Craig Donohue
Executive Chairman
Options Clearing Corp.

In 23 years with CME Group, the last eight as CEO before retiring in 2012, Craig Donohue put his legal background to work — he has both a JD from John Marshall Law School and a master’s of law in financial services regulation from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law — on the company’s 2002 IPO and $20 billion-plus in M&A deals. He also spearheaded one of the most aggressive technological transformations in the exchange industry, centered on the now-24-year-old Globex platform. (Donohue ranked No. 2 in the 2011 Tech 50. His successor, Phupinder Gill, is No. 4 this year.) Retirement did not last long: CME’s Chicago neighbor Options Clearing Corp. came calling, and in January 2014, Donohue took the helm as executive chairman. Global regulators had designated OCC a SIFMU (systemically important financial market utility) in 2012, and Donohue jumped on the opportunity to bring the company organizationally and technologically up to speed. “Risk management and capital efficiency are more at the forefront of our attention,” Donohue, 54, explains. At OCC, which clears an average 17 million options contracts every day on 14 U.S. exchanges, “we pay less attention to the factory aspect and more to how resilient we are, given the financial crisis in 2008, in terms of capital, liquidity, margin coverage and clearing fund resources, so we can perform the obligations we have to our clients.” A new technology team, led by chief information officer Luke Moranda, who joined in March 2015 from JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s treasury services business, is charged with ensuring resiliency — a pillar of Donohue’s strategic plan. For OCC and its clearing members, the business has become highly capital-intensive, requiring $100 billion in margin collateral and a $7 billion mutualized insurance pool as a backstop against failures. Donohue has introduced data warehousing and information analytics to reduce capital needs — for example, by identifying which options positions are driving up costs. “Risk analytics is the next frontier to support clients on their trades and reducing costs,” says Donohue. The tech agenda includes looking at blockchain and distributed ledger, which Donohue sees as potentially “very significant in the central counterparty clearing landscape over the next ten to 15 years.”

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