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Clara Furse
In 2001, the 200-year-old London Stock Exchange appointed Clara Furse as its first female chief executive.   

Clara Furse was born to Dutch parents in Canada in 1957. After studying at the London School of Economics she began her career in 1979 as a broker at Heinold Commodities. She became a commodity broker at Philips and Drew in 1983, moving on to become its director in 1988 and then managing director of UBS. 

Furse's ability to speak several foreign languages as well as her financial acumen worked in her favour in a world dominated by men. In 1998 Furse moved on to become Group Chief Executive at Credit Lyonnais Rouse where she stayed until December 2000 before taking up her post at the LSE 

In 2003, she was ranked 34th and then 17th in 2004's Fortune magazine's list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business outside the US. Europe had also taken note of her talent, ranking her sixth in a 2003 survey of Europe's most successful female executives. 

Elsewhere on the web
BBC News: Profile
Wikipedia - Clara Furse

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