Taking Lessons from MC, Lynn Martin ‘98 Leads the New York Stock Exchange as Second Female President

By, Christine Nappi, Senior Writer

Lynn Martin ‘98 recently began her tenure as president of the New York Stock Exchange on Jan. 3, 2022 – making her the second female in history to lead the exchange. 

As the 68th president of the NYSE, Lynn will oversee the exchange itself and the entire NYSE Group. According to an article from the NYSE, this includes four electronic stock changes: NYSE Arca, NYSE American, NYSE Chicago and NYSE National, and two options exchanges: NYSE American Options and NYSE Arca Options. 

Lynn is honored to be appointed as president, and describes in an op-ed from Fortune that teamwork is at the core of her leadership style. 

“Taking my place among those who have led the NYSE is both an honor and a responsibility,” Lynn wrote. “Data and technology allow each of us to do much more, much faster, but at the core of any successful enterprise is people collaborating toward common goals.” 

With over 2,400 listed companies, a combined market capitalization of 36 trillion dollars, and trades of over 1 billion shares a day, the NYSE is the world’s biggest and booming stock exchange. Although leading the exchange is no easy feat, Lynn has both experience and education to help her accomplish this.

Kathryn Weld, Ph.D., a professor of mathematics who taught Lynn, describes how she is proud to see all Lynn has accomplished since graduating. 

“It’s just a wonderful feeling to see what happens when [alumni] go on and do these kinds of things,” Weld said. “It just feels like everything was worthwhile.”

Lynn’s first job out of college was as a project manager at IBM in their Global Services unit. In 2001, she left IBM and joined the NYSE derivatives business as an Executive Vice President until 2014. During this time period, Lynn additionally served as the Chief Operating Officer of NYSE Liffe US from 2008 to 2013, and then became the Chief Executive Officer of NYSE Liffe US from 2013 to 2014. 

From there, Lynn joined NYSE’s parent company Intercontinental Exchange, which is a data services firm known as ICE. At ICE, Lynn held a number of leadership roles including, COO of ICE Clear US, President and COO of ICE Data Services and President and COO of Fixed Income and Data Services. In addition to her presidency at the NYSE, Lynn is also the Chair of ICE’s Fixed Income and Data.  

However, Lynn’s experience in the world of tech and finance first began at Manhattan. While she was a student, Lynn majored in computer science and minored in finance, which allowed her to pursue her passions of data and tech. 

According to Weld, Lynn had taken a mix of classes, from calculus and probability courses, to scientific computing and computer architecture courses. At the time, the computer science major was still a part of the mathematics department, which was no problem for Lynn. As Weld describes, Lynn was very interested in math and took around 24 credits of mathematics courses in addition to her computer science classes. 

Weld describes Lynn as a very poised, confident and grounded student who was “sharp as nails.” When solving a challenging equation, Lynn remained calm, cool and collected until she got the solution. 

“She was just kind of unflappable, you know, throw a hard problem at her and she [would] just kind of go, ‘Oh, this is interesting,’ and she’d just think about it,” Weld said. 

One of the hard problems Lynn faced was building computer simulations and models for an independent study project with Marvin Bishop, Ph.D., a professor of mathematics. For this project, Lynn was tasked with building and writing programs for queuing models with C, which is a computer programming language. 

As Bishop describes, one example of this model that Lynn constructed was using statistics and probability to determine how long someone would wait on line to make a transaction at the bank. Although Bishop only worked with Lynn for this project, he describes her as a very intelligent, hard-working individual. 

“She was a really good student and an excellent programmer,” Bishop said. “She was a diligent, very bright student and very personable.” 

Both Weld and Bishop find that Lynn’s learnings in the classroom helped prepare her for a successful post-graduate career as president of the NYSE. As Weld describes, the mathematics department provides a space for students to foster self-confidence before entering the industry, so that when they do, they are ready to tackle any challenge that comes their way. 

“We would be asking students to do presentations and explain their work and be completely comfortable speaking about technical things,” Weld said. “And, I think that builds self-confidence. Lynn probably came in with a fair amount of that but I’m sure it was nurtured by what we did here … what we did for Lynn we try really to do for as many students as we can.”  

In addition to her computer science courses, Lynn also took business courses to fulfill her finance minor. Kudret Topyan, Ph.D, professor and chair of the economics and finance department, taught finance courses when Lynn was here, but did not know her personally. While here, he describes that Lynn would have had to take a mix of business courses such as economics, business statistics and analytics and finance. 

Topyan finds that students like Lynn, who have multiple interests, benefit from coming to Manhattan because the college allows students to explore different areas of study, which ultimately creates more opportunities for them in their career. He finds that having some background in finance prepared Lynn for her role today.  

“Manhattan College enables students of different schools to integrate and create synergies [and] this is not possible in different types of university’s design,” Topyan said. “A connection to the school of business for someone coming from computer science is extremely valuable. It opens up a new direction, [a] new window of opportunities.”

Dean of the school of business, Donald Gibson, Ph.D., describes how Lynn’s combination of computer science and finance makes her a great fit for president of the NYSE. He says that stock trading is a high technology field nowadays, so the combination of disciplines is beneficial. 

“She really was focused on computer science, but got background in finance to be able to understand the application of technology to finance – ‘fintech’ as it’s called,” Gibson said. “Technology and finance have been an important and rising area of interest, and I think that’s why she was perfect to head the New York Stock Exchange to really keep moving it forward.”

Gibson encourages other students to take a mix of classes like Lynn has because it is one of the most valuable things Manhattan has to offer. 

“Lynn Martin really represents that combination of analytical skills and finance that we certainly encourage in our students and leading, you know, the largest stock exchange in the world with trading 2400 stocks is impressive, and I think it really shows the value of Manhattan College Education,” Gibson said. 

In addition to her successes in the classroom, Lynn was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Pen and Sword Honor Societies as a student here. After graduating from Manhattan, Lynn received a Master’s degree in statistics from Columbia University. In 2018, Lynn joined Manhattan’s Board of Trustees, and in 2021 was awarded the De La Salle Medal for her role as an industry leader. 

On top of all of Lynn’s accomplishments lies the most important one: she serves to inspire students every day as the President of the NYSE, and as a fellow Jasper. 

 “That’s an amazing achievement, and she becomes an important role model for our students,” Topyan said. “It’s not hypothetical. Here she is, standing before you, is the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, and she came from this very school. So that’s beautiful.”