The 2014 Trading Technology 40: Gerald O’Connell


Gerald O’Connell
Chief Information Officer
Chicago Board Options Exchange
Last year: 8

For Gerald O’Connell the completion of a megaproject only means that new ones enter the queue. As of December 2012 the Chicago Board Options Exchange had moved its infrastructure — that of its flagship market and four others it operates, along with the CBOE Command trading engine — into the Equinix NY4 data center in Secaucus, New Jersey. O’Connell, an executive vice president who joined CBOE in 1984 and has been CIO since 1993, has since turned his attention to opportunities in globalization and round-the-clock availability. CBOE opened a London communications hub on February 1, 2013, and extended trading in its popular Volatility Index (VIX) futures. “The system is capable of running 24 hours a day,” says the 62-year-old, but CBOE will increase it gradually from the current 14 hours. “We’re capable of doing Asian market hours,” O’Connell adds. “That might be our next step.” Another challenge: bolstering CBOE’s hardware and software to prevent glitches like the one last April that caused a three-hour delay in opening. O’Connell is taking steps to allow cutover to backup systems in a mere five minutes. “We’re doing a lot of new testing and quality assurance initiatives to detect software defects before they become a problem,” he notes.

See also O’Connell’s profiles in the 2013 Trading Technology 40, the 2012 Trading Technology 30 and the 2012 Tech 50.

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