What do Nelson Mandela, Robert Downey Jr, Darth Vader and Liniar’s Roger Hartshorn all have in common? They’ve all had the honour of being involved in ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange!
Liniar’s parent company, Quanex Building Products Corporation, celebrated its 50th anniversary of being listed on the NYSE on June 28. To mark the occasion, Bill Griffiths, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer was joined by Roger and other members of the Quanex leadership team on the infamous podium in Wall Street, New York City.
Bill had the privilege of ringing the bell at 4pm to signal the end of the day’s trading before using the gavel to continue a long-running tradition at one of the financial world’s most renowned settings.
It acquired the Flamstead Group, which incorporates HL Plastics, the manufacturing company behind the Liniar brand, and Avantek Machinery, in June 2015, adding to its already impressive portfolio of businesses.
“It was an honour to be asked to take part,” said Roger, CEO of the Flamstead Group. “It’s not often that a lad from Derbyshire gets to help signal the end of trading on the New York Stock Exchange! We got to take a tour and it was fascinating to feel the buzz between the traders.”
It has become highly sought after for celebrities or corporation executives to stand behind the NYSE podium and push the button to signal the bells to ring, an act that is considered an honour and has become a symbol of a lifetime of achievement.
The original signal was the gavel which is still in use today, along with the bell, but during the late 1800s the NYSE decided to switch to a gong to signal the day’s beginning and end. After relocating to its current premises in 1903, the gong was switched to the bell that is currently used.
The daily tradition hasn’t always been such a high profile event. In fact, it was only in 1995 that the NYSE began having special guests ring the bells on a regular basis. Before that it was usually the responsibility of the exchange’s floor managers.
With his appearance on the NYSE podium, Roger joins an impressive list of people who have taken part in the bell ringing ceremony.
Movie stars like Sylvester Stallone and Bradley Cooper, athletes such as Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees and Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps, members of the rock band Kiss, and politicians such as Nelson Mandela and Hilary Clinton have all had the privilege.
There have also been several fictional characters that have rung the bell, including Mickey Mouse, the Pink Panther, Mr. Potato Head and Darth Vader!
You can watch the video of the ceremony here: http://bit.ly/RogerNYSE