|Last year: 16|
On an average day in April, 10.1 million out of 11.6 million contracts traded on the derivatives markets of CME Group (8 percent more than a year earlier) were transacted on the Globex electronic platform. A technological breakthrough when it launched in 1992, still a marvel of efficiency with microsecond-level transaction speeds, Globex is “the engine underlying much of what we do,” says Phupinder Gill, a 25-year CME veteran who rose to CEO in May 2012. So ingrained and reliable has Globex become that “we generally don’t talk about it,” adds the 52-year-old. “It has been assumed away,” just as the once-complicated functions of desktop operating systems have been reduced to simple mouse clicks. But there is nothing trivial about what CME’s technology is enabling. After focusing primarily on futures product development in the 20th century, says Gill, the Chicago-based exchange operator has spent the 21st century concentrating on distribution and “improving the customer experience.” CME reaches 150 countries thanks to Globex and partnerships with the likes of Bursa Malaysia and Mexico’s Bolsa Mexicana de Valores. A six-year-old alliance with Brazil’s BM&F Bovespa led to the April completion of the multi-asset-class Puma Trading System, CME technology’s entrée into equities. The company is expanding in London this year with the new CME Europe exchange.