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Bridgnorth CEO gets honour of ringing New York Stock Exchange trade bell

By Lisa O'Brien | Bridgnorth | Business | Published: | Last Updated:

A Bridgnorth CEO who is responsible for co-founding and growing the world’s leading energy network was given the honour of ringing the bell to close business at the New York Stock Exchange.

Iain Pitt, stood in the centre of the podium, with other members of the Oil & Gas Council and Energy Council

One of the most familiar images of the New York Stock Exchange is the loud ringing of a bell, signalling the opening or closing of the day’s trading.

Trading floor bells are critical to the orderly functioning of the marketplace, assuring that no trades take place before the opening or after the close.

Iain Pitt is the CEO of the Oil & Gas Council and Energy Council – the world’s leading network of senior energy executives.

WATCH Mr Pitt ringing the bell here:

The 37-year-old co-founded the company over a decade ago and it was part of Clarion Events that was bought for more than £600 million in 2017 by the Blackstone Group, an American multinational private equity firm based in New York.

Mr Pitt, who spends his time between Bridgnorth and Surrey, when he is not travelling to other parts of the world for his job, was honoured to be invited to ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday evening.

The father-of-two, who was joined by other members of the company, said: "It was pretty scary.

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"15 seconds prior to the market closing you ring the bell.

"That tells the traders they have 15 seconds to complete their trade for the day."

Iain Pitt

Mr Pitt, who also got to sign the book of official bell ringers and walk the floor of the stock exchange, said: "It was really fun and we are very lucky to have offices around the world."

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Mr Pitt is a former student at Bridgnorth Endowed School and Oldbury Wells School and he credits the education he received there for his career successes.

He said: "I was head boy at Oldbury Wells in 2000 and it gave me the start in life to become part of this story.

"It was such a great place to learn and where I made friends for life that still form the basis of my friendship circle.

"People in my role tend to have gone to Eton and then Oxford and Cambridge, so for me to get to where I have is because of the great education I received there. Having grown up in a council estate in Bridgnorth to being part of a business that was bought for over £600 million in 2017 when I was still 35."

He says he is also a massive Wolves fan, adding: "I'll often be found in a random place in Mexico, Houston or Argentina trying to still watch their games."

Bells were first used at the Stock Exchange in the 1870s with the advent of continuous trading.

A Chinese gong was the original bell of choice.

But in 1903, when the Stock Exchange moved to its current building, the gong was replaced by a brass bell — electrically operated and large enough in size to resonate throughout the voluminous main trading floor.

Today, each of the four trading areas of the New York Stock Exchange has its own bell, operated synchronously from a single control panel.

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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