While the trading floor was opened to women in 1943, the first woman to obtain a seat on on the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) was much later. Muriel Seibert took hers on this date, December 28th, 1967.
The eventual number of Exchange seat owners was 1366, and seats at one time cost as much as 4 million dollars. When the NYSE merged and formed a publicly traded company in 2005, the seats were traded for $500,000 and 77,000 shares each of the new corporation. Other reports indicate the seats were worth $300,000 cash and 80,177 shares. The NYSE now sells one year licenses.
I knew someone in 2001 who was studying and had amassed enough to purchase a seat. At that time, She said only one other woman was the possessor of a private seat.
(September 11, 1932 – )
On December 28, 1967, in a single instant the face of high finance in America was changed forever when Muriel Siebert became the first woman – one among 1,365 men – to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.
Siebert began her career in finance working for various brokerages, and in 1967 began her own firm, beginning by doing research for institutions and buying and selling financial analyses. In 1975, Muriel Siebert and Company became the nation’s first discount broker, when the Securities and Exchange Commission first permitted broker commissions to be negotiable. In 1977, Siebert became the Superintendent of Banks for the State of New York, with oversight of all of the banks in the state, regulating about $500 billion. Not one bank failed during her tenure, despite failures nationwide. In 1990 she created the Siebert Philanthropic Program, through which she shares half of her firm’s profits from new securities underwriting with charities of the issuers’ choices. The program offers buyers of new securities a chance to help charities in their communities. More than $2 million has been contributed through this innovative program.
With Susan Kleinman. The Big Apple Business and Pleasure Guide? 501 ways to work smarter, play harder, and live better in New York City. New York: MaterMedia, 1992.
Changing the Rules: Adventures of a Wall Street Maverick. The Free Press, September 2002.
Seibert’s accomplishment, and that of Joseph Searies, the first African American men’s seating, is not noted as of this date in Wikipedia’s chronology of important NYSE events.
In theory it should be easier for women to purchase a yearly seat. Since the NYSE is now share driven, that person would really be a vassal of share holders. If a woman assumes a seat, in likelihood, it will be a representative of the investment firm purchaser.
Since 105,182,000 shares were given to the original 1366 seat holders, it’s pretty clear that those people retained most of the control over the NYSE. The amount represented 70% of the total shares. In addition, some folks went around and purchased seats from holders as the NYSE was merging. This ultimately had the effect of concentrating share power amongst those few. Thomas Caldwell bought three.
So in practicality, it’s business, investment firms, and the gigantically wealthy who push this cart now.
Betting Big on Big Board’s Seats
[Betting Big on Big Board’s Seats. Investor Scoops Up Memberships. To Prepare for Pending Merger;. An ‘Under-Understood’ Business. By AARON LUCCHETTI …]