William R. Johnston
William R. Johnston was named president, chief operating officer, and a member of the office of the chief executive at the New York Stock Exchange in July 1996. The New York Stock Exchange is the world's largest equities market, with a total market capitalization of more than $12 trillion. Mr. Johnston's responsibilities at the NYSE include overseeing the areas of new listings and client service; operations, equities, market data and technology; regulation; and the office of the general counsel.
Prior to his current position, Mr. Johnston had been vice chairman and director of the NYSE and a senior managing director of LaBranche & Co., a leading specialist firm. He joined LaBranche & Co. in 1990, having previously been chairman and chief executive officer of Agora Securities, Inc., the company he founded in 1980. He also served as senior vice president and director of Mitchum, Jones & Templeton, Inc., from October 1971 to August 1980.
A member of the NYSE since 1964, Mr. Johnston was named a director of the Exchange in 1992 and vice chairman in 1995. From 1991 until 1992, he was a senior floor official, and previously served as floor governor from 1985 to 1991 and floor official from 1979 to 1985.
Since 1985, he has served on the Exchange's Quality of Markets Committee, the Market Performance Committee, the Human Resources Policy and Compensation Committee, the Financial Operational Surveillance Committee, the Institutional Traders Advisory Committee and the Floor Facilities Committee. In addition, Mr. Johnston served on the NYSE Foundation Board of Directors.
Mr. Johnston is president and director of the Floor Members Outreach Program, Inc., and treasurer and director of the Cancer Research & Treatment Fund, where he has been a member of the board for over 15 years. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Washington and Lee University, from which he graduated in 1961 with a B.S. in Commerce.
"Everyone seems to be looking for electronic solutions." William R. Johnston, president and COO of the New York Stock Exchange, and this fall's Executive in Residence on November 10, 1998, has long felt that Wall Street and academia have something in common. "We're both in the recruiting business," says Johnston, "and we're both looking for bright young people who'll help us grow."
William R. Johnston obviously enjoys exchange with students during his Executive in Residence day.
During a luncheon gathering, Johnston, who is in charge of new listings and client services for the NYSE, gave an informal talk to Lubin students and faculty about how the exchange plans to retain its competitive edge. "Up until 1984 we were very arrogant," remarked Johnston. "Today we're different. We've realized that we have to add more flavor to our content in order to compete and trade globally."
Exchange Looking for Ways to Adapt to 24-Hour Global Trading
Mergers like those of Daimler- Benz / Chrysler and British Petroleum / Amoco have spawned huge international conglomerates with global securities that can easily be traded throughout the world's financial markets. Expanding their hours of trading is one of the enhancements that Johnston described in discussing how the NYSE would add more "flavor" to their operations as they explore a variety of ways that they could adapt to the changing environment. "In the future, we're probably not just going to be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard time," said Johnston. "We'll be dealing with more and more global securities, and that means we might have to consider trading, say, from 5 a.m. to 12 a.m. This would create opportunities for trading in currencies like the yen and the euro and help us attract even more world class companies.
"Johnston also addressed the impact of technology—particularly the explosion of the Internet and online trading—on the venerable old exchange. With over $3 million in online trades in 1998, Internet brokerage sites are reshaping the world of finance.
"Everyone seems to be looking for electronic solutions," he noted, "and we've had to closely examine our business model as a result. What we have to figure out is: Do we run the NYSE at night through the Internet? Do we use technology to develop NYSE light [virtually a scaled down version of the daytime operations of the exchange]? We haven't yet come to a conclusion, but we're looking for new ways to use the Internet to our advantage."
Johnston admitted that the phenomenal growth of Internet companies like Amazon.com and eBay has forced the NYSE to keep a keen eye on companies it wouldn't have bothered with five years ago. "Now we're looking at smaller companies like Amazon. com that are full of potential," he said. "We want to build relationships with them despite the fact that they don't yet meet our earnings requirements."
After the luncheon, Johnston spent the rest of his Executive in Residence day meeting with faculty and with student leaders and lecturing to packed graduate and undergraduate class sessions.
A graduate of Washington and Lee University, Johnston first joined the NYSE in 1964. Before working for the Exchange, he had founded his own brokerage firm, Agora Securities, and served as senior managing director of LaBranche & Co. In 1992 he was tapped to be director of the NYSE and three years later became its vice chairman. Since 1996 he has served as president and COO, overseeing a number of areas, including operations, market data and technology, and equities. He has also been a member of several NYSE committees and o rganizations, including the Institutional Traders Advisory Committee and the NYSE Foundation Board of Directors.
Bob Seltzer is president and chief executive officer of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, with responsibility for worldwide operations.
With 20 years of public relations experience, Bob has developed and managed communications programs for a broad range of industries - with special focus in the areas of health care, consumer products, and crisis communications. His clients have included Gillette, Kellogg, Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Mercedes-Benz, IBM, Nestle, and Johnson & Johnson.
He has been involved in the launch of dozens of new products including pharmaceuticals such as Capoten, Imitrex, and Seldane-D; consumer products such as the Gillette Sensor and Sensor for Women, 1-800-COLLECT for MCI, and Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats; and OTC products such as Nicorette and Nicoderm CQ, Tagamet HB, and Monistat 7.
Prior to joining Ogilvy PR, he served as general manager and president of Porter Novelli's New York office, and as a member of the company's four-person Management Committee. During his time heading Porter Novelli NY, he quadrupled the size of the office in a seven-year period. In addition to his 18 years of agency experience, Bob also worked in corporate public relations for GAF Corporation. He started his career as a journalist spending five years as a newspaper reporter covering politics for Gannett.
A graduate of Syracuse University, he majored in magazine journalism at the Newhouse School of Public Communications and in psychology at the College of Arts and Sciences.