Known as the “First Woman of Finance”, Muriel Siebert forever left her mark on the business world when she became the first woman, among 1,365 men, to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
She began her financial career as a $65 a week research trainee at Bache & Company and worked her way up through various brokerages. In 1967, she established her own firm, Muriel Siebert & Company, Inc., doing research for institutions and buying and selling financial analyses. In 1975, when members of the NYSE were first permitted to negotiate broker commissions, Siebert transformed her company into the nation’s first discount brokerage.
In 1977, Siebert left her firm for five years to become the first female Superintendent of Banking for the State of New York, responsible for oversight of all banks and other financial institutions within the state. During her tenure, she often acted boldly and controversially to launch protective measures to ensure the safety of state banks. Despite the common nationwide failures of financial institutions, not one New York State bank failed during Siebert’s term.
In 1990, Siebert expanded her philanthropic reach with the creation of the Siebert Entrepreneurial Philanthropic Program. Through the program, she shared half of her firm’s profits from new securities underwriting with charities of the issuer’s choice.
While serving as president of the New York Women’s Agenda in 1999, Siebert developed a Personal Finance Program to provide youth with financial management skills. The program is currently being taught in New York City Schools and has been distributed by the Council of Great City Schools. It was her hope that the program will one day be established nationally.
Siebert continued to oversee the day to day operations at the seven branches of her firm until her death, ensuring that her contributions as a businesswoman and philanthropist will shape our nation for years to come.