The acquisition of the Chicago Board of Trade by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in July 2007 is an event that will be long remembered in world derivatives markets. The transaction, which created one of the most influential and powerful derivatives exchanges, was also the scene of great melodrama and emotions, as Elise Coroneos discovers.
In a business that can seem slow to change and entrenched in
the status quo, what was initially anticipated to be a
straightforward merger, became a fully fledged corporate
tussle worthy of a Hollywood script when Atlanta-based
upstart the IntercontinentalExchange came in to tempt the
CBOT board members and shareholders in its direction, and
away from the CME. It was a deal process that went down in
It was not long after the CME and CBOT announced their
intention to join forces that rumours began to run rife
through the corridors at CBOT. Certainly, one of the most
potent issues was the expectation that the jobs of employees
at CBOT, many of whom had joined the organisation straight
out of college or very early in their careers, were not as
safe as those of their counterparts at the CME. Nobody knew
where they stood.
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