What makes someone influential? How should influence be measured? These were two questions that taxed the minds of our London-based panel (that consisted of Anthony Belchambers, Brendan Bradley, Emma Davey, Garry Jones, John Parry and Bill Templar) who for months debated the intricacies of influence and the measures of hundreds of industry professionals that have had an impact on the industry over the past 30 years.
The process to establish the top 30 most influential people in the industry of the past 30 years has been a long one. It has involved industry participants from across the globe submitting lists of names for consideration.
First, some ground rules. No rogues. The influence has to have been on the whole positive to be on this list. People like Nick Leeson have undoubtedly had a big influence on the industry. His actions led to the collapse of a major industry participant and increased regulation and back office investment across the board. But this is a celebration of the best and brightest in our industry, not a rogues’ gallery.
Second, the innovation had to have been in the last 30 years. The sticklers for this rule were Myron Scholes and Fischer Black. While their pricing formula has been hugely important in options trading over the past three decades, being introduced outside the period in 1973, it was decided they fall outside the scope of this list.
Their exclusion was therefore not just to avoid the thorny issue of what to do in instances where two people were almost jointly responsible for an innovation. There are two instances in this list. It is hard to separate Stephen Schuler’s achievement from Dan Tierney and David Krell’s from Gary Katz. In these instances, we led with one name but included the other in the same listing.
This list is alphabetical. The panel toyed with the idea of a top 30 countdown, from 30 to 1, however, it was clear that the divisions would be too arbitrary. How does one catagorise the impact of technology over a trader or an exchange over a regulator?
Influence is defined as “the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something”. With that in mind, the list below honours those whose effect on the industry has been the deepest and longest lasting.
John Barkshire was the first chairman of Liffe and is credited with bringing financial futures to London. Barkshire founded Liffe in 1981 based on ideas he had learned from watching futures markets in action during a trip to Chicago in 1979. With tacit support from the Bank of England, Barkshire successfully navigated the politics of the City to launch the first financial futures exchange. Barkshire was chairman for five years and appointed Michael Jenkins as its first chief executive, but it was his vision and understanding of the workings of financial futures that brought Liffe to fruition and with it financial futures to Europe.
Richard Berliand has been instrumental in the development of operational efficiency within the futures and options industry. Throughout his career, Berliand maintained close ties with the FIA and the FOA and was instrumental in the launch of FIA Technology Services and the launch of FIA Asia. Berliand served as the global head of prime services at JP Morgan before he retired at the end of 2010. Berliand joined JP Morgan & Co. in 1987 and served in various capacities at the company both in London and in the United States, notably helping with the integration of Bear Stearns in 2008. He is currently managing director at Richard Berliand Limited, a financial services management consulting company.
William Brodsky is almost synonymous with the last 30 years of the US derivatives industry. Currently chairman and chief executive of the CBOE, Brodsky was an early pioneer of many industry innovations, including the launch of Globex and stock index futures and options. Brodsky has overseen the CBOE’s demutualisation and pre and post IPO growth as an independent exchange. The hugely successful Volatility Index was launched under his tenure as well as a host of other market changing innovations. Brodsky has served as chief executive and president of the CME and head of options at Amex and is a vocal defender of the industry in Washington and beyond.
Back in 1997, Fimat was essentially a European broker, almost unknown in other parts of the world. However, when Marc Breillout moved to New York from Paris that year, he set the brokerage on the trajectory to becoming Newedge, the number one global brokerage it is today. Breillout achieved this growth through the development of services such as customised risk management, that other brokers did not provide catapulting the exchange to the top of the Chicago rankings by 2001. He joined the firm in 1993, rising to become chief executive in 1999. Breillout moved up the ranks at Fimat owner Société Générale moving on from chief executive of Fimat in 2002. In 2008, Newedge was formed following the merger of Fimat and Caylon Financial. Most recently, he has served as head of capital markets at French bank Natixis after 31 years at Societe Generale.
With over 20 years experience in the futures and options market, Harris Brumfield has risen from a runner on the trading floor to one of the most successful businessmen in the industry. After 10 years trading in the pits of the CBOT, he starting investing in other businesses and, when he moved to screen trading, he immediately saw the potential of Trading Technologies’ X_Trader platform. After investing in the firm, he took over as chief executive in 2003 and has built up the ISV into the multi-national business it is today. Not without controversy, Brumfield launched a series of patent litigation suits in the mid-noughties, attracting criticism from many industry participants.
Cristóbal Conde held the position of president and chief executive at Sungard between 2002 and 2011 and is credited with transforming it into the technology powerhouse it is today, boasting more than 20,000 employees in 70 countries across the world. Conde headed the move to take the Wayne, Pennsylvania-based group private in 2005 in an $11bn deal that was then one of the world’s largest ever leveraged buy-outs. He subsequently continued the company’s aggressive acquisition strategy which included the $1bn acquisition of GL Trade in 2008, the company’s largest acquisition to date. Conde came from Devon Systems, which was a very popular system, particularly in options, in the 80s. Conde spearheaded the acquisition of GMI, which along with Rolfe and Nolan, is the most widely used back office system in futures and was instrumental in establishing Sungard as the IT giant it is today.
John Damgard has seen it all during his 30 year term as head of the Futures Industry Association. Market crashes, bankruptcies, regulatory and press onslaught and the expansion of the industry in its modern form. Damgard has lobbied Washington in the interests of the industry throughout his tenure but the successful repeal of the Shad Johnson Accord at the turn of the century was perhaps his biggest victory. He has been the voice of the industry in the US during the move to electronic trading and the exchange consolidation in the industry treading the fine diplomatic line between his members’ often conflicting interest and has worked tirelessly for the benefit of the industry for three decades. Damgard stepped down as head of the FIA in 2012 after three decades at the helm.
The chief executive of Chicago Mercantile Exchange since 2004, Craig Donohue was the driving force behind the exchange’s 2007 merger with the Chicago Board of Trade, a deal that propelled the exchange to become the largest global derivatives exchange. The deal was long an ambition of the CME leader who harboured an as yet unrealised vision of combining the three largest Chicago derivatives exchange, CME also acquired New York’s Nymex and became the first US exchange to demutualise under his direction. The former lawyer has led CME’s global expansion heading up negotiations for product and technology sharing alliances across the world.
As the FIA Hall of Fame acknowledges, “few other people in the history of the futures industry have had such a decisive influence on the course of its development as Jörg Franke”. One of the founders of Deutsche Terminbörse, Franke started out on the exchange when it was little more than an idea. Franke recognised the potential of the electronic trading and set about implementing it on the new exchange rapidly establishing it as a key player in European derivatives. Franke oversaw the merger with Soffex to create Eurex in 1998, stepping down from the firm in 2000.
William H Gross
Bill Gross manages one of the world’s largest mutual funds. Called “the nation’s most prominent bond investor” by the New York Times, he co-founded Pacific Investment Management (Pimco) and currently manages Pimco’s Total Return fund (the world’s largest bond fund and fifth largest mutual fund) and several smaller ones. Pimco became a pioneer in the innovative use of financial futures as well as many other financial derivatives, and the firm has been among the largest and savviest players in the Treasury and Eurodollar futures markets. Gross is also a keen philanthropist having made multi-million dollar donations to Médecins Sans Frontières and the Millenium Villages Project among others.
David Harding is the founder, chairman and head of research of Winton Capital Management. Harding has been in the industry for 30 years and is widely credited with pioneering quantitative investment since he formed Adams, Harding & Lueck in 1987. The group was subsequently acquired by Man Group. He went on to found Winton Capital Management in 1997, one of the most successful funds in modern history and a realisation of his goal to demonstrate that a fund based on empirical scientific research can beat the market. His philanthropic works include the establishment of a chair at the University of Cambridge and a centre at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, both dedicated to the study of risk.
Michael Jenkins was the first chief executive of Liffe, a position he held for more than a decade. At Liffe he pioneered financial futures in Europe enabling the early success of the exchange. He subsequently became the go-to-guy for reorganisations within London’s derivatives markets successfully overseeing the restructuring of LCH and taking over as non-executive chairman of the London Commodity Exchange after the London Fox debacle. At LCH he oversaw the exchange during a period in which it reorganised its ownership structure and expanded into new asset classes, growth that culminated in its merger with Clearnet. At the London Commodity Exchange he rebuilt the reputation of the exchange following the resignation of its managing director amid the property futures scandal. He was also the founding chairman of the Futures and Options Association but his particular success will always be in developing non-UK contracts on a UK exchange, an art Liffe lost for some time following his departure.
Won-Dae Kim is credited with the launch and development of the Kospi 200 options contract, the world’s most traded derivatives product by a significant distance. Kim served as head of the product development team at the Korea Futures Exchange between 1991 and 2001 launching the futures contract in 1996 and the options contract the following year. He was awarded the ministerial commendation for his contribution to the development of financial industry in 1999. Today, Kim is the director of business development at KRX. He handles the OTC Clearing service and global linkage projects. He is also directing the upcoming launch of KRX’s gold and oil market.
David Krell has been a pioneer of options throughout his career. Starting at Merrill Lynch, where he founded the bank’s managed options service, Krell, along with Gary Katz, went on to found the International Securities Exchange, the first all electronic options exchange in the US. Krell has been active in numerous industry groups. He was a director on the board of the International Federation of Technical Analysts, a president of the Market Technicians Association and a director on the board of The Options Clearing Corporation. He is a holder of the Joseph W Sullivan Options Industry Achievement Award.
When David Kyte took a very early laptop into a board meeting at Liffe to demonstrate the reach of electronic trading as Liffe fought the bund battle with DTB, little did he think the event would go down in industry folklore. However, Kyte understood what his fellow Liffe board members did not: electronic trading was the future. Kyte resigned from Liffe as the exchange admitted defeat in the battle with DTB but went on to build up the Kyte Group from a group of floor traders into a pioneer of algo trading helping many of the Liffe locals adapt to the new age of trading.
The US equity options market is hailed as a utopia of options trading with nine exchanges competing on delivering low prices and reduced spreads to end users. Key to the success of the market has been the Options Clearing Corporation and key to the success of the OCC has been Wayne Luthringshausen, the chairman and chief executive of the clearing house. Luthringshausen began his career in the securities and futures industry in 1963 with two regional firms in New Orleans, Louisiana. He served on the board of the CBOE before overseeing the creation of the OCC in 1975. He has since been responsible for building it up into the text book utility clearer it is today.
Rosemary T. Mcfadden
The first and to date only US female president of an exchange, Rosemary McFadden converted Nymex from a potato market into a leading energy exchange. During her tenure as Nymex president, the successful crude oil options contract was introduced. McFadden was instrumental in the growth of the exchange, trading on which rose during her presidency from 5m in 1984 to 34m in 1988. After leaving Nymex, McFadden was a senior manager at the international practice group of Price Waterhouse, senior vice president and associate general counsel at the Pershing Division of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, a director of global business development for the online brokerage service DLJdirect and managing director at Credit Suisse First Boston.
A man who needs little introduction, Leo Melamed has been integral in the development of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange from a domestic agricultural exchange into the global powerhouse that it is today. Melamed has been influential in the industry from before the 30 year period this review covers. However, over the past 30 years, he has been at the forefront in the internationalisation of the CME, spearheading the 1984 link with Simex and leading the development of Globex with James McNulty. To this day he remains influential in the strategy of the exchange group as chairman emeritus. He is currently chairman and chief executive of Melamed & Associates, his global consulting firm.
Yasuo Mogi has been one of the key influences in Japan’s international involvement in the derivatives markets. Throughout his career Mogi has bridged the cultural gap between the Japanese and Western markets. He was a founder of the FIA Japan and has served on the boards of Gerald Far East Limited and Himawari CX. Before he retired at the end of 2010 after 43 years of service, he was a vice chairman of Fimat Japan. He is currently an adviser for the Tokyo Commodity Exchange as well as an independent consultant to other futures industry participants and is one of the most respected derivatives consultants in Asia.
William “Billy” O’Connor
A true veteran of the industry William O’Connor is credited with creating the concept of prop trading with the formation of O’Connor & Company. O’Connor started out in the industry in 1955 forming O’Connor & Company four years later with his brother Edmund. The firm grew to become the largest clearing firm for options market makers. Over the past 30 years O’Connor has been a near constant presence in the industry not only serving as chairman of the CBOT between 1990 and 1992 but championing technological change and the launch of single stock futures. He has been credited with “elevating Chicago’s markets to international prominence” and is a member of the FIA Hall of Fame.
Thomas Peterffy, the founder and chief executive of Interactive Brokers, is the epitome of the American dream. Arriving in New York in 1965 a 21 year old Hungarian immigrant unable to speak English, he has risen to become one of America’s richest men with a fortune reported to be around $5bn. Peterffy was one of the first to apply computer models to the valuation of stock options. He developed handheld computers as an aid to floor trading in the early 1980s, far ahead of the rest of the industry. He established prop firm Timber Hill and in the 1980s established Interactive Brokers, a global network for order routing to exchange and markets across the world.
Sworn in as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 1983, Susan Phillips presided over the modernisation and internationalisation of the futures industry. During her four year term, she earned respect within the industry for attempting to impose appropriate regulation without unnecessary red tape. She served as an adviser to President Bush Snr and has held the position of dean of The George Washington University School of Business and Public Management, which she took on in 1998.
As a CME economist in the mid-80s, Jerry Roberts was a key member of the team that introduced SPAN margining to the market. Roberts led the team that made the SPAN margining system compatible with the back office, which was implemented in 1988. SPAN was the first system to calculate performance bond requirements exclusively on the basis of overall portfolio risk at both clearing and customer level. In the years since its inception, SPAN has become the industry standard for portfolio risk assessment and is used by over 50 registered exchanges, clearing organizations, service bureaus and regulatory agencies throughout the world. SPAN was born out of the Risk Analysis Program developed by David Emmanual, a CME programmer. Roberts went on to become a director at CME, retiring in January 2012.
Richard l. Sandor
Richard Sandor is known to many as the “father of financial futures” in recognition of his pioneering work in the development of the first interest rate futures contract in the 1970s. However his influence has extended well beyond the 1970s since when he has served on the board of CBOT, CME, ICE, Liffe and Matif as well as advising on the launch of Soffex. He has also pioneered carbon trading across the world earning him the additional moniker of “father of carbon futures” and founded the Chicago Climate Exchange in 2010. He has been named as a “hero of the planet” by Time magazine.
Juerg Spillmann was chief information officer of the Swiss exchange Soffex, which was the first fully integrated electronic exchange in Europe. He was responsible for building the technology that became the prototype of the DTB platform, which launched in 1990. In the same year, he became a member of the management committee at the SIX Swiss Exchange before becoming a director of Eurex in 1997. More recently, he headed the development of the Eurex/ISE platform Optimise, the common technology backbone for other Deutsche Börse Group exchanges and the next generation Eurex platform that is currently being built.
Jeff Sprecher has pioneered electronic trading and OTC clearing since he bought out the Continental Power exchange in 1997, which he used as the launch vehicle for the IntercontinentalExchange in 2000. He has built up the exchange into a global player through an aggressive acquisition strategy that has seen his firm acquire the New York Board of Trade and the International Petroleum Exchange among other notable purchases. In 2006 he lost out against the CME to acquire the Chicago Board of Trade in a bidding war that cemented his reputation as a formidable force in the futures and options industry.
Stephen Schuler founded Getco in 1999 and the firm rapidly became one of the most important proprietary trading firms bringing liquidity to exchange markets around the world. Schuler founded Getco with Dan Tierney. Getco lays claim to being consistently among the top volume players on a number of the leading global exchanges and has ownership stakes in Bats, Eris, Chi-X, ELX and NYSE Liffe US. The two entrepreneurs are credited with pioneering the growth of electronic trading across the globe since the launch of Getco. Today the firm operates across three continents, in four asset classes on more than 50 exchanges across the globe.
Hailed in the FIA Hall of Fame as “one of the most entrepreneurial executives ever to runa derivatives exchange”, Olof Stenhammar was key to the formation of the European exchange landscape as it exists today. He was the founder of OM as a for-profit stock options exchange in 1985 and oversaw the exchange as it pioneered electronic trading and led the field in the demutualisation of exchanges across the globe. OM went on to consolidate the leading stock exchanges across the Nordic region before being acquired by Nasdaq in 2007. The group is also renowned for its world class trading technology with over 40 exchanges across the world using its platform.
Ang Swee Tian
Ang Swee Tian is almost synonymous with derivatives in Singapore. Tian helped transform a sleepy Gold Exchange in Singapore into Simex and then into the Singapore Exchange also leading the development of the Mutual Offset System with CME, which to this day, is hailed as the only successful mutual offset exchange cooperation agreement. Without the tireless efforts of Tian, there is no doubt that Singapore would not be the derivatives powerhouse that it is today. He retired as president of the Singapore Exchange at the end of 2005 after 22 years at the exchange and its predecessor Simex.
Sir Brian Williamson
Brian Williamson’s passion for politics almost deprived the futures and options industry of a true pioneer. However, after losing the 1974 UK election when competing for the Sheffield seat of parliament, Williamson fell into a career in finance. The Irishman started out in the industry in Chicago working for Gerrard & National before returning to the UK to found Liffe in 1982, serving as chairman from 1985 to 1988. Williamson returned to Liffe as chairman in 1998 at the call of Eddie George and is credited with turning around the exchange and setting in on the path to the powerhouse it is today.