In this undated photo provided by the New York Stock Exchange, Stacey Cunningham poses for a photo at the Stock Exchange in New York. Cunningham, the chief operating officer for the NYSE group, will become the 67th president of the Big Board. (Alyssa Ringler/NYSE via AP)
© AP

Stacey Cunningham will become the first female leader of the 226-year old New York Stock Exchange, taking on the top role of president after the departure of Tom Farley.

Ms Cunningham was previously the group’s chief operating officer and will begin on Friday, when Mr Farley leaves. The appointment was confirmed by a spokesperson for Intercontinental Exchange, NYSE’s parent company.

Her appointment comes eighteen months after Nasdaq, NYSE’s big rival, named Adena Friedman as its first female head.

Ms Cunningham originally started out on the NYSE floor in the 1990s as a “specialist” for JJC, handling the shares of companies such as Hershey Foods and Ambac Financial. After she left the floor in the early 2000s, she took a nine-month programme at the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan, which required six weeks working in a restaurant, and rejoined NYSE in 2012 after a spell at Nasdaq.

The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Mr Farley will join Far Point, a special purpose acquisition vehicle backed by Daniel Loeb’s Third Point hedge fund, the newspaper said. Mr Farley had been president of NYSE since its purchase by ICE in late 2013.

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