Adena Friedman, CEO of Nasdaq since 2017

Photographic illustration by Hayley Warnham; Reference: Courtesy of Nasdaq

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Nasdaq

leads the way, having kept markets running smoothly last year with almost all employees working remotely.

The stock trader’s shares have climbed 35% this year as the company continues to gain new business. And it comes after an impressive 2020, which saw net income increase by 15%, resulting in a 20% increase in net income. The stocks are currently trading at 25.5 times futures earnings.

One area where the Nasdaq, which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, is winning big is in initial public offerings. It won 80% operating company lists this year, said CEO Adena Friedman, 51. Barron. She credits Nasdaq’s success to years of building relationships with early stage companies and helping them grow to a public offering.

But IPOs are only part of the Nasdaq’s business. Friedman proudly points out the recent acquisition of Verafin by the Nasdaq for $ 2.75 billion, a cloud-based platform that helps financial institutions detect financial crimes. “Their mission is to fight crime, and that’s a big part of our mission: to bring integrity to the market,” she says. “So we can have this common vision of how we can really support the whole financial system.”

Write to Carleton English at carleton.english@dowjones.com



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