Sandy Springs is truly global with Jeff Sprecher, new owner of the New York Stock Exchange, calling the city home.
“To us we were buying just another exchange,” said Sprecher. “Obviously it was a high profile company, but it’s really changed things a lot. The attention we are now getting is unbelievable. All over the world - world leaders, finance ministers and others are calling - people that never picked up the phone [before].”
Sprecher is CEO and Chairman of Sandy Springs-based IntercontinentalExchange known as ICE, a network of commodity exchanges. He and his wife Kelly Loeffler, vice president of corporate communications, were featured speakers at the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber’s annual luncheon, Thursday.
The event was held at Villa Christina restaurant in Brookhaven and drew about 400 people.
Sprecher founded ICE in 2000 and currently owns 16 exchanges, including the New York Board of Trade, which was purchased in 2007 – think coffee, sugar, cocoa and the 1983 film “Trading Places.” The purchase of a 17th exchange located in Singapore is in the works.
He bought the NYSE for a reported $8 billion.
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He explained that the success of ICE is due to Internet commerce. That’s been a double-edged sword for people who miss the old days of trading stocks. Internet commerce and “dark pools,” that allow trades, particularly large trades, to be kept secret until they are filed, have led to the so-called demise of what was known as traditionally Wall Street, some say.
“It’s a fascinating thing to take the New York trade or stock exchange and put it with this engine of Internet commerce,” Sprecher said.
“The challenge for us and the opportunity is, can we take this lightweight Internet-based entrepreneurial company that was based in Sandy Springs, but ran businesses around the world because of the Internet…and marry it with something that has a building and presence that is iconic,” Sprecher added.
He describes the NYSE, at 11 Wall Street, as a building wrapped in the American flag. “It’s a privilege to be the custodian of it,” he said.
Loeffler said their goal is to create more of a global presence for Atlanta. “We have a little over 400 staff in Atlanta and 4,000 globally,” she said. “We’re in growth continuously, particularly for technology jobs. What’s really based here is a very sophisticated group of programmers doing high tech processing for trade routing around the world, and the investment of money around the world.”