Goldman Sachs takes over New York Stock Exchange

Section:

Another Goldman Joins NYSE, as President

By Aaron Lucchetti
The Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, February 27, 2007

New York Stock Exchange parent NYSE Group Inc. has tapped Goldman Sachs Group Inc. trading executive Duncan Niederauer as its president and co-chief operating officer, setting up the possibility that he may become the second executive in recent years from the brokerage firm to run the Big Board.

The announcement, late yesterday, raises questions about how long current Big Board CEO John Thain, who also hails from Goldman Sachs, will remain in power. Mr. Thain has announced two big mergers at the NYSE and is busy overhauling the 214-year-old exchange but has also said he may only stay in the job a total of five years. He started three years ago, in 2004.

Guessing Mr. Thain's next move is a pastime on Wall Street. Some had thrown Mr. Thain's name out for a job at Citigroup Inc. Mr. Thain is interested in possibly working in Washington, people close to him say. He has been advising Arizona Sen. John McCain, and may be in the running to work on his campaign or serve on his staff in a senior role should Mr. McCain become president.

Mr. Niederauer's hire raises questions about "the longevity of the current management" at NYSE, said Richard Repetto, an analyst with brokerage firm Sandler O'Neill LP.

Mr. Niederauer, while new to the NYSE, is no stranger to the trading floor. He spearheaded Goldman's electronic stock-trading efforts. In the role of president and co-chief operating officer, he'll rejoin his former colleague Mr. Thain, who was formerly president of Goldman. The NYSE went public last year after buying electronic stock exchange Archipelago, which was partly owned by Goldman.

Meanwhile, current NYSE President Gerald Putnam, a founder of Archipelago, takes a new position as vice chairman with responsibility for technology, product development and options.

The NYSE offered to keep Mr. Putnam in his role as president and co-chief operating officer, but that would have meant relocation for Mr. Putnam to New York from Chicago, where Archipelago was based. Mr. Putnam lives with his family in a suburb of Chicago and was unwilling to move, according to people familiar with the discussions. Cathy Kinney remains the NYSE's other president and co-chief operating officer.

Mr. Niederauer will have responsibility for both the NYSE's floor and electronic stock-trading business.

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