Jeffrey Sprecher is married to Kelly Loeffler, the businesswoman and WNBA team co-owner who represented Georgia in the U.S. Senate after Gov. Brian Kemp appointed her to fill the seat left vacant by Senator Johnny Isakson’s early retirement in late 2019.
Loeffler faced a close special election race against Democrat Raphael Warnock in the January 5 runoff. Warnock is the projected winner, according to CBS News, making him the first Black man elected to represent Georgia in the Senate.
The special election was one of the most expensive in Senate history. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Loeffler mainly self-funded her Senate campaign. She contributed more than $23 million of her own money, which accounted for more than 82% of campaign funds. Some of that money came from her husband. FEC records show Sprecher donated $5.5 million to the Georgia United Victory PAC, which was established to support Loeffler’s campaign.
Sprecher, like his wife, has been successful in the business world. He is the founder and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange, which owns the New York Stock Exchange. Loeffler’s company, the financial platform Bakkt, is a subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange.
Here’s what you need to know about Jeffrey Sprecher:
1. Jeffrey Sprecher Bought the New York Stock Exchange in 2013
Sprecher owns the largest stock exchange in the world: the New York Stock Exchange. It has more than 2,400 listed companies and has a market capitalization of about $22.9 trillion, according to Value Walk.
Sprecher reached this vaulted position by building up his Atlanta-based company. He acquired the energy-trading business Continental Power Exchange in 1997 for $1, eventually changing the name to the Intercontinental Exchange or ICE.
The New York Times explained in 2013 that Sprecher is seen as one of the people who helped to change how Wall Street operated. “Like many young companies that are upending the old order in business, ICE has used computer power to do things faster and cheaper, if not always better, than people can. Its rapid ascent reflects a new Wall Street where high-speed computers now dominate trading, sometimes with alarming consequences… Mr. Sprecher has probably done more than anyone else to dismantle the trading floors of old and replace human brokers with machines.”
Sprecher first attempted to buy the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange in 2011. His $11.3 billion offer was rejected. But the following year, a lower offer of $8.2 billion was accepted and the deal went through in 2013.
2. Most of Sprecher’s Political Contributions Have Gone to Republican Candidates But He Also Donated to Hillary Clinton’s Primary Campaign in 2007
Sprecher noted in a 2013 interview that he and his wife held “slightly different” political views. She described herself as being the more conservative member of the relationship.
But based on his political donations, Sprecher’s leanings have tended to prefer the Republicans. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Sprecher and Loeffler had donated more than $3 million to political candidates as of December 2019. Less than 3 percent of that money went to Democrats.
The most notable Democrat that Sprecher has given money to was former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He donated $2,000 to her primary campaign in 2007. However, his largest contribution to a Democrat went to Rep. David Scott, who has been representing Georgia’s 13th congressional district since 2003. Sprecher and Loeffler have donated more than $10,000 to his campaigns.
Federal Election Commission records show that Sprecher’s more recent contributions have all gone to Republican candidates or organizations. In 2019, he donated $2,800 to the campaign of Lynne Homrich, who is running to represent Georgia’s 7th congressional district. Sprecher has also given $200 to Senator David Perdue’s re-election campaign; $5,000 to the One Georgia PAC; and about $75,000 to the Republican National Committee and the RNC’s convention account. An additional $5,000 went to the PAC run by his company, Intercontinental Exchange.
In 2012, Loeffler also donated $750,000 to Mitt Romney’s Super PAC. It was one of the largest individual contributions in the nation. The Wall Street Journal reported Loeffler and Sprecher have each donated $100,000 to President Trump’s re-election campaign as well.
3. Sprecher’s Net Worth Is Estimated to Be Nearly $500 Million
Jeffrey Sprecher has an estimated net worth of about $496 million, according to the finance and investing website WallMine. The site estimates that he earns more than $14 million per year as the Chairman and CEO of the Intercontinental Exchange. He reportedly owns more than 40,000 ICE stocks valued at more than $340 million.
Sprecher’s annual compensation appears to have risen substantially over the past several years, especially since purchasing the New York Stock Exchange. Forbes reported in 2012 that Sprecher’s income that year was about $6.76 million. That included salary, stock gain, bonuses and “other.” Sprecher was ranked #255 on a list of top-paid CEOs.
This wealth will likely be used to help wife Kelly Loeffler launch a 2020 campaign for the Senate. She has pledged to use $20 million of her own money on the campaign. Politico reported that his announcement could dissuade potential challengers, such as Rep. Doug Collins, from entering the race.
4. Sprecher & Loeffler Got Married In 2004 & Own a Lavish Estate In Atlanta
Loeffler began working for Intercontinental Exchange in 2002. She and Sprecher tied the knot in 2004.
Atlanta Magazine reports the couple’s purchase of a lavish estate in Atlanta’s Buckhead area was the most expensive real estate transaction ever completed in the city. Sprecher and Loeffler bought the 15,000-square-foot mansion for about $10.5 million. The magazine explained that the property is “modeled in the style of an old European estate” and includes “Versailles parquet in the dining room, a library with a secret passage to the living room, and a nineteenth-century pool house from France.” The home has a formal name: Descante.
The couple also owns a $4 million condo on Sea Island, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
5. Sprecher Grew Up In Wisconsin & Began Working In the Electricity Market In California During the 1980s
Sprecher grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, and had a middle-class childhood. His father worked as an insurance salesman and his mother was a nurse.
Sprecher studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin. He later earned an MBA from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.
His first professional job was also located in southern California. Sprecher worked as a salesman for Trane, an industrial company. In the early 1980s, he went to work for the Western Power Group around the time that entrepreneurs were allowed to open electric plants.