Who Was Muriel Siebert?

Muriel "Mickie" Siebert (1928-2013) was pioneer for women in the world of finance, well known for being the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. Known as "the first woman of finance," Siebert was the president and founder of Siebert Financial Corp., a holding company which owns and operates a discount brokerage and investment banking business. Siebert was also the first woman to serve as Superintendent of Banks in the state of New York. She was known as "The First Woman of Finance." 

Key Takeaways

  • Muriel Sibert was one of the first women to own their own trading seat on the New York Stock Exchange.
  • Known as the "first woman of finance", Siebert founded her own investment and brokerage company, which still operates today.
  • Siebert died in 2013 at the age of 84 years old, paving the way for many other women to follow in her footsteps.

A Brief Biography of Muriel Siebert

Born in 1928 in Cleveland, Muriel Faye "Mickie" Siebert was also an avid women's rights advocate and philanthropist, spending much of her free time and money to aid women and minorities through advocacy within the financial service industry as well as charitable endeavors. She believed that the underutilization of women in business, government and other leadership roles put America at a disadvantage on the world stage. Foremost was her belief that every aspect of commerce and government would benefit from different perspectives and experiences. Siebert passed away Aug. 24, 2013 at age 84 due to complications from cancer.

Her namesake company, Muriel Siebert & Co., is still an active asset management and investment firm located in New York City.

Muriel Siebert: Early Career

Siebert began her career at the age of 22 after leaving university early due to her father's illness. She decided to pursue a career on Wall Street where she worked for a number of brokerages before starting her own, Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc., in 1967. At the time, the NYSE intended to hold Siebert to a new condition as part of considering her application. Siebert would have to secure funding from banks for $300,000 of the near-record seat price of $445,000 which created a kind of "Catch 22." No banks would lend to her without the NYSE admitting her and the NYSE would not admit her without the necessary loans. Her membership was finally approved on Dec. 28, 1967. 

Muriel Siebert: Later Career

In 1977, Siebert was named Superintendent of Banks for the State of New York. The job's role was to oversee all banks operating in the state, which accounted for more than $500 billion in assets. During this time she left her leadership role at her brokerage and wealth management firm, which remains in operation and features 11 branch offices nationwide. In 1990, Siebert started the Siebert Entrepreneurial Philanthropic Plan, which donated half the profits from new securities underwriting deals her company handled to charities chosen by issuers. In 1998, she acted as president of the New York Women's Agenda, which created a program to promote financial literacy among women. Siebert has been honored numerous times by professional, charitable and educational groups.