Good morning and welcome to the 33rd annual Expo.
Over the past three decades, Expo has served to highlight the issues, people, and companies that are shaping this business. And much to my chagrin, Expo marks the time when the teams I care about collapse in the playoffs – first the Washington Nationals and now the Chicago Cubs. Good thing we have the Redskins and Bears to save us.
The first Expo in 1985 was hosted on CME’s trading floor with exhibitors showcasing their products, ranging from trading jackets to commodity quotation systems. Yours truly was a freshman at Indiana University with a full head of hair and a Commodore 64 computer.
Today when our exhibit floor opens at 10 am, exhibitors will be showcasing trading tools built with artificial intelligence and virtual reality headsets to visualize market data. The pace of change in our industry has been breathtaking, but a constant over these decades has been our willingness to EMBRACE innovation. Rather than resist change, our industry’s instincts are to welcome and nurture it. Innovation has always been in the DNA of this industry and that is why we proudly adopt innovation as the theme of Expo.
I do want to take a brief moment to recognize the loss of three incredible individuals who embodied this innovative spirit: Bob Wilmouth, Les Rosenthal, and Magnus Bocker. Bob, Les, and Magnus embodied the characteristics that make our industry great – a fundamental belief in the power of markets, an eagerness to innovate, and a willingness to give back to this industry that had given them so much.
These innovators recognized that beyond being a central marketplace for buyers and sellers, our markets serve a greater public benefit—whether it’s consumers and producers who rely on prices discovered in our markets, or businesses who manage undesired price risk in order to focus on their core mission, or manufacturers who lock in prices that allow them to invest capital back into jobs and productivity. These public goods are the result of well-functioning and properly-regulated futures, options and cleared derivatives markets.
FIA is proud to be your advocate in supporting healthy and innovative markets that serve these purposes.
On that front, this year is our third year of hosting our award-winning Innovators Pavilion that highlights 19 of the most inventive start-ups in the industry. The top five of these companies will appear this afternoon before a panel of shark-tank judges to pitch their ideas with the hope of being named FIA Innovator of the Year. I’d like to thank NASDAQ and Amazon Web Services for sponsoring Innovator’s Pavilion and helping FIA to nurture the next generation of this industry.
FIA is committed to helping the industry prepare for the future. On that front, I am pleased to announce the official launch of FIA Training, which is an online compliance tool aimed at helping members stay current on their various regulatory obligations. We’ve launched 4 modules already. These courses are developed BY industry professionals FOR industry professionals, and we expect FIA Training to help members meet their compliance needs cost-effectively. You can learn more about FIA Training at our website, in FIA’s Expo Lounge and during Thursday’s in-person training sessions.
Separately, I am also thrilled to announce the launch of futuresfundamentals.org – a site that will help to educate learners of all levels about how derivatives markets work – from policymakers to journalists, from educators to the general public. We are proud to join with NFA, the Institute for Financial Markets, CME and the CME Foundation, as a coalition to support and grow this site. We hope to expand this industry coalition with additional partners over time.
In addition to educating people about our markets and their crucial role in the global economy, we also need to get this information directly into classrooms so we might prepare the next generation of our industry. Futures Fundamentals will help to do that.
We hope you will join us in supporting this site and helping us make sure it reaches a broad, global audience. And, in celebration of our launch, please make sure you enter your name in a drawing at locations around Expo to win one of two iPads loaded with Futures Fundamentals ready for you to explore. I’ll announce the winners tomorrow morning around 10:45 a.m. right outside the Continental Ballrooms.
We have a great program in store for you, highlighted with:
- a video welcome by Chairman Giancarlo
- a fireside chat with CFTC Commissioners Brian Quintenz and Russ Behnam
- a keynote with the Treasury Department’s Regulatory Tsar Craig Philips, and…
- of course, the ever popular Exchange Leaders Panel.
Our program features the most important global players and issues, including topics on MIFID II, CCP Risk, Enforcement, Artificial Intelligence, Cross-Border Regulation, Cryptocurrencies, and Market Liquidity—to name a few.
I will also be hosting our Washington Outlook panel tomorrow with several of my inside-the-beltway friends, which features the patented Lukken Lightning Round.
Today’s keynote luncheon speaker is the renowned journalist, Bob Woodward of the Washington Post, whose investigative journalism uncovered the Watergate scandal and led to the downfall of an American President. I know all of us will be fascinated to hear his thoughts on the current Administration and what it’s like to have Robert Redford play you in a movie.
To make the most of your time here, you’ll want to delete our old app and download the new mobile app—FIA Connect. The new app looks fantastic, and includes the program schedule, a list of exhibitors, and various resources to keep you informed and connected. And for those of you on Twitter, follow us at “FIAconnect” using the hashtag “FIAExpo.”
Finally, you won’t want to miss out on the annual Great Chicago Steak Out on Thursday night. Since 2008, you have helped us raise more than $3.2 million for the Greater Chicago Food Depository to help feed those in need. Once again this year, you can enjoy the best food that Chicago’s top steakhouses have to offer while supporting the Chicago Food Depository’s work to provide daily meals for local families.
Lastly and most importantly, I’d like to thank the exhibitors and our sponsors for their generous support. Please be sure to visit them in the Expo Hall downstairs.
With that, I’d like to show you a message from CFTC Chairman Chris Giancarlo. He couldn’t join us today but he has a good excuse – I promise.
After the video, you won’t want to miss your first chance to hear the two new Commissioners discuss their perspectives on the CFTC’s direction.