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Gerald O'Connell
Chief Information Officer
Chicago Board Options Exchange
Last year: 30

The Chicago Board Options Exchange started in 1973 as the first U.S. listed-options market and later expanded into futures and stocks. Most rival options markets, by contrast, grew out of equity exchanges. Today, CBOE is again going its own way, moving its computer infrastructure to the New York area to be closer to market participants and thereby minimize communications delays. "Being in Chicago, we have been at a latency disadvantage," says CIO Gerald O'Connell, who has been managing the technology of what is now a five-exchange complex since 1984. O'Connell already has the electronic C2 Options Exchange and CBOE Stock Exchange running at an Equinix data center in Secaucus, New Jersey. The rest of the relocation is due to be completed late this year, with the former hub in Chicago becoming a backup site. The conversion entails "many months of testing to make sure things go smoothly," says O'Connell, 60. "Buying the fastest servers and being on the East Coast will put us in very good shape." Also on tap are a new application programming interface and expanded networking capacity for Command, the platform supporting much of CBOE's market operations.