Workforce.com

AMEX HR is Everywhere

January 1, 1997
The American Stock Exchange (AMEX) began more than 100 years ago. It was known for years as the Curb Exchange. The name was inspired by the brokers and traders who practiced their trade literally in the streets of New York. In 1921, the Curb Exchange moved indoors and was eventually named the American Stock Exchange in 1923. Today, the AMEX is in the same location as it was then and remains the second largest auction marketplace in the world.

How did you end up with this particular job in this industry?
Wall Street was by chance. I had no familiarity with the financial services industry or Wall Street prior to my interviewing at the Exchange (which was 18 years ago). My career, however, was by choice. Ever since I began my career search, I knew I wanted human resources; I was interested in people. I also saw an opportunity to be creative, yet practical.

What is your background?
I have an undergraduate degree in business, a law degree, and received a certificate in personnel management. All of these programs were pursued while I worked full time at the American Stock Exchange in HR. Although I had several jobs before I joined the Exchange, they were jobs. My true career has been in HR.

What are the biggest challenges of your industry?
Wall Street is a fast-paced, high-energy environment. We're always breaking new ground and learning new things -- sometimes as we go along. We have a Trading Floor mentality; everything needs to be done now.

What challenges do you feel are universal for HR?
To be successful in HR, one must enjoy working with and helping people. It's the people aspect of HR that's most important and is universal.

How is HR viewed at your organization?
The HR function at AMEX reports to the office of the chairman. This new reporting relationship is indicative of the direction the Exchange will be heading.

What about your job and/or your organization makes you most proud?
Having an impact, making a difference. Sometimes we're faced with difficult situations and no one feels like a winner. But there's extreme satisfaction when a situation is resolved favorably and people leave it feeling good about themselves, the organization and you.

What is "special" about HR at the Exchange?
I've been fortunate to put together some very innovative programs and policies that have helped to move the business forward. I have partnered with various internal organizations, helped them reach their business goals, and, I believe, added value to the overall organization.

Workforce, January 1997, Vol. 76, No. 1, p. 92.