International Securities Exchange (ISE), launched in May 2000 as the first all-electronic US options market, today stands as the world's largest equity options exchange. ISE also led the way in March 2005 when it became the first US options exchange to go public. FO Week's
Jim Kharouf spoke with David Krell, president, CEO and one of the founders of the exchange, about leading a listed company, advances in technology and
products and the future of the options industry.
The biggest news for the exchange in 2005 was going
public last March. What impact has that had on
We operate the business the same way we did before. We
decided to move in that direction [towards an IPO] for three
reasons. First, to have the ability to raise equity or debt
capital in the public sector rather than through the
traditional exchange route, which basically means raising money
through your members primarily through transaction charges and
other fees. The second reason is many of our investors and
members joined in 1998 or 1999. One of the things we thought we
should do was allow them to liquefy their investments if they
chose to. The third driver was to align the interests of the
company with those of the staff. One of the things I'm most
proud of is that we gave every person who worked here on the
IPO day a share in the company.
So every one of our employees is a shareholder.
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