Jeffrey Sprecher

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Jeffrey Sprecher
Jeffrey Sprecher.jpg
Sprecher in January 2020
Born (1955-02-23) February 23, 1955 (age 66)
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin–Madison (BS)
Pepperdine University (MBA)
OccupationChairman and CEO, Intercontinental Exchange
Chairman, New York Stock Exchange
Net worthIncreaseUS$1 billion+ (2020)[1]
(m. 2004)

Jeffrey Craig Sprecher (/ˌsprɛkər/, SPREK-ər, born February 23, 1955) is an American businessman, the founder, chairman, and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange, and chairman of the New York Stock Exchange.

Early life[edit]

Sprecher was born in Madison, Wisconsin, the son of insurance broker Peter Sprecher and medical technologist Phyllis (née Willingham). His sisters are the filmmakers Karen and Jill Sprecher.[2][3][4] He attended Madison's James Madison Memorial High School,[5] and was initiated to the Wisconsin Alpha Chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.[6] Sprecher received a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1978 and a Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University in 1984.[7][8]


Sprecher's first job was at Trane, where he met William Prentice who was developing power plants following deregulation. Prentice offered him a job at Western Power Group in 1983.[9]

The Energy Policy Act of 1992 passed and deregulation in the electric industry began. Those working in the "electric industry realized the need for real-time, continentwide transactions", made possible by "Continental Power Exchange" technologies whereby "individual businesses and consumers may one day be able to select an energy provider in the same way that individuals shop for long-distance telephone service."[9][10]

In 1996 he bought the Continental Power Exchange in Atlanta from MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company for $1 plus the assumption of debt, which became the foundation for Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).[9][10]

In the 1990s energy trading was handled manually by "Continental Power Exchange, an electronic energy trading company.[9][10] By 1997 Continental Power Exchange CPEX had "a federated software structure in place, CPEX... ready to expand to more servers as growth demands. CPEX's hardware and server architecture [were] capable of supporting foreseeable changes that may be necessary when the client load arrives. Continental [intended] to stay at least one step ahead of the marketplace."[11]

Sprecher started Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in 2000 as an online marketplace for energy trading in Atlanta.[12]

Shortly after the company approached Enron to be a client, Enron started its own competing electricity trading platform, which dominated the market. Enron's market model was to buy from every seller and sell to every buyer. Wall Street bankers, particularly Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley backed him and he launched ICE in 2000 (giving 80 percent control to the two banks who, in turn spread out the control among Shell, Total, and British Petroleum). When Enron's exchange collapsed in 2001 in the Enron scandal, ICE's business exploded.[8][9]

Since then the company has expanded including the following acquisitions:


In 2018, Intercontinental Exchange formed Bakkt, “a pioneering marketplace in digital currency futures.” In January 2021, the company announced that “Bakkt’s being absorbed into a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) sponsored by Chicago investment fund Victory Park Capital.” Sprecher was quoted in Fortune that “the lofty costs of processing payments by credit card [are] one of the prime targets for disruption in financial services. Bakkt . . . could play a central role in wrestling down costs.” [14]

Stock sales during COVID-19 pandemic[edit]

On March 19, 2020, the public release of federal financial-disclosure documents revealed that Sprecher and his wife, interim U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler sold millions of dollars of stock the couple owned in companies vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic. The sales began the same day Loeffler and other senators received a private briefing from federal officials about the looming crisis.[15] The documents also showed that the couple purchased stock in a company that would potentially benefit from the shelter-in-place orders that have since been implemented throughout the United States to prevent the spread of the virus. The company, Citrix, specializes in teleworking software.[15] At least some of the stocks that Loeffler sold were owned jointly with Sprecher and would have required his knowledge and authorization to sell, documents show.[15][16]

On March 20, 2020, the consumer advocacy group Common Cause filed complaints against Sprecher and Loeffler with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the United States Senate Ethics Committee, and the United States Justice Department, requesting from the latter a criminal investigation of the couple for violations of the STOCK Act.[17]

On March 20, 2020, also reported by CNBC in the same article referenced above, Intercontinental Exchange said in a statement that the nearly 30 transactions involving the couple were “in compliance” with company policies. “Mr. Sprecher and Senator Loeffler have made clear that those transactions were executed by their financial advisors without Mr. Sprecher’s or Senator Loeffler’s input or direction.”[18]

On June 16, 2020, it was reported that the Senate Ethics Committee ended its investigation into Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s stock trades. The news comes three weeks after Sen. Loeffler’s office said the Justice Department had also dropped its probe into her stock trades. Deborah Sue Mayer, the Ethics Committee’s chief counsel and staff director, wrote in the letter that the panel examined stock transactions made by both Loeffler and her husband Jeffrey Sprecher, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Sprecher has been married to former U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler since 2004.[20][21] They reside in Tuxedo Park, Atlanta in a $10,500,000, 15,000 square foot estate named Descante, though the property was later reappraised for around $4 million, resulting in far lower property taxes.[22][23]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sprecher and his wife donated $1 million to the Phoebe Foundation's COVID-19 Relief Fund of the Phoebe Putney Health System for personal protective equipment for Phoebe care team members.[24]


  1. ^ "ICE's Jeffrey Sprecher Turns Billionaire on Eve of Wife's Georgia Runoff". Retrieved 2021-03-04.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "Doug Moe: No more anonymity for Jeff Sprecher after NYSE purchase : Wsj". 2013-01-06. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
  6. ^ Popper, Nathaniel. "Jeffrey Sprecher's Improbable Path to Buying the N.Y.S.E."
  7. ^ "IntercontinentalExchange, Inc. - Board of Directors". Retrieved 2013-01-20.
  8. ^ a b Chad Terhune (July 29, 2010). "ICE's Jeffrey Sprecher: The Sultan of Swaps". Bloomberg Business Week. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Nathaniel Popper (January 19, 2013). "Buying the N.Y.S.E., in One Shot". New York Times. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
  10. ^ a b c Miranda Green (December 20, 2012). "9 Fun Facts About the NYSE's New Boss: The newest big shot in the New York financial world is a guy from Atlanta who studied chemical engineering and loves go-cart". The Daily Beast.
  11. ^ D. Heise; D Tuck (August–September 1997). Continental Power Exchange. Distributed Object Computing (Report). pp. 30–36.
  12. ^ doug_moe (January 6, 2013). "Doug Moe: No more anonymity for Jeff Sprecher after NYSE purchase". Wisconsin State Journal.
  13. ^ Rothwell, Steve (December 20, 2012), "For the New York Stock Exchange, a sell order", San Jose Mercury News, Associated Press
  14. ^ Tully, Shawn (2021-01-27). "Bakkt wants to put your rewards, points, Bitcoin, and even stocks all in one new digital wallet". FORTUNE. Retrieved 2020-02-22.
  15. ^ a b c Markay, Lachlan; Bredderman, William; Brodey, Sam (March 20, 2020). "Sen. Kelly Loeffler Dumped Millions in Stock After Coronavirus Briefing" – via
  16. ^ Lipton, Eric; Fandos, Nicholas (2020-03-19). "Senator Richard Burr Sold a Fortune in Stocks as G.O.P. Played Down Coronavirus Threat". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  17. ^ Franck, Dan Mangan,Thomas (2020-03-20). "Sen. Loeffler, NYSE owner CEO husband defend stock sales after her coronavirus briefing". CNBC. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  18. ^ Franck, Dan Mangan,Thomas (2020-03-20). "Sen. Loeffler, NYSE owner CEO husband defend stock sales after her coronavirus briefing". CNBC. Retrieved 2020-01-06.
  19. ^ Levine, Marianne (2020-06-16). "Senate Ethics Committee drops probe of Loeffler stock trades". Politico. Retrieved 2020-01-06.
  20. ^ Popper, Nathaniel (Jan 19, 2013). "Buying the N.Y.S.E., in One Shot". Retrieved Nov 29, 2019 – via
  21. ^ Meyer, Gregory (March 27, 2018). "ICE communications head Kelly Loeffler to step down at year's end". Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  22. ^ Lichtenstein, Jesse (March 29, 2013). "Market Movers".
  23. ^ Hirsh, Ben (October 24, 2014). "Buckhead Man Buys NYSE". Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  24. ^ "Phoebe Foundation Receives $1 Million Donation". Retrieved 13 November 2020.

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