NYSE president says June IPO calendar is 'strong' as she takes on new role

  • Stacey Cunningham, the first woman president of NYSE Group, tells CNBC on Tuesday that the IPO pipeline is strong, and the challenge for exchanges like NYSE and rival Nasdaq is to encourage more.
  • So far this year, 77 companies have filed IPOs, up 8.5 percent from this time last year, Renaissance Capital says.
  • Cunningham, who began her career as a clerk on the NYSE floor in the mid-1990s, says she hopes to see the trading floor remain. "This community provides value."
Stacey Cunningham, chief operating officer of NYSE Group Inc.
Peter Foley | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Stacey Cunningham, chief operating officer of NYSE Group Inc.

Stacey Cunningham, NYSE Group's newly named president, said initial public offerings are lined up for June as the Big Board continues to battle Nasdaq for new listings.

Regulation and private equity capital have kept many smaller companies out of the public markets for far longer than they used to wait to start trading stock, and that is one of the challenges to the business, she told CNBC Tuesday in an interview from the floor of the NYSE.

As of Tuesday, 77 initial public offerings have filed this year, up 8.5 percent from this time last year, according to Renaissance Capital. Companies listing have raised $22.7 billion, up 35 percent.

NYSE has scored some of the higher profile new listings in the last year, including Snap and Blue Apron. Spotify also listed there for the first time earlier this year, though using a slightly different method.

"We do have a strong pipeline coming up in June," Cunningham said on CNBC. "But we want to make sure we haven't gone too far to a market structure that has created and environment that's good for big companies and big investors. We want to be able to welcome companies of small sizes earlier in their life."

NYSE's parent company, Intercontinental Exchange, named Cunningham NYSE Group''s president on Tuesday. Cunningham, who began working on the floor of the exchange after college in the mid-1990s is the first woman to hold that title there. She takes on the role officially on Friday. At Nasdaq, Adena Friedman has been CEO since last year.

In the early 2000s, before ICE acquired NYSE, Catherine Kinney was co-president of the exchange.

Cunningham said she doesn't plan to make drastic changes like getting rid of the NYSE's physical trading floor, even though she admits it's no longer really necessary to have one. "I grew up down here. I certainly hope we are sitting here in five years," she said. "This community provides value."

Cunningham is taking over from Tom Farley, who is moving on to head up Far Point Acquisition, a blank check company that will focus on acquiring fintech businesses.

Far Point is an affiliate of Dan Loeb's Third Point. It plans to raise $400 million in an initial public offering, it said Tuesday in a regulatory filing. The IPO will be at NYSE, though the timing is unclear.