Changes in Governance, Market Structure and Strategy

author: John Thain, CIT Group Inc.
published: Aug. 1, 2013,   recorded: October 2005,   views: 2357
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John Thain assumed the helm of the New York Stock Exchange following scandals that stunned both the public and the time-honored institution: massive swindles by prestigious exchange members, and the revelation of former NYSE Chairman Richard Grasso’s $140-million pay package. Thain has determined to “rebuild confidence, integrity and trust in the world’s largest marketplace,” by applying “best practices” in the areas of governance, market structure and the strategy of exchanges. Key ingredients include: thinning the board of directors from 26 to 11 and separating the regulatory functions of the NYSE from the business of the exchange; upgrading technology to permit institutional customers “to trade instantaneously, electronically and anonymously,” yet maintaining the price discovery process to avoid becoming an “electronic processing network” with its attendant volatility; merging with a for-profit public company to compete globally and to create “a second listing brand for smaller companies.” Thain believes he has started to turn the ship around, pointing to such positive market reaction as a tripling in the value of a NYSE seat, from 975 thousand dollars to 2.9 million dollars.

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