The WFE's Women Leaders 2021 - Jill Griebenow, Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer, Cboe Global Markets

By: The WFE Focus Team Mar 2021

Nominee’s name: Jill Griebenow

Member: Cboe Global Markets

Nominee’s job title: Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer


1. - Brief description of nominee’s role/job:

Jill Griebenow is Chief Accounting Officer at Cboe Global Markets. In this role, Griebenow oversees Cboe’s core accounting, financial reporting and administrative functions.

2. - Short bio (career highlights, education, interests/hobbies):

Prior to being named Chief Accounting Officer in 2018, Griebenow served as Chief Financial Officer of Cboe Europe. As CFO, Griebenow was charged with managing the company’s overseas financial arm, as well as overseeing the human resources and administrative functions in Europe. She also managed tax, forecasting and governance responsibilities amidst Brexit negotiations.

Griebenow joined Cboe as a Financial Reporting Specialist in 2011, and also served as Assistant Controller, where she managed the daily operations of the company’s U.S. accounting function.

Prior to joining Cboe, she was a Senior Manager at —Ernst & Young — where she focused on audits of public companies within the asset management and financial services sectors.

Griebenow is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa cum laude.

She has been named one of the most influential women in finance by Financial News, as well as to Financial News’s list of 40 under 40 in technology and finance.

In addition to her role at Cboe, Griebenow serves on the Board of Directors of Navy Pier, which is a not-for-profit corporation and one of the top-visited leisure and cultural destinations in the world.

3. — What were your professional highlights and challenges of 2020?:

In 2020, I oversaw the development and construction of Cboe’s new headquarters and trading floor. My team and I helped Cboe create a space that will be welcoming to members of the company and visitors alike, while ensuring the project stayed on track and within budget.

Additionally, in 2020 Cboe acquired six new companies — a massive undertaking across the company, including within the accounting and administrative departments. Leading my team through those acquisitions and playing an important role in helping fund those acquisitions to grow Cboe’s business was a rewarding endeavour in an otherwise difficult year.

Like the rest of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic posed great challenges for Cboe and its leaders. As the entire company shifted to a remote work environment, I re-evaluated the business’ needs and expenses. Further, I led the accounting and financial reporting teams efforts to facilitate virtual financial close processes, while ensuring that we adhered to our strong internal control framework and met our public-company reporting requirements. In tandem with the company’s finance and HR teams, my team and I helped Cboe deliver monthly stipends to associates to aid with the expenses of working from home. Helping the company navigate the early days of the pandemic, while making sure our associates had the resources they needed to work effectively was certainly challenging, but ultimately highlighted the strength and resiliency of our team. 

4. - What and who inspires/has inspired you to achieve your professional success:

Women of the past, present and future have inspired me to achieve my professional success. My mom worked outside the home throughout my childhood. I’m extremely grateful for the strong work ethic and values she instilled in me at a young age, coupled with the project management and prioritisation skills she continues to exhibit even today. Separately, I’m inspired by my 13-year-old daughter. I make a conscious effort to encourage her to develop her skills and experiences in areas that interest her, rather than in areas that have been traditionally geared towards young women. I’m hopeful that the development of these skills and experiences will instil confidence in her and will help steer her to future career areas she is well-suited for and finds fulfilling. Finally, I’m inspired by my women colleagues who continue to challenge themselves to reach new heights and remind me to bring my best self to work each day.

5. - What advice do you have for other women who aspire to be in leadership positions:

“Advocate for yourself and don’t be afraid to take an opportunity that is outside your comfort zone.”

I find that women often aren’t as forward with vocalising their career aspirations and seeking out new opportunities or experiences as their male peers. I was certainly guilty of this early in my career. Rather than seeking out new opportunities, I “politely” waited for them to fall in my lap. I highly encourage other women who aspire to advance to leadership positions to advocate for themselves by sharing their desire for advancement with both their reporting manager and their formal or informal mentors. While opportunities may not be available immediately, it’s great for current leaders to be aware of these aspirations, as it makes for an easier “match” when opportunities do arise.

On a related note, don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. I started with Cboe in the Kansas City office in 2011, but a short while later I was offered the CFO position in the company’s London office. With two young kids and a husband with his own career, I was hesitant to uproot our family and make the move. Once I did accept the opportunity, I thought we would only spend a couple years in Europe. We ended up loving it and spent nearly five years there. It was an excellent experience for my family, especially from a cultural perspective, and a terrific opportunity for my career. I’m so glad I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and took the chance.