Adena Friedman

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The strategic pivot Friedman embarked on at Nasdaq a few years ago is now delivering handsome returns: Leaning into fast-growing and highly profitable niches such as market indexes as well as data and analytics has helped boost Nasdaq’s earnings 73% over the past 12 months. It’s also become the go-to stock exchange for companies going public, with Nasdaq winning two-thirds of U.S. IPOs so far in 2020 (and 81% if you exclude the trendy but controversial listings of so-called SPACs, or special purpose acquisition companies). Its latest big score: Airbnb, which chose the tech-heavy exchange over the NYSE for its upcoming debut (following other new Nasdaq additions including drug price startup GoodRx and antivirus software maker McAfee). Investors in Nasdaq’s own stock have also reaped benefits, with its shares up 20% over the past year.