Ralph DeNunzio

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Ralph DeNunzio
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Ralph DeNunzio is a former Wall Street executive who served as chairman of both the New York Stock Exchange and brokerage firm Kidder, Peabody & Company. He died in October of 2022 at the age of 90.[1]

DeNunzio stepped down as chairman of Kidder, Peabody amid an insider trading scandal involving famed speculator Ivan F. Boesky in which he was not implicated, but his stewardship of the firm was questioned. He had stepped down from the CEO role at Kidder four months earlier, when General Electric bought the brokerage firm and sought to shake up the management in a bid for the firm to avoid being charged in the insider trading scandal.[2] DeNunzio was replaced as CEO by GE board member Silas Cathcart.[3][4][5]

Background[edit]

Ralph Dwight DeNunzio was born on November 17, 1931 in White Plains, New York. After graduating from Princeton, DeNunzio joined Kidder's training program on July 1, 1953. Following the training program, he was assigned to the Chicago office as a stock and bond salesman covering institutions in Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky.[6]

DeNunzio tired of the commute between Chicago and New York and after four years returned to New York to join Kidder's syndicates division. He quickly moved up the corporate ladder at Kidder. He became a partner in 1962, president in 1977 and CEO in 1980.

In 1970, he headed an industry task force at Kidder that resulted in the creation of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. He serve as the chairman of the SIPC from 1980 to 1981.[7]

He served as the president of the Bond Club of New York.[8]

DeNunzio was the second youngest chairman of the New York Stock Exchange when he was named to the position in 1971 at the age of 39. At the time, DeNunzio was head of Kidder's executive committee. He previously served a two-year term as vice chairman of the NYSE.

While chairman of the NYSE, DeNunzio helped arranged the merger of brokerage firms Francis I. DuPont & Company and Goodbody & Company, both of which were having financial difficulties. He also reorganized the NYSE based on recommendations from a group headed by former Federal Reserve Chairman William McChesney Martin, Jr. These changes created a public board of directors and a full-time paid chief executive, which made DeNunzio the last unpaid NYSE chairman.

DeNunzio served on the board of Nike, joining it in 1988 and stepping down in 2011. He served as chair of the Nike board’s compensation and nominating and corporate governance committees, and was a member of its finance committee.[9] Nike established the Ralph DeNunzio Fund for Athletics at Princeton University in honor of DeNunzio's 20 years of service on the Nike board.[10]

He also served on the boards of AMP Inc., Federal Express Corporation and Harris Corporation.

Education[edit]

DeNunzio graduated from Fordham Preparatory School in 1949. He graduated from Princeton University with a liberal arts degree with honors in 1953. DeNunzio also served as a trustee for Princeton University.

References[edit]

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