Jeff purchased the New York Stock Exchange, the “cornerstone of American capitalism for 220 years,” for $8.2 billion in a takeover by his company IntercontinentalExchange, Inc. The Wall Street Journal reports that “if regulators and shareholders approve, the combined company would own 14 stock and futures exchanges and five clearing operations that serve as middlemen between buyers and sellers of futures and other contracts, doing more things in more places than any other rival.”
Last August, the Graziadio School honored Jeff with the Distinguished Alumni Award and he addressed graduation, saying: “My Pepperdine education gave me confidence that I needed to go out and start a brand new company. My Pepperdine education went on my resume and it gave me credibility in the eyes of investors, as I went to raise money for my new company. And it went on my resume and I talked about it with my customers, as I ultimately was asking them for new business.”
Jeff co-founded IntercontinentalExchange, a leading operator of regulated futures exchanges and over-the-counter markets for agricultural, credit, currency, emissions, energy and equity index contracts. He has served as the company’s chief executive officer since May 2000 and as the chairman of the board since November 2002.
The firm is based in Atlanta, GA.
Under Jeff’s guidance, ICE expanded into global markets for agriculture, chemicals, credit default swaps, emissions, energy, equity indexes and foreign exchange, and extended its business into central clearing. Today, ICE operates four regulated futures exchanges, two over-the-counter (OTC) markets and five clearing houses globally.
As a power plant developer, Jeff recognized the need among energy market participants for an accessible, standardized electronic marketplace for OTC energy contracts. He purchased Continental Power Exchange (CPEX) in 1997 to achieve his vision of an efficient market that would bring transparency and capital efficiency to previously opaque and fragmented markets. IntercontinentalExchange was formed in 2000 and the company completed its initial public offering in 2005.
Jeff leadership has been characterized by a focus on innovation, transparency and capital efficiency in the global derivatives markets. He has led numerous strategic initiatives that have enabled ICE to expand from a single asset class — energy — into five asset classes today. These initiatives have included numerous acquisitions, including the International Petroleum Exchange of London (2001), the New York Board of Trade (2007), Creditex (2008), The Clearing Corporation (2009) and the Climate Exchange (2010).
In addition to expanding through acquisitions, Jeff has focused ICE’s resources on organic growth, including developing the industry’s first cleared OTC contracts (2002), building the first new major clearing house in the U.K. in over a century (2008), and launching the world’s leading clearing house for credit derivatives (2009).
Jeff’s leadership has been recognized by BusinessWeek, Institutional Investor and a number of other industry publications. He was selected as a finalist in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year program in 2002 and by MarketWatch as one of five finalists in the “MarketWatch CEO of the Year” program in 2006. Also in 2006, ICE’s stock was named the best 1-year performer by The Wall Street Journal, and in 2010 the company was named as the fastest growing company in the Financial Services category by Fortune magazine.
Jeff serves on the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Global Market Advisory Committee and is a member of the Energy Security Leadership Council.
Prior to acquiring CPEX, Jeff held a number of positions in the power industry. For 14 years, he served as president of Western Power Group, Inc., a developer, owner and operator of large central-station power plants in California.
Raised in Wisconsin, Mr. Sprecher earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in addition to an MBA at Pepperdine. He is an active member of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the Buckhead Coalition.