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December 18, 2007

Niederauer Gets Nod at NYSE Euronext

By Michael Scotti

Can electronic trading veteran Duncan Niederauer step in to replace John Thain as CEO of NYSE Euronext without missing a beat? Industry execs emphatically say yes. The pragmatic Niederauer, they say, will have no problem filling the shoes of Thain, who left to head Merrill Lynch last month.

Niederauer joined NYSE Euronext as co-president in April from Goldman Sachs, where he spent 22 years. "This guy's a pro," commented the head of trading at a large brokerage firm. "Duncan is strategically savvy and smart." Sources describe Niederauer as competitive, energetic, direct, hard-driving and client-focused. He's not afraid to take on new projects, said another trading veteran.

However, the new CEO will face a learning curve, said a former client. The two aspects of the new job are running a business, but also being an ambassador of sorts on a global basis. "From a political acumen perspective and in a global context, this is a new area for him," the former client said. "Duncan isn't a politician, but I think he'll be fine."