Muriel “Mickie” Siebert: First Woman in Finance

Muriel “Mickie” Siebert: First Woman in Finance

We cannot talk about strong and powerful women in finance without naming a fearless Wall Street Broker, Muriel Mickie Siebert. Muriel Mickie Siebert is an American businesswoman who made history by being the first woman to hold a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and the first woman to be the head of an NYSE member company. On December 28th, 1967, she became one of the exchange’s 1,365 male members. She is known as the first Woman in Finance. Despite not having a college degree, Muriel Mickie Siebert established herself as one of the most well-known figures on Wall Street.

About Muriel Mickie Siebert

Muriel Siebert was born on September 12th in Cleveland, Ohio. Her father, Irwin, and mother, Margaret Siebert, had two daughters. She did not get married or have kids. Muriel started going to Western Reserve University in 1949. She studied business there and was often the only female student in the class. After seeing it on her first trip away from home, Muriel was determined to work at the New York Stock Exchange. She assured all her friends that she would return to apply for jobs. Siebert unfortunately had to drop out of school early in 1952 after learning that her father had cancer. She was still confident that she could realise her dream, though.

Two years later, Siebert moved to New York, where the only female employees on Wall Street were support personnel and secretaries. Determined to achieve more, Siebert falsely claimed a college degree to receive her first job as a researcher for Bache & Company. Despite earning much less than her male colleagues doing the same work, she changed jobs three times in pursuit of better opportunities.

Muriel’s Career History

In 1967, She started her own company, Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc., by conducting research for organisations and buying and reselling financial analyses. She applied for a seat on the New York Stock Exchange that year. Nine of the ten investors she approached to sponsor her application had turned her down.

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) emphasised a fresh requirement before evaluating Siebert’s application. It demanded that Siebert get a letter from a bank guaranteeing $300,000 in loans at the almost all-time high seat price of $445,000. However, banks would only guarantee her a loan once the NYSE granted admission. On December 28th, 1967, they finally picked Siebert to join the membership. Muriel attacked the discount brokers in 1975 after the SEC allowed the negotiation of broker commissions for the first time. She ran multiple advertisements defining the discounters and the rates as “lowball.” In 1977, she became Superintendent of Banks for the State of New York, gaining regulatory authority over all the state’s banks and managing over $500 billion. Despite failures nationwide, only a few banks failed during her tenure.

She entered the Republican primary for Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s Senate seat shortly after returning to her company. After State Assemblywoman Florence Sullivan, who lost to Moynihan in November 1982, she finished second. When J. Michael & Sons, a furniture holding company, entered liquidation in the middle of the 1990s, Siebert & Co. reversely merged with it to become a publicly traded business. Siebert remained a highly sought-after commentator on events in the financial markets while she served as the President of her own company.

At the age of 84, Siebert passed away at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center on August 24th, 2013, because of cancer-related complications.