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Influencers Transcript: Adena Friedman, December 5, 2019

ANDY SERWER: Some people rise to the top and then plateau. Adena Friedman climbed to the top then push for change as soon as she arrived. An intern at NASDAQ in the early 1990s, Friedman became the company's CEO nearly a quarter century later in 2017. She took immediate steps to advanced technology and diversity at one of the largest stock exchanges in the world. Last year, "Forbes" ranked her the 16th most powerful woman in the world. She's here to talk about this year's IPOs, seismic shifts in public markets, and what it all means for investors.

Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Influencers." I'm Andy Serwer here and I want to welcome our guest, Adena Freedman, the CEO of NASDAQ. Adena, great to see you.

ADENA FRIEDMAN: It's great to be here.

ANDY SERWER: Well, it's your house, so first of all, thank you so much for having us here.

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Of course.

ANDY SERWER: And for having us host all these influencers here.

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Absolutely, absolutely. Well, we love having you guys here, because you bring in great guests, and you understand the markets so well. So it's a wonderful place for you to be able to host the show. So thank you.

ANDY SERWER: Well, thank you. So Adena, I think you've been CEO here for about three years now. Coming up on--

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Right, coming up on three years.

ANDY SERWER: And so I guess I'd like to start the conversation by asking you what you've accomplished, and what you look forward to accomplish over the next, say, three years.

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Sure. Well, I think that when I took on the job of CEO, I was really fortunate because the company was in great shape. So we got to focus on what are the opportunities that we can really maximize going forward based on this great foundation that we've built. And so we started by establishing what our strategy was going to be going forward. And then looking at how we really implement that strategy. And I'd say we're two years into implementing the strategy.

So we really are focusing on our market technology capabilities, our data and analytics capabilities as the key growth drivers of the business with this market's foundation as being something that's our core that we want to make sure we continue to invest in. So one of the areas we're really focused on is our next generation technology platform that we're rolling out to all of our market technology clients, but we're also starting to move it in, and work it into our core systems as well. So it's a good example of how our strategy is in action.

ANDY SERWER: What does the future of an exchange, you know, say, five and 10 years from now, how is it going to work for investors?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Yeah, well, I think that that's a great question. So as you know, the last 10 years or so really all been about speed, and efficiency, and breaking down that speed friction in the markets. And the technologies played a huge role in that. And that's also why we're successful in providing technology to other exchanges as they're looking at the evolution of their markets. But over the next five to 10 years, I think you're going to see more and more of the markets start to operate in the cloud, which then means that you've got an ecosystem that can develop and connect to you that might be a lower cost way of entering the market. That you also will see more machine intelligence being brought into investment decision making in addition to trading and decision making.

And so that will continue to evolve the markets pretty substantially. And I think those two things combined just alone are going to create a lot of change within the industry.

ANDY SERWER: And you mentioned partnering and working with other exchanges. I mean, that's a critical part of your strategy, right? That global footprint. And how does that work? In other words, how do you work with other exchanges and other countries around the globe?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Sure, sure. Well, we have a team of people who just focus on taking the technology that we've developed for our own markets, and then providing that out to exchanges around the world. We have about 130 exchanges that leverage some portion of our technology. That can be core trading systems, clearing systems, settlement, as well as market surveillance systems, market data. All of those components that really are caught at running an exchange.

We can do one component or we can provide them the entire platform that allows them to bring an exchange up and get going. And what we've really found is that the partnership with the most advanced exchanges in the world really center on that low latency environment, that super high throughput, high resiliency, and scalability in their markets. Then we also have some exchanges that really have very complex derivatives. Our systems can manage a lot of complexity.

And then lastly, on surveillance. I think surveillance has become that the biggest opportunity that we've had in outside of market tech from a growth perspective, because there's this constant need from not just the exchanges, but also the broker-dealers, and the regulators to make sure that we're surveilling our trading activity appropriately, and our surveillance technology has become the leader in the space there.

ANDY SERWER: Right. And Adena, for those who don't really-- who aren't so familiar with your business, how does the NASDAQ work? How does it make its money? What is the business model?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Sure. Yeah, we are segmented in four segments. So one is our markets business itself. So the trading and all the connectivity services around trading, and that's one of our business units. The second of course, is all the companies that list on NASDAQ, and making sure that they have an amazing experience in working with NASDAQ as a listed company. But we also provide other services like IR Intelligence and governance solutions to our listed companies as well as other companies around the world.

Our third is our market tech business that we just described. And then the fourth is our data and analytics business. And that includes all of our market data, our index business, and any analytics we provide to the investment management community. So together, that rounds out our entire business.

ANDY SERWER: So people are very concerned about security. And this is something that you guys have to be concerned with as well. How are you guys addressing those issues?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Yeah, we're very focused on security, whether it's physical security or IT security. I'd say that it is a huge area of focus for us. It's an area that we obviously, have incredibly high stakes around, so we spend a lot of time, and effort, and resources. We have a lot of expertise. We partner with a lot of our listed companies who are our IT security companies themselves. We can become an alpha client to them. That means that they then can see some of the threats we're seeing, can help develop their systems around that. They often end up seeing those threats and other companies as well, but it makes it so we're early to market with a lot of new technology that's coming around. And we just stay ever vigilant around this issue, because it is such a critical issue to us and our entire industry.

ANDY SERWER: So market cycles come and go. How does that affect your business? Ups, downs, bulls, bears?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Yeah, well, it's interesting because I think on the one hand, you'd think that we are a very cyclical business. But on the other hand, actually, we really aren't. Trading occurs in up times and down times. And it can be varied. Actually, our trading activity is more aligned with the VIX. So in a low volatility environment, we see a little less trading activity, in a high volatility environment, we see more. And the listing side is just a scaled business. We have 4,000 listed companies around the world. And so we can obviously have that platform for all of those listed companies in good times and bad. And they a lot of our services, because they're core to just being a public company.

I think that in the data and analytics space-- and that is a very resilient business, because in order to be able to participate in the markets, they want to make sure they're getting access to the best data available. And we are a provider of really important data for them.

The index business is more as more cyclical. It is dependent on AUM. But at the same time--

ANDY SERWER: Assets under management.

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Assets under management, yes. But I would say that's probably the one area of our business that has more cyclicality to it.

ANDY SERWER: You mentioned listed companies, and I want to bring up something that's been in the news over the past several months, which was the administration at one point suggesting there were going to push back about Chinese companies listed on the NASDAQ. Now that seems to have gone away. What was your take on that, though, Adena?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Yeah, I think that it's really important for us to recognize what is the role of the US capital markets. And the role of the US capital markets is to give millions and millions and millions of investors access to great companies from around the world. And the US capital markets are the deepest and most liquid markets in the world. And the reason for that is because we are the land of opportunity for companies, both domiciled here and United States, but also domiciled anywhere in the world to get access to capital.

And in our opinion, it's in the US's interest to keep those doors open, because there are other exchanges out there in the world that could also be the home to international listings. But for us to be the place where companies from all over the world, whether it's from China or Israel or Southeast Asia or Europe-- for them to congregate here in the States is in the US economy's best interest in order to make sure that we stay that land of opportunity.

ANDY SERWER: Besides that issue, have you seen any effects from the trade war tensions with China when it comes to your business here at NASDAQ?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Not at NASDAQ. I think that in fact, we have had-- we continue to have very strong demand for companies who do want to come list here. We've launched some new index products in Asia this year. And we continue to find great demand for our data products and other things in the region. So we feel like there is a global-- I mean, our business is just inherently global. Our demand for our products, demand for our technology, it tends to be a very global demand.

So we just-- we find that this is something that last through and through in terms of making sure that we create opportunity for every economy to have an advanced market. Making sure they feel connected into the US markets when they need to. That tends to be very resilient, whether it's through economic cycles or through political issues.

ANDY SERWER: Right. Let me shift gears a little bit and ask you about the unicorns. Obviously, incredibly high profile over the past couple of years. And some people have said that some of these companies have pushed the envelope too far. And if you look at the aftermarket performance of some of those big names, they're lacking a little bit. Do you think that these companies did ask too much of the public marketplace?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: I think actually, the public investors have come forth this year, and made more of a statement towards this drive towards profitability. So I think that companies that have come out this year, leading in the private markets, private investors are focused on just core growth. What kind of market opportunity out there is there, and how fast and how furious can you go in capturing it. And that's their focus as private investors.

As companies start to mature and get ready for the public markets, public investors are really focusing on profitable growth. And that has become more and more of a focus for those public investors this year as the year progressed. I think so as some of these larger tech companies come out, that's become more of a dialogue than maybe they were expecting as they were entering the markets, and has become more of a focus for those public investors.

So I think you're going to see that the expectations and also the way that these private companies mature themselves and get ready for the public markets, there's going to be much more focus on scalability. And if they don't-- they certainly shouldn't necessarily have to be profitable upon going public, but that path to profitability based on a scalable model is going to be an area of focus. And I think companies are going to be more attuned to that going forward.

ANDY SERWER: Does that mean WeWork has to maybe rethink some things at this point?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Well, we don't talk about any specific companies, but I do think it's important for every company that's thinking about, how do we make my business model, and the story, and the strategy that I have-- how do I make sure that public investors feel confidence in investing in me? And a big part of that is going to be making sure that they understand there's a path to profitability because what investors don't want is an unpredictable outcome, and they certainly don't want dilution.

So if you can say, look, we are raising this capital to grow our business to make it so that we can come to a profitable state over a period of time, and drive continued growth, that's what investors really love. And you're seeing that-- I mean, software companies have done extremely well. Overall, IPOs this year are up 6%.

So it's not that it's been there are a handful of companies have experienced a different market, but generally, I would say that investors are still risk on, they're still investing substantial amounts of money in new companies. But they do want to understand that path to profitability.

ANDY SERWER: Interesting. When you say up 6% is that by market capitalization or number of issues or--

ADENA FRIEDMAN: No, that just is basically on the performance of the companies that have gone--

ANDY SERWER: Oh, they're up OK, stock performance.

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Yes, stock performance.

ANDY SERWER: I wanted to ask you then about the IPO pipeline, and where we stand right now. What does it look like to you and what does that say about the markets right now?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Yeah, sure. Well, we've had about 150 IPOs so far this year-- I think it's much more than that-- listed on NASDAQ. And we're really proud of the fact that we have a 76% win rate so far this year of IPOs. We've raised about $29 billion dollars on NASDAQ--

ANDY SERWER: Is that versus the guys downtown or other--

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Yes, it is. Versus our peer down the street. And so we are very pleased with the way that the companies are coming to the market. The pipeline still looks very strong. We always expected there to be a little bit of a lull in the fourth quarter. We saw a very, very healthy pipeline through the third quarter. And then we have some certain companies that are going to come out in towards the end of the year we're really excited about. But then going into 2020, we continue to have very productive conversations and a very healthy pipeline of companies seeking in the public markets.

ANDY SERWER: Maybe not so many big consumer names though, or is it going to be more B2B companies?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: It's actually a whole range of companies. I think that you have look at-- companies that go public on NASDAQ our financial companies as well as tech companies, energy companies, retail companies, industrials. They are looking-- you know, there are lots of different sectors that are looking to tap the public markets. Biotech is a huge part of our listening base as well as traditional tech. And I would say consumer and software, you know, B2B software, are still very focused on it.

ANDY SERWER: So is there one sort of industry that really looks like there's going to be a lot coming up?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: No, it's pretty varied right now, I would say. I don't have a really good sense of like, by numbers, how many are looking to come out. But we have seen you know, very, very healthy environment for biotech companies, health care companies in general, as well as for technology companies. And we've had a lot of smaller financial institutions come out as well as some really big fintech names as well.

ANDY SERWER: Right. I mean, just the overall market, Adena, does it surprise you that we just keep going up like this?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: I think you have to think about the overall environment that underpins that. So first of all, the economy continues to grow. And I think that we are continuing to show that the US economy has been very resilient. And secondly, I think that the overall-- that means that the overall demand characteristics in the US economy continue to be very healthy. I think to the extent that companies are dependent on other parts of the world, that's something that's company specific as to whether or not there is certain risk there. But a lot of companies are here in the United States doing very well United States. And it depends on the resiliency of their local business.

I think in general though, obviously, the interest rate environment continues to be extremely appealing as an equity investor, right? So if you're thinking about where you're going to get a return, you're going to get a return in the equities markets more than you're going to get a return on a debt instrument. So therefore, it kind of pushes people into dividend paying companies, and companies where they can get a good steady return with obviously, the equity risk that comes with that.

And so therefore, I do think that it's kind of pushing investors to come into the equities markets and underpin-- kind of using that as a marker for the health of the US economy.

ANDY SERWER: I want to shift gears a little bit, Adena, and ask about your background. I know you grew up in Baltimore. I'm from Maryland, too. And your father worked at T Rowe Price. So one of the great big names in asset management. And you spent some time on the trading floor growing up? Is that how you got into this business?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Yeah, I think that I learned about the business by going to work with my dad. And he was great about that, you know? It's interesting, because he was a pretty hard charging executive, but he enjoyed having me come in when I had a day off or over the summer just so that I could in fact understand what he did. You know, spending time in the office and get comfortable with in that kind of environment. And then I would go down-- they had a small trading desk-- and I would go down and try to understand what they were doing a little bit. They would show me all the front screens.

ANDY SERWER: And how old were you?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: I was probably 10. You know, eight, 10, 12. Kind of all the way through my teens, I remember going in when I was in my-- in high school, and helping out with the admins in the office. And honestly just kind of getting to be a part of it. I really enjoyed being a part of it.

ANDY SERWER: Yeah, I mean, you must have liked it, because other people your age would maybe have nothing to do with it.

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Yeah, I think that it give me a view into my dad's world, and he worked a lot. So it was really helpful for me to have more of a connection with him and also to understand what the foundation of what he did. So understanding investments was something that he taught us at the dinner table, you know, when we were kids.

My brother actually now has been an asset manager for his entire career. And for me, I think that what I really came to realize though, is that I really like being an operating company with products. But I wanted to be in financial services. So when I got out of business school, NASDAQ gave me an opportunity to be a product manager or at least a product analyst was my first job in the financial services industry. So it really was kind of-- it fit all of my interests. But it was a different part, obviously, of the financial industry that my dad was in.

ANDY SERWER: So you've really worked your way up here. I mean, you left for a time, but basically, you started at an entry level position, almost worked your way up to being the CEO. I thought you couldn't do that in America anymore.

ADENA FRIEDMAN: You know, it's amazing actually, how many people I've met where they started as an intern. I was an intern for the summer and then got a permanent role on the back of that. And that was an entry level position, by the way. So right at the ground level.

And so I think that I've seen-- I've met several CEOs who've ended up working their way up through the organization. And I think that it gives you a great understanding of the business. It gives you an understanding of every element of what's hard and what's easy, what the business should be capable of achieving. And therefore, what should we be doing to drive our strategy forward to make sure we're optimizing the business.

ANDY SERWER: I mean, I guess the positive is you know everything about this company, right? I mean, you know what's behind every closet door, you must. On the other hand, one could be wary of becoming stale, and insular, and too much a part of the history of this place as opposed to the future. So how do you prevent that from happening?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Yeah, that's actually something that I think is a really important element of being the CEO. So yes, I even-- we certainly we have some new leaders who work for me. So some of the leadership within our organization has come from outside in recent years. So that brings that kind of fresh perspective in. So every time you do an acquisition, you also bring fresh perspective in.

But I'm very purposeful in telling the team if I get into their mode of it's been done before don't try to again, remind me that sometimes, that is the case. And sometimes, the environment has changed. And so just because it didn't work before doesn't mean it won't work this time. So you do have to make sure that you ask for that feedback, you get that debate in the room, and be very deliberate about it. Because you don't want to get in the mode of well, this is how we've always done it. It doesn't mean it has to be how we do it in the future. So keeping that open mind is a very, very important role of the CEO. And keeping that leadership team fresh and engaged is that I think a big part of that.

ANDY SERWER: And I know you go out a lot and meet with a lot of people. Is that an important thing? I mean, you seem like you're on the road an awful lot.

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Yeah, I mean, I'm meeting with clients is the most refreshing part of my job. So first of all, certainly, our listed companies, I get to like, dive into a different business for a period of time and try to understand them. And we all have a lot of the common challenges and common opportunities regardless of what industry we're in. So it's pretty interesting that we can learn from each other.

At the same time, then I go and meet with the exchanges, I meet with the broker-dealer community in the buy side, and I really am able to dive into what are the problems that they're facing, and how can we help them solve those problems. And those problems change. Especially if you look at how fast the industry is progressing, these problems are changing every day, every quarter. And so we want to make sure that we're always meeting the future needs of our clients. And so that talking to clients definitely keeps you forward thinking as opposed to backward thinking.

ANDY SERWER: So what are they telling you now, Adena? What are you hearing from CEOs, partner companies, listed companies, executives, or just people who are talking about business?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Well, the first thing is that the pace of change is speeding up just that much faster. So technology is just breaking down barriers, whether or not they can-- and I think a lot of companies are saying, can we hold the line or should we disrupt ourselves. And my advice is always be ready to disrupt yourself. Because you think that you can hold it back.

Back in the late '90s, early 2000s, NASDAQ faced a big change in the way that we-- the regulatory environment we were in and the technology that was coming into trading business. And we were trying to like go to the regulator and hold the line, as opposed to recognizing this was a freight train, it's coming. We've got to change ourselves. We've got to look inside and say, how are we going to do things differently?

And I think that having lived through that really helps me realize the last thing I want is to have disruption happen to us. I want to be the one who's creating the disruption in the industry, because I think it's the best way to keep forward thinking, forward looking. And I think that we're finding more and more CEOs are coming to that realization. So they're embracing technology in the way that they maybe haven't in the past. They're thinking about technology first in terms of how to solve problems, regardless of the industry they're in. And they are looking towards frankly, all of the technology companies-- that, and what they can bring to bear. So they're much more willing to partner and to bring in tech from the outside.

ANDY SERWER: Is it almost scary how important technology is or how important technology companies are for our economy?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: I mean, I think it's kind of-- I mean, it's been the case, since I entered the business world. Because I entered the business world in 1993 right at the dawn of the internet.

ANDY SERWER: Right.

ADENA FRIEDMAN: And I will tell you that it's been like that ever since I started working. So I think it's just a matter of how quickly technology is able to be adopted now. The barriers to entry are so much lower. The cloud and big data and other things are creating more and more opportunity to leverage technology in new ways. So just the pace of changes is speeding up.

ANDY SERWER: Before I forget, I have to ask you about taekwondo.

ADENA FRIEDMAN: OK.

ANDY SERWER: A black belt in taekwondo?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: I am.

ANDY SERWER: Come on. How does that come about?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: So I started taking taekwondo about 10 years ago. And it was my kids were taking it. And I realized that they were having great exercise, they were learning a great skill, it was a great confidence builder for them. I thought, why am I sitting here watching it? Why don't I take a class, too? So they have adult classes and kids classes. So I started taking adult classes, my husband started taking the classes. But it was-- it almost became a family activity for a while. But now actually, I've just continued on, even though my kids are grown up.

And I love it. I think it's just-- it's a great way to build confidence, to build skills, balance, and frankly, resilience. Because if you are in a sparring situation, you know, you can't control everything.

ANDY SERWER: So do you still do it a couple times a week or once a week?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Yeah, I do it once a week. I do it on the weekends. And then I practice it during the week, because I split my time between here and DC. So yes, I do it down in DC on the weekend.

ANDY SERWER: Have you met any other CEOs who do taekwondo?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: I have. Or other martial arts.

ANDY SERWER: Other executives-- oh, other martial arts?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Yes. So Dan Shulman does Krav Maga--

ANDY SERWER: From PayPal.

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Which is very serious.

ANDY SERWER: Right.

ADENA FRIEDMAN: And I think he is much more hardcore than I am. But I think that you actually--

ANDY SERWER: Wait, what is that he does?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Krav Maga. Is I think it's an Israeli martial arts.

ANDY SERWER: Oh wow.

ADENA FRIEDMAN: And so there are-- I have met a few that have ended up doing some martial arts at some point in their career. But he's definitely-- I think he does it every day. So very serious.

ANDY SERWER: It'd be an interesting group to get those people together, right?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Yes.

ANDY SERWER: So you are the first female head of an exchange in the United States, in the world, probably. And how has that been? Is it different? What's that been like?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Yeah, there actually have been other female exchange heads out in the world, so I don't want to make that claim. But I mean, in terms of it being a large scale exchange business, it is-- I don't really think about it very often, honestly. I think that in terms of when I took the job, I was very ready for it. So I felt very good about taking on the role and marching forward. And I did feel that in all of my years of getting ready for it that it was the right thing to have me as the CEO.

But what I didn't realize is just how much of an impact that would have on some of the women around me, young women starting their careers. So I think it did give them a sense that there's-- the sky's the limit. If they're in the financial industry, there is a path to his far and high as they want to go. And I did get a lot of positive feedback around that, which was very nice.

But at the end of the day, it doesn't define the job at all, obviously. And at the end of the day, I'll be measured on the performance of the company, and that's what I should be measured on.

ANDY SERWER: Are you doing programs here at NASDAQ to foster more women in senior positions as well as diversity and inclusion?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Yeah, we do-- we have taken much more of I would say, overt effort in that regard. I think that NASDAQ's always been a performance culture, which I think has obviously been very helpful towards someone like me, who you know, it's not a matter of who you're buddies with or who you play golf with or anything like that. It's all about your performance and what you can deliver for the company. And I think that is obviously-- I think it's the best way to start. It's a great starting point.

But you also have to think about the fact that everyone comes to the company under different circumstances with a different background. And they might have certain issues or concerns or things that they need to work through to make it so that they do have the best opportunity possible to come up the ranks. And so one of the things we've done is create actually, all grass roots. So affinity groups where they can meet with people who have similar backgrounds, can talk about challenges or opportunities that they have.

Make sure that we get-- they have a voice into me and other parts of the senior leadership team, so that we can think about some of those specific issues that we might need to make sure as a company, we're addressing to give them the best opportunity to continue to progress their careers. And you just don't realize that sometimes that there are certain challenges that so people bring to work with them that we need to make sure that we're helping out. And obviously, for women, that has to do with that work-life balance, making sure that they're able to manage their careers through big changes in their family lives, and that they feel like they can still have every opportunity to grow and expand their careers.

And that is something we're being much more deliberate around. We're thinking about it in our maternity policies, our paternity policies, sick leave. But also, in terms of giving people more and more opportunity to shine, making sure we identify people earlier in their career that might be great stars of the future. Making sure we give people the right opportunities. And then we look at pay parity very, very-- very, very seriously. We take that very seriously.

ANDY SERWER: As a CEO, do you feel is necessary or right for you to engage in conversations about income inequality or say, even more politicized kinds of conversations?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: So I think it has to do with what conversations are specific to the mission of your company and where you think in your role you can have an influence on the outcome. But also, that the company and the shareholders feel like it's the right issue for you to be diving into in terms of it being consistent with your company's mission. And for us, entrepreneurship is a major issue. It's something that we are-- both, we think it's a foundation of the fabric of our economy, but it's also something that we get concerned around in terms of making sure that the environment for entrepreneurs is as open and welcoming as possible. And also making sure we're getting more diversity and entrepreneurship.

Because the more you can build a more diverse group that is creating new businesses, the more they're going to grow. And the more they're going to create jobs across the spectrum of the population. And our belief is that's the best way to drive more equality and economic growth.

So that's the issue that we take On but every company has its own. I think it's hard sometimes to stay away from some of the issues. But that's what you have your advisors for to make sure that you're thinking through the impact that your voice has, and that you maintain focus on the mission of the company.

ANDY SERWER: Yeah, that's thoughtful. And let me ask you about regulation and the regulatory environment. Some people have suggested that we need more and some people have said we need less when it comes to capital markets. What's your take?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Yes, so I think-- I would say generally less. But it kind of depends on where. So I think it's to me, it's a matter of rational regulation. Outcome oriented regulation. And I do think that Dodd-Frank and all of the aftermath of the credit crisis was actually necessary. I think that is just a matter of then calibrating though, what is add the right impact and what has had the wrong impact.

I mean, there are so many unintended consequences that come from any regulation that's put in. And you have to really look at that and say, are we nimble enough to say, we're going to put this in, we're going to see the impact it has. And if there are negative consequences, we need to be ready, and able, and willing to make some changes and to make some revisions.

I think we are going through that process right now. It's incredibly slow. Because I do think that there are certain parts of our financial fabric that have been fundamentally harmed with some of the regulation. People-- you know, banks being able to lend to certain groups, making sure that people feel like they have an opportunity to find the capital they need at the right time. Making it so that some of the cap obligations that banks have in terms of just managing their normal everyday capital markets activities has been hindered.

So there are things that probably can change. But again, let's make sure that we're focused on rational regulation. Don't take away all of the regulation. Just be precision focused on what has caused some harm and how we can solve that.

ANDY SERWER: We have a lot of folks being doctrinaire these days, right?

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Yes. And I think that you regulation is very important. If you think about the financial industry, there is a lot of money in this system. And so it creates a lot of incentives, and good incentives and not so good incentives. And so having a regulated environment in which to trade stocks, in which to trade bonds in which to invest in futures. That's very, very important. I mean, that's-- you're putting-- people's are putting their livelihood into the hands of professionals. And the professionals need to have a code of ethics and a code of behavior that they all know that they're operating within. That's regulation. That's responsive regulation. It's when it actually Hinders the ability and the flow of capital that we have to make sure that we're not overregulating.

ANDY SERWER: All right. And finally, Adena, this program is called "Influencers," so I want to ask you how you see yourself using your influence.

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Well, I would say that certainly, we have a huge influence on the global capital markets and how other economies can grow and expand with the use of great-- you know, great technology, but also, great systems and market structure to support that. Personally, I would say that I do think that I do have somewhat of an influence on helping other women realize that there are paths to the top. That there's a lot of success and opportunity out there for them to shape their careers the way that they want to. And hopefully, just by the leadership example that I'm giving and hopefully that will give her the next several years, they'll see that that is something that they should aspire to as well.

ANDY SERWER: Adena Friedman, CEO of NASDAQ. Thanks so much for talking with us today.

ADENA FRIEDMAN: Thank you.

ANDY SERWER: You've been watching "Influencers." I'm Andy Serwer, we'll see you next time.