niederauer has served as CEO and a director of NYSE Euronext since December 2007 and has served as a member of the company’s management committee since April 2007. Prior to his current position, Niederauer was president and co-COO of NYSE Euronext with responsibility for US cash equities.

NYSE Euronext is one of the biggest private sector employers in Northern Ireland. It originally acquired the financial software company Wombat in 2008 and then chose Belfast as a base to expand its operations in 2010 when NYSE Technologies opened a new 400-employee premises there.

In an interview with Business & Finance in 2010, Niederauer explained the rationale behind the Northern Ireland expansion,

“Because the government has been very stable and supportive and because of the business friendly environment, we have been able to create a centre of excellence and become an employer of choice, which is hard to do elsewhere in Europe. We got an excellent real estate footprint as well.”

Niederauer’s connection to Ireland goes beyond NYSE Technologies’ base in Belfast. He was influential in jointly hosting Ireland Day 2012 at the NYSE in March of this year.

Ireland Day consisted of a full day conference which presented a unique opportunity to connect some of the most influential American and Irish business leaders with one another to exchange ideas, establish relationships, and explore new business opportunities. The conference showcased Ireland as an investment opportunity, whilst at the same time, presenting a unique opportunity for Irish companies looking to penetrate the US market. The successful event is to repeated at Ireland day 2013 in New York next March.

Given his position as CEO of the NYSE, Niederauer’s worlds are highly influential and recently he has expressed optimism with regard to the situation of the markets around the world. Speaking on a recent visit to Chile, he based this opinion on the current level of liquidity, which enables companies to seek financing on the stock markets without any major problems.

“Liquidity is not a problem, the bottleneck lies rather on the regulatory side, a factor that may slow down the provision of resources for companies after the crisis,” he explained. He stressed that no one was opposing an improvement in the regulations to increase market transparency. “Today, we have to compete with other stock markets that are not as regulated as the NYSE,” he continued, adding that this factor reduced their dynamism.
Before joining NYSE Euronext in April 2007, Niederauer was managing director and co-head of the equities division execution services franchise at Goldman Sachs, where his career spanned 22 years.

Niederauer has served on the board of Archipelago Holdings, LLC and Colgate University, and now serves on the board of Operation Hope, and the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation.

His current memberships include a private group of chief executive officers of the world’s largest and most significant companies, the British-American Business Council International Advisory Committee, and the Partnership for New York City, among may others.