Nasdaq promotes CAO to CFO

Dive Brief:

  • New York-based trader, clearing and listing services giant Nasdaq Inc. has promoted its chief accounting officer and SVP of finance to CFO, it announced Wednesday.[1]

  • Ann Dennison, who joined Nasdaq in 2015 as controller and Chief Accounting Officer (CAO), will start as finance chief on March 1, 2021.  

  • Dennison, who has also overseen the company’s FP&A function, succeeds Michael Ptasznik, who plans to retire after four years as CFO.

Dive Insight:

Over the past three years, Dennison has led an effort to modernize Nasdaq’s financial and reporting infrastructure, including through the development of an automation program, Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman said on an earnings call Wednesday[2].

“With her combination of experience and leadership skills, as well as her thorough knowledge of Nasdaq’s business and operations, Ann is the obvious and best choice to become Nasdaq’s next CFO,” Friedman said.

Dennison’s promotion comes as the market for IPO heats up and competition among exchanges intensifies, the Wall Street Journal wrote[3].

During the quarter ending September 30, Nasdaq’s U.S. stock market facilitated 105 IPOs, compared with 41 in the prior-year period. The company earned $264 million during the quarter, a 76% increase from a year earlier.

During his four-year tenure as CFO, Ptasznik oversaw several initiatives, including the refinancing of $3.5 billion of debt, the introduction of an annual capital allocation process, and executing $1.1 billion in acquisitions and more than $500 million in divestitures, Nasdaq said. 

Since 2017, Dennison has been leading an extensive multi-year modernization of the Nasdaq’s financial operations infrastructure, Friedman said on the call. “Ann is a dedicated leader with a deep understanding of our business and our long-term vision. [She] is the obvious and best choice to become Nasdaq’s next CFO.”

“Transitioning into the role of CFO at a time when Nasdaq has continued to prove its resilience and innovative thinking is a tremendous opportunity,” Dennison said in the release. “I look forward to continuing to work closely with Adena, the Board of Directors and our employees to further fuel our success as a leading technology company, as well as meeting the needs of our diverse set of stakeholders.”

As Controller and CAO, Dennison has been responsible for all areas of the company’s accounting and financial reporting, as well planning and analysis, tax, procurement, and global accounting operations. Prior to Nasdaq, she worked at Goldman Sachs as managing director and head of financial reporting. 

Dennison’s promotion from CAO to CFO follows a larger trend of finance team members ascending to the chief role, as reported by CFO Dive research[4] earlier this summer.


  1. ^ it announced Wednesday. (
  2. ^ earnings call Wednesday (
  3. ^ the Wall Street Journal wrote (
  4. ^ CFO Dive research (

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