Donna Redel is an American businesswoman who was the first woman to be elected chairman of the COMEX. During her tenure as COMEX chairman, the exchange completed a merger with the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Redel is the founder of Strategic@50, a social impact venture focused on professional women 50+.
Redel, then 39, won the chairmanship of COMEX in a runoff election in 1992. She beat independent floor traders Sidney Rothberg, then 67, in a runoff election after she and Rothberg were the two highest vote-getters among four candidates. She succeeded Martin B. Greenberg as chairman. She was named to the 1990 class of 40 under 40 by Crain's New York Business.
Redel was the highest vote-getter in the initial round with 252 votes to 227 for Rothberg, who was more popular with the floor traders while Redel represented the institutional investor crowd.
She has previously served as chairman of the exchange's operations committee.
The key issue in the campaign was how to revive the exchange amid slumping volumes in the early 1990s. In 1993, she helped craft a secretly negotiated deal for the COMEX to be acquired by the Chicago Board of Trade. That deal was buttressed by a higher bid from NYMEX, which eventually successfully bought the COMEX.
Donna Redel began her career with Blyth Eastman Dillon as an investment banker. She late served as Executive Vice President for Redel Trading Co., Inc., a New York-based futures commission merchant founded by her father, Irving Redel. She also worked for the Wall Street Journal before joining Redel Trading.
Redel was the CIO of Prudential Securities from 1994 to 2000.
In 2000, she joined the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland and became a managing director. At Davos-based organization, Redel set up the Women’s Initiative in 2001, designed to increase the number of women business participants.
From 2002 to 2004, she was an executive vice president of AEA Investors LLC, a global private equity firms.
More recently, since 2004, Redel has been active in non-profit and social enterprise organizations. Redel sits on the Board of Penn State’s Smeal College of Business, The Alliance Francaise (FIFA), the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Columbia University's Paris Alliance Program, an Advisory Council member of NY Presbyterian Hospital, well as on its Dean's Council and serving as President of the Lying-In Hospital.
Redel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College (1974) and a master's in business administration from Columbia University Business School (M.B.A. 1977). She also holds a Juris Doctor degree from Fordham University School of Law (1995).
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