Sprecher’s NYSE win caps 11-year buying spree

'...no fear of failing'

NYSE Squeezed

“Not only are they losing volume, they’re also getting squeezed in their margins because of all these competitors who have different corporate structures,” Thomas Caldwell, who oversees about $1 billion as chairman and chief executive officer of Toronto-based Caldwell Securities Ltd., said in a telephone interview. His firm owns shares of NYSE and ICE. “They’re languishing as everyone sits and waits for cash equity volumes to pick up, which may or not occur for several years.”

Sprecher was born in 1955 and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and received an MBA from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. Prior to buying the Continental Power Exchange in 1997, Sprecher founded and was for 14 years the president of Western Power Group, Inc., an owner, developer and operator of power plants in California.

In 2000, the year before he wandered halls of the futures’ convention, he tried, along with Goldman Sachs banker Gary Cohn and Neal Shear and John Shapiro of Morgan Stanley, to convince the New York Mercantile Exchange, the Chicago Merc and the CBOT that his idea for a new electronic platform to trade energy and metals would be a success.

Nymex Snub

Cohn is now president of Goldman Sachs. Shear rose to global head of sales and trading at Morgan Stanley and later worked at Apollo Management LP and UBS AG before helping co- found hedge fund Higgs Capital Management LLP earlier this year. In 2008 Shapiro left Morgan Stanley, where he ran global commodities trading.

Sprecher, Cohn and Shapiro managed to present their idea to Nymex board, which listened to the idea and asked them to wait outside while a decision was made. An hour later, they were told that the exchange wasn’t interested, people who were in the room said.

Sprecher had better luck with his latest bid. Boards at Intercontinental and NYSE approved the proposed acquisition and the companies expect to complete the transaction in the second half of 2013, according to the statement today.

Bloomberg News

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