CME Group boasts a long list of historical milestones: Its Chicago futures exchange opened in 1848. It began trading futures contracts on seven foreign currencies in 1972. But it was the launch in 1992 of Globex, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange's electronic trading platform, that set the company on a course of technological disruption and innovation; currently, 87 percent of its volume is electronic.
"Technology is absolutely part of the culture, at the core of what we do," says Bryan Durkin, who as president of $3.6 billion-in-revenue CME Group is responsible for overseeing technology, global operations, market technology and data services, and international businesses. Technology, he says, is "a key component of how we stay competitive." It has everything to do with the "robust global infrastructure" that enables CME to serve a global marketplace every day around the clock, with the capacity to handle a 12 percent year-over-year increase in volume (to 15.6 million contracts per average day), as it did in 2016, with ever increasing efficiency along with risk controls that ensure market integrity.
Named president in November when CEO Phupinder Gill announced his retirement, and reporting to chairman and CEO Terrence Duffy, Durkin personifies how technology pervades the culture. An MBA graduate of Illinois's Lewis University, the 56-year-old says, "I am not a technologist." But over a 34-year career, he has earned his stripes. He was COO of the Chicago Board of Trade, with a remit including operations and technology, when, in 2007, CBOT and CME merged. Durkin was responsible for the postmerger integration, which was completed "within a year and without a hitch," he recalls. He repeated the exercise a year later when CME acquired the New York Mercantile Exchange. Today all of CME operates on a unified trading, clearing, and settlement platform.
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