What Is Adena Friedman's Salary as Nasdaq CEO?

Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman is an undeniably powerful woman. How much does she make in her role at Nasdaq?

Rachel Curry - Author

Oct. 20 2021, Published 3:07 p.m. ET

Nasdaq Inc., which trades on its own exchange under the ticker symbol "NDAQ," has been led by a woman since 2017. At that time, Adena Friedman became the CEO and replaced Robert Greifeld.

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Adena Friedman

President and CEO of Nasdaq, Inc.

Net worth: $120 Million

Birth year: 1969

Birth name: Adena Robinson Testa

Birth place: Baltimore

Parents: Michael D. Testa (father, T. Rowe Price employee) and Adena W. Testa (mother, attorney)

Husband: Michael Cameron Friedman

Education: BA in Political Science from Williams College, MBA from Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management

How much money does Friedman earn in her post, and what does she do with all that power?

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Adena Friedman is one of Fortune's most powerful women

In early October, Friedman joined Fortune's Most Powerful Women of 2021 list.

"Nasdaq has long had influence far beyond its size; the company’s technology powers 130 global markets, and revenue was up 32 percent to $5.6 billion in 2020. But in 2021, the stock exchange became an even more powerful player when it won Securities and Exchange Commission approval for a groundbreaking board diversity proposal," Fortune wrote.

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What is Adena Friedman's political party?

According to donation records, Friedman has given money to various political candidates and organizations. Most of them are Democrats, which suggests that Friedman might be a Democrat or at least left-leaning. However, she supports some Republicans.

During the 2020 election cycle, Friedman donated the maximum $2,000 each to Friends for Gregory Meeks (Democrat), Actblue (D), and Maloney for Congress (D). However, she also contributed $2,000 to Friends of Pat Toomey (Republican).

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Friedman has sent more money to the Nasdaq PAC, which contributes hundreds of thousands of dollars to about 47 percent Democrat and 53 percent Republican campaigns.

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Adena Friedman's family

Friedman, born Adena Testa, married Michael Friedman in 1993. Michael isn't in the limelight like his wife. The pair have split parenting duties over the years. Friedman worked part-time for four years and her husband worked part-time for a decade.

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The couple has two children together, although their identities are under wraps—likely as a way to ensure that they grow up out of the spotlight. Some families prefer to maintain privacy for their children.

Friedman's hefty Nasdaq salary

In June, Friedman's salary faced some scrutiny. Nasdaq reported the total CEO compensation for 2020 as $16 million. That's a 14-percent increase over the 2019 compensation for the same role.

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Digging further, the salary makes up a comparatively small portion of the CEO compensation at just $1.2 million. The rest is likely given other names like bonuses, benefits, and equity packages. Non-salary compensation is tied to the company's performance. For Nasdasq, a 12-percent YoY EPS increase and 30-percent revenue growth could be a factor in Friedman's earnings.

Adena Friedman's overall net worth is even bigger

Friedman is definitely a millionaire, although figures reflecting her overall net worth are estimates. The latest estimates suggest that Friedman's net worth is around $120 million. At least a fifth of that comes from her equity stake in NDAQ. As of Oct. 20, Nasdaq Inc. maintains a $33.07 billion market cap.

NDAQ shares have swelled nearly 50 percent YTD, which means that Friedman's net worth has potentially soared along with it.


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