Sharon Bowen Breaks Barriers By Becoming The First Black Woman To Chair The NYSE Board
Photo Credit: Alex Flynn

Sharon Bowen Breaks Barriers By Becoming The First Black Woman To Chair The NYSE Board

Sharon Bowen is breaking down barriers at Wall Street, becoming the first Black woman to be named board chair of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Pinning itself as the world’s largest stock exchange, the Wall Street brokerage currently houses 2,400 listed companies with a combined capitalization of $36 trillion, TRT World reports.

Bowen’s new role follows just shortly after the Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE) revealed they would make leadership changes to advance with the market.

“As organizations everywhere adjust to a world transformed by the pandemic, our management team is evolving along with the market environment,” ICE founder Jeff Sprecher said in a letter announcing the changes, according to TRT World.

Sharon Bowen's Ongoing Legacy

As AfroTech previously told you, Sharon Bowen’s career began as an attorney. Bowen’s practice involved corporate, finance and securities transactions for large global corporations and financial institutions, including mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, strategic alliances, corporate restructurings, and leveraged finance. Bowen’s contribution has proven to be so valuable that in 2010 former President Barack Obama named her as vice-chair of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation to regulate U.S. broker-dealers. Just two years later Sharon Bowen presumed the role of acting chair.

Bowen went on to become a commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission for three years where she had a rigorous international engagement with central banks, regulators, and market participants, according to Bowen’s official website. The feat marked Sharon Bowen as the first African American appointed to the position. 

New York Stock Exchange New Hires

Bowen joins a slew of new hires for NYSE.  According to Market Watch, Lynn Martin — current president of ICE Fixed Income and Data Services — will now become the next president of the NYSE, replacing Stacey Cunningham. Hope Jarkowski (formerly the co-head of government relations at ICE and currently the NYSE’s Head of Equities) will now become the NYSE’s general counsel replacing Elizabeth King. Mark Wassersug (ICE’s operating chief) will become the NYSE’s Chief Information Officer and Stuart Williams will take over Wassersug’s role as the chief operating officer of ICE.