17 September 2003
Weakened NYSE Faces Host of Challenges
SEC Is Investigating Governance;
Rivals May Be Able to Capitalize;
Lobbying in Capitol Is Hampered
By KATE KELLY and SUSANNE CRAIG
Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
With Dick Grasso stepping aside, the New York Stock Exchange now faces a series of challenges without its most ferocious and familiar advocate.
The NYSE chairman and chief executive officer tendered his resignation at an emergency board meeting late Wednesday, ending a 36-year career at the Big Board.
Mr. Grasso's resignation came amid intensifying criticism about his compensation, details of which were released in late August. The compensation package included $139.5 million in deferred compensation that Mr. Grasso had agreed to withdraw as part of a contract extension into 2007. Last week, the NYSE disclosed that he had also opted to forgo an additional $48 million in deferred compensation. The Wall Street Journal had reported details of Mr. Grasso's compensation in May.
Among the issues facing the Big Board were a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry into the NYSE's corporate-governance policies; an SEC examination of market structure; and questions about the NYSE's status as a self-regulatory organization.