Published On: Tue, May 13th, 2014

Adena Friedman to go back to Nasdaq

Ms. Friedman  will be leaving her post as   chief financial officer of the Carlyle Group, within the next month, to become  president of the Nasdaq OMX Group, where she began her career on Wall Street.

 

In something of a surprise move, Adena Friedman has relinquished her post as chief financial officer of the Carlyle Group, effective immediately to return as President of the Nasdaq OMX Group, the company  where her career on Wall Street  began more than twenty years ago.

Overall Nasdaq has brought as part of a  management re-shuffle, which, according to industry observers, will place  Ms. Friedman strongly in  position as a potential replacement  for the company’s  current CEO  Robert Greifeld, who found himself in the hot seat  last summer, when a series of  technical glitches  caused the exchange to temporarily suspend trading. Greifeld’s contract is due to  expire on February 2017.

Adena Friedman’s decision to leave Carlyle,   the Washington based, privately owned  equity giant is being accepted with a brave face, despite it coming as a complete surprise, according to reports.  Ms. Friedman joined Carlyle hired from Nasdaq just three years ago, becoming the first woman to reach the status of being a member of the multi-billion firm’s management committee.

Commenting on Adena’s resignation,   David M. Rubenstein, co-chief executive of Carlyle stated that the  while the company was  sad to see Adena go, the understanding  that she was presented with  a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve as president of such an important body as Nasdaq OMX as well as to be the leading candidate to some day become CEO really was an offer that she could not refuse.

By quitting Carlise, Ms. Friedman  is  reportedly leaving behind what is  potentially lucrative opportunity with the company, after having been offered and accepting  a specially tailored compensation program,  which would have seen her pick up  share options tied to Carlyle’s  investment profits.

Welcoming Ms. Frideman to her new position at the company, current CEO  Robert Greifeld said in a statement that the company was  honored and privileged to have Adena rejoin our organization.  “She started her career at Nasdaq and played a major role in shaping the strategy that guides many of our actions today.” Greifeld summed up.

Announcing her decision to re-join Nasdaq,  Adena Friedman explained that having  the ability to have influence and create change and drive the strategy of an organization is really what excites me, and the reason that my decision was based on. “  “I am thrilled to be back at Nasdaq OMX, working for one of the most interesting and innovative companies in financial services,   which under Bob Greifeld’s leadership has built an extremely effective and diversified business that is delivering record performance.” Ms. Friedman  went on to add.

 

Ms. Friedman will officially take up her post at Nasdaq on June 12th,   sharing the title  of president with Hans-Ole Jochumsen, formerly head of the Copenhagen Stock Exchange who came to Nasdaq when they acquired  OMX in 2008.  Ironically, as head of corporate strategy at Nadaq, Adena was responsible for  overseeing a number of  prominent acquisitions, in particular the  2007 takeover  of OMX, who operate  seven Nordic and Baltic stock exchanges. By acquiring OMX, Nasdaq gained a foothold in the European  stock and derivatives trading market. .

In her new role, Adena Friedman  is expected  to take responsibility for information services, technology solutions and the corporate client group, while Jochumsen will be in charge of overseeing  global trading and market services for the group.

 

Adena Friedman graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from Williams College in Massachusetts, USA, later going on to earn  an M.B.A., with honors, from Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University, in Nashville.

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