Richard A. Grasso
|Former Chairman and CEO
|New York Stock Exchange
Richard A. Grasso was chairman and chief executive of the New York Stock Exchange from 1995 to 2003. He headed up the exchange during the greatest boom in its 215-year history and was widely praised for reopening the exchange less than a week after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
He was ousted from the position in 2003 after an uproar over his $139.5 million pay package, and because he favored maintaining the NYSE’s old trading system, rather than moving to electronic trading. A judge ordered Grasso to return much of the pay package in 2006, but in 2008 a court ruled that Grasso could keep the money. Former Attorney General Eliot Spitzer was the one who pressed the case against him.
In July of 2015 it was reported that Grasso was returning to the U.S. equity market advising a company that intends to create two stock markets based in Wilmington, Delaware.
He still serves as an adviser to exchanges because of his experience in New York and his reputation in the financial world.
Grasso spent 35 years at the exchange, working his way up from an entry-level listings clerk to the chairman’s office. He once let a wrestler carry him across the trading floor when World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.’s stock debuted in 1999.
In 2006 Grasso invoked his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination during an SEC deposition about the NYSE's investigation of improper trading by the specialist firms that managed trading in particular stocks.
- Rise and Fall at the Big Board. The New York Times.
- The Shaming of John Thain. The Financial Times.
- Grasso Ordered to Return NYSE Pay. NPR.
- Stock Exchange’s Ex-Chief Wins Battle to Keep Pay. The New York Times.
- Dick Grasso Returns to U.S. Stocks, on a Smaller Stage. Bloomberg.
- Grasso Took the Fifth In SEC Trading Probe. The Washington Post.