Jeffrey Sprecher, Buckhead man buys NYSE. I caught up with him at his Tuxedo Park estate where my wife and I were attending a patron party that he and his wife, Kelly Loeffler, were hosting for the Shepherd Center. To give you perspective on his home, I should first tell you that it has a name, “Descante.”
Descante is a $10 million work of art built to showcase other works of art that range from actual dinosaur footprints in the kitchen floor, a 1500-year-old Etruscan statue, 17th century fireplaces imported from Cambridge University and 170-year-old parquet flooring from Versailles. The name is derived from Descant: meaning “The Art Of ComposingThe 4-acre estate is clearly very large, extremely private and surprisingly comfortable.
As my wife and I wandered down the main hall admiring the art, Jeffrey stopped us and introduced himself warmly. What I assumed would be a quick chat soon turned into an engaging conversation with a fascinating person.I love business, so as Jeffrey showed us around a few rooms of his home, I asked what it was like to own the New York Stock Exchange.
Jeffrey told us how just this week they had hosted an incredible number of VIP’s at the NYSE. Jack Ma became the wealthiest man in China after he launched his Alibaba IPO with the NYSE. It was the largest IPO in U.S. history. Jeffrey had also hosted a visit from George W. Bush and several businessmen from around the world who are the wealthiest people in their respective countries. That was just one week.
How did the relatively unknown Buckhead resident, Jeffrey Sprecher purchase the 200-year-old New York Stock Exchange last year and become an internationally known businessman? Like most success stories, it is a tale of persistence and hard work.
Born in Wisconsin to a nurse and salesmen, Sprecher had a typical middle-class upbringing. However, after graduating with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a Masters of Business Administration, Sprecher would begin his journey to become one of the country’s most successful businessmen.
By the mid 90’s, Sprecher purchased the Continental Power Exchange in Atlanta for $1 plus the assumption of debt. Throughout the years, The Continental Power Exchange would evolve into the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), an online marketplace for energy trading in Atlanta. During the 2008 financial crisis, Sprecher would put his exceptional business skills to good use. By making deals with top world banks such as Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, Sprecher put his name and ICE on the map. In 2011 Sprecher attempted to purchase the NYSE, but his $11.3 Billion offer was rebuffed. Then, in 2013 , Sprecher made one of the biggest deals of his life. For $8.2 billion, he purchased the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, making himself one of the most recognized businessmen in the country. Just last week Harvard Business Review named him one of the “Best Performing CEO’s” in the world based on shareholder return.
Today, Sprecher and his wife Kelly Loeffler (head of investor relations at ICE) live in their beautiful Buckhead home and assume all the responsibilities that come with being such powerful and well respected couple. Sprecher is a wonderful example of the American dream being achieved through hard work and persistence.
The fact that a 13-year-old company could take over the 300-year-old New York Stock Exchange is a testament to the power of staying nimble and innovative in business. The Buckhead Community couldn’t be more proud of his accomplishments.