- Peter Tuchman, one of the most recognizable stock brokers on Wall Street, has been at the NYSE for over 37 years.
- Although he’s known for his commentary on the markets, Tuchman previously owned a jazz record store in New York.
- In the 1980s, Tuchman also worked as an accountant at a Norwegian oil company in West Africa.
Peter Tuchman has been the face of Wall Street’s best and worst moments for almost four decades.
Tuchman, who has been at the New York Stock Exchange for nearly 38 years, is the most-photographed broker on the trading floor. His reactions are often the literal face of the biggest moves in financial markets, with one publication describing his expressions as “the aspirations and disappointments of investors the world over.”
The Einstein-y hair. The animated persona and Hermes ties. The enthralled reactions, shifting with whatever news is jolting markets. They’re all what make him the face of the stock exchange.
Tuchman has weathered the stock market crash of 1987, the bursting of the dot-com bubble in the early 2000s, the global financial crisis of 2008, the COVID-19-fueled plunge in 2020, and now, the ongoing banking turmoil following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank earlier this month.
“I love coming into work here. I love the chaos, the madness,” Tuchman said in a recent interview at the stock exchange, gesturing to a group of brokers in front of us, who were eyeing a beaten-down bank stock that had halted trading several times in just an hour.
Tuchman describes the New York Stock Exchange as “the delta of all information” and the “last standing human entity market in the world.”
His enthusiasm for financial markets holds true in person. He is lively and personable, greeting everyone on the floor by their first name. Tuchman is often asked: “How do you have so much energy? [Aren’t you] 100 years old? You’ve got more energy than my 20 year old brother,” he said.
When asked his actual age, Tuchman responded: “I’ve been 55 for nine years. I capped out at 55.”
However, Tuchman is more than just the “spirited stock man,” who updates investors and news outlets about what’s moving markets on a given day.
Tuchman was raised in New York City, describing his childhood as a “wonderful [and] very privileged upbringing.” He was the child of immigrant parents and his father was a well-known doctor. After graduating from Riverdale Country School in the 70s, he enrolled at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and studied agriculture, international business, and finance.
In the 1980s, Tuchman started trading commodities while pursuing an MBA at Baruch College. In tandem, he opened a record store and art gallery on Bleecker Street in lower Manhattan. The Corona Record Gallery – a play on Norwegian money – specialized in printed rare out-of-print jazz albums.
He was also worked at the legendary Studio 54. In Tuchman’s words: “I was doing a lot of shit.”
“It was a busy life,” he said. “I was doing a lot, I hadn’t really figured my direction out yet. “
His business shuttered around two years after opening. At that point, Tuchman was about 30 credits away from getting his master’s degree, but decided to move to West Africa to take an accounting role at Saga Petroleum, a Norwegian oil company that has since closed down.
Tuchman said he taught himself a “basic computer spreadsheet” called Lotus 1-2-3 on the 18-hour plane ride to the Republic of Benin.
“I arrived in West Africa, and I was a computer specialist,” he said. “It was that simple [at the time.]”
He returned to New York in the spring of 1985 after he decided it was time to “get down to business.” He landed a summer job as a teletypist at the New York Stock Exchange days after getting back.
When he arrived, Tuchman said it was an “adrenaline-filled” environment with “thousands” on the floor. Despite the volatile market swings, Tuchman says his first day felt like he had “just found paradise.”
Now, Tuchman is over three decades into his time at the stock exchange. When asked about any plans to retire, Tuchman responded: “Never. Absolutely never.”
“For me, I’ve never felt this at home anywhere in my life. In the midst of the craziness, the wildness, and the chaos of the stock market. I am completely at peace.”