December 31st marked the end of a year full of significant milestones for Nasdaq Global Indexes, and it also marked the end of an era at Nasdaq.
John Jacobs retired from his full-time role as Executive Vice President of Global Information Services for Nasdaq, after 30+ years with the company. His business accomplishments are countless. In fact, John was recently featured in Journal of Indexes as a “Legend of Indexing.” While he was a tremendous leader, industry visionary and consummate professional, it’s the personal side of John that his Nasdaq family will miss the most.
Whether providing poignant farewell speeches, energetic and comprehensive business updates, or watching him bounce the newborn of a staff member on his lap while recalling with candor and fondness hilarious stories of his own parental snafus, John is irreplaceable. He is one of those rare leaders that managed to balance the high demands of the capital markets with a personal touch.
While leading Nasdaq Global Indexes, John was responsible for all aspects of business development, including the creation and licensing of indexes in the U.S. and abroad. Under his direction, Nasdaq launched the NASDAQ-100 Index Tracking Stock, better known as ‘QQQ’, in 1999, one of the most successful financial products in stock market history. Throughout his tenure, John has overseen the creation of multiple index families, across asset classes, growing the index offering from a few dozen to more than 40,000, and has grown the index business to support more than 9,000 products, including 166 ETFs.
John also served as Chief Marketing Officer for Nasdaq from 2003 to 2013, and thus was often the welcoming face for guests ‘Ringing the Bell’ at the Nasdaq MarketSite. His entertaining stories include the Bell Ringing ceremony where he reminisced over a high-school year book with an ex-classmate of his older sister Kathie Lee Gifford, to chatting with Queen Latifah and Diane Keaton. His favorite guest was tennis star Roger Federer, mainly for his humbleness and kindness – traits John could equally claim as his own.
In addition to securing the Nasdaq brand name in daily markets lexicon, his broad range of experience includes management of Nasdaq's listings and compliance group, which reviews and processes all SEC documents and financial filings. Additionally, John was part of the team that garnered a "yes" vote from more than 5,000 NASD member firms to spin off Nasdaq, paving the way for Nasdaq to become a publicly-traded company.
John is a life-long Marylander, an alumnus of the University of Maryland and holds an MBA from Loyola University. He has taught Investment Banking and other graduate courses in the MBA programs at both Johns Hopkins University and Georgetown University. More importantly, he has been married 30 years to his wife Colleen, whom he met – you guessed it – at Nasdaq, with whom he has three children.
Throughout 2015, John will continue with Nasdaq, serving in the role of advisor and consultant. As a revered leader, respected colleague and genuine friend, we thank him for all of his hard work, dedication and the legacy he leaves behind.