This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, September 3, 2003, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: First, the corporate scandals (search) rocked the Street. Now Grasso’s pay package shocks the Street. The SEC (search) waiting for information about the details of Chairman Richard Grasso’s hefty compensation. This as a lot of Wall Street execs make a big push to regain investor confidence. Who better to weigh in than a man who’s been around the Street for some three decades and has a lot of confidence.
My next guest was the first African-American to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, and he’s still the only one today.
Joining me now Ambassador Harold Doley. He is the founder and CEO of Doley Securities.
Harold, good to have you back. Congratulations.
HAROLD DOLEY, JR., FOUNDER & CEO, DOLEY SECURITIES: Thank you very much. Good to be here again.
CAVUTO: Thirty years. You were a young man then. Twenty-six years old.
DOLEY: Twenty-six yes.
CAVUTO: You’re a young man now. Has a lot changed since then?
DOLEY: Well, I’ve seen a lot of changes in those 30 years. As an African-American, I was sensitive to the fact that I saw no African- Americans on the floor of the exchange even cleaning up in 1968. There were no African-Americans that shined shoes, and, today, you have the head of Merrill Lynch an African-American, the head of American Express, AOL Time Warner, and it shows that Wall Street is a true meritocracy.
CAVUTO: But, in the exchange itself, is it? The number of minorities who own seats?
DOLEY: Well, you have several minorities that do rent seats.
CAVUTO: How much was the seat when you bought it?
DOLEY: Ninety thousand.
CAVUTO: How much today?
DOLEY: Two million plus.
CAVUTO: Wow. That’s a good investment.
DOLEY: Well, you know, when you look at the Japanese stock exchange, the memberships went up as high as $14 million before they imploded 10 years or so ago.
CAVUTO: You know, the exchange is getting a lot of bad press today, the compensation package for Dick Grasso. What do you make of that?
DOLEY: Well, when Dick Grasso joined the exchange the first year I joined the industry, and that was some 36 years ago, and the market cap for the New York Stock Exchange was about $600 billion. Today, it’s $14 trillion.
CAVUTO: But you don’t think he should take credit for the market cap, do you?
DOLEY: No, I didn’t say that. But he has been a part of the process.
CAVUTO: A hundred forty million dollars.
DOLEY: Well, that deals with a compensation package that covers 36 years, primarily 29 years.
CAVUTO: You don’t find it a tad egregious?
DOLEY: Well, you mentioned in the intro that the SEC is reviewing it, and the exchange is cooperating with the SEC, providing all the information that’s being requested.
CAVUTO: So, at face value, you don’t have a problem with it, just let the guys look into it?
DOLEY: They should look at it. The board approved it. Several boards approved this compensation plan. It was initiated by...
CAVUTO: But boards approve a lot of plans, right?
DOLEY: Yes, but I was about to say it was initiated by private consultants and competing private consultants that came up with this plan.
CAVUTO: Well, you’re the only guy there richer than he is, right?
DOLEY: No, no. No, no, no.
CAVUTO: What do you make just of the markets real quickly today? Are they, indeed, coming back?
DOLEY: The markets are a lot stronger, and for -- in the old days, we used to see the market as an inverse relationship to interest rates. Interest rates have gone up, as you know, recently, and the market continues to show strength. I think we’re going higher.
CAVUTO: All right. Harold Doley. Ambassador Harold Doley, Jr.
Always good seeing you. Congratulations again.
DOLEY: Thank you.
CAVUTO: One of the honorable guys, good guys on the Street.
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