Chairman, New York Stock Exchange
Since September 11, Richard Grasso, 55, has been to the capital markets what Rudy Giuliani was to the citizens of New York: the man who promised, and delivered, a speedy return to business as usual. For the NYSE, business has been better than usual. During the past two years, Grasso has rebuilt the exchange by aggressively investing in technology, introducing new products, and getting rid of exchange rules that prevented companies from picking their own specialists. The bear market has given him time to implement changes, and today the NYSE is again the place to list. Possibly on deck: whether or not to merge with the American Stock Exchange.
Managing Director, Australian Stock Exchange
The ASX may not be the largest exchange in the world, but it is one of the most innovative. Under Humphry, in 1998 it became the first exchange to demutualize and list its shares on its own exchange, giving it greater transparency and greater access to capital. Many other exchanges have followed suit. Humphry has also announced a broad alliance with the Tokyo Stock Exchange that may lay the foundation for a pan-Asian market. And that's just for starters: Humphry believes that within the next four years, a global exchange could be established, comprising 1,500 to 2,000 well-known stocks trading 24 hours a day in New York, supported by regional and national exchanges.
Chairman and CEO, Euronext
Jean-François Théodore has been busy. Since forming Euronext out of the former Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam exchanges in 2000, he has overseen a listing of its shares, added Portugal's leading stock exchange, and signed a cooperation deal with the Helsinki bourse. Now the 55-year-old is digesting his biggest catch — London's Liffe derivatives exchange — and casting a line for other acquisitions. In fact, amid speculation that the Deutsche bourse is again contemplating a bid for the London Stock Exchange, Théodore has made it quite clear that such a bid wouldn't go uncontested. Few expect that Euronext will remain Europe's second-largest stock exchange by market capitalization for long.