NEW YORK (AP) — Muriel "Mickie" Siebert, who started as a trainee on Wall Street and became the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, has died of complications of cancer at age 84.
Siebert died Saturday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Her death was confirmed by Jane Macon, a director of Siebert Financial and a partner at the law firm Norton Rose Fulbright.
Siebert was founder and president of brokerage firm that bears her name, Muriel Siebert & Co. Inc. The company went public in 1996 as Siebert Financial Corp.
Macon said Siebert was "a fabulous woman, a trailblazer and a pioneer" who set a high standard for those who entered the financial world after her. "She always pushed the doors open and kept them open for other people to follow."
Siebert, who was born in Cleveland and moved to New York in 1954 at age 26, started her career as a trainee in research at Bache & Co. earning a $65 a week. She went on to become an industry specialist in airlines and aerospace and later became a partner at brokerages including Brimberg & Co.
She bought a seat on the New York Stock Exchange in December 1967 after months of struggling with the male-dominated business world that initially resisted her efforts to join. She established her investment firm the same year and transformed it into a discount brokerage house in 1975.
Siebert took a leave of absence from the company in 1977 and placed it in a blind trust to be run by the employees when she was appointed the first woman superintendent of banking for the State of New York by Gov. Hugh Carey. She served five years.
As interest rates climbed steeply and bank failures became common, Siebert launched protective measures to prevent banks from failing in New York. She reorganized troubled banks, forced bank mergers, and convinced the federal government to advance millions of dollars to make the new mergers viable. She persuaded stronger institutions to help weaker ones.