Convocation Keynote (1)
John Thain, '77, Chairman and CEO, CIT
Description: John Thain assumed the helm of the New York Stock Exchange following scandals that stunned both the public and the time-honored institution: massive swindles by prestigious exchange members, and the revelation of former NYSE Chairman Richard Grasso's $140-million pay package. Thain has determined to "rebuild confidence, integrity and trust in the world's largest marketplace," by applying "best practices" in the areas of governance, market structure and the strategy of exchanges. Key ingredients include: thinning the board of directors from 26 to 11 and separating the regulatory functions of the NYSE from the business of the exchange; upgrading technology to permit institutional customers "to trade instantaneously, electronically and anonymously," yet maintaining the price discovery process to avoid becoming an "electronic processing network" with its attendant volatility; merging with a for-profit public company to compete globally and to create "a second listing brand for smaller companies." Thain believes he has started to turn the ship around, pointing to such positive market reaction as a tripling in the value of a NYSE seat, from 975 thousand dollars to 2.9 million dollars.
About the Speaker(s): Prior to taking over the NYSE, John Thain was president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. He became president and co-chief operating officer of The Goldman Sachs Group, L.P. in 1999. From 1994 to 1999, he served as chief financial officer and head of operations, technology and finance. From 1995 to 1997, he was also co-chief executive officer for European operations. Thain is a member of The MIT Corporation, the Dean's Advisory Council _ MIT/Sloan School of Management, INSEAD _ U.S. National Advisory Board, the James Madison Council of the Library of Congress and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's International Capital Markets Advisory Committee. He is also a General Trustee of Howard University. Thain received an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1979 and a B.S. from MIT in 1977.
Host(s): Sloan School of Management, MIT Sloan School of Management
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