Bob Cox sat down with Jim Kharouf of John Lothian News in 2014 to speak about his experience in helping start Simex in Singapore in 1984. As the only CME floor trader with experience in Southeast Asia, having grown up in Manilla, Philippines, he was asked by a supporting bank to help build and launch the exchange. Cox, who passed away on December 7, was there for day one at Simex and led the Southeast Asia trading desk for Goldman Sachs.
To Cox, the creation of Simex was a pivotal moment in the futures industry’s global expansion, as it spurred the creation of the Hong Kong Futures Exchange and its Hang Seng futures contract, as well as financial futures in Japan, not to mention the opening of its domestic markets.
“The formation of Simex at that time was fairly audacious,” Cox said. “There was one futures exchange in the Far East of any note in that time zone and that was the Sydney Futures Exchange. And you had very little to go by in terms of something to build on. But here was Singapore going to set itself up as the international futures trading center for the Far East. It was a big bold move and a difficult one to pull off. But they did.”
In this interview for Simex’s 30th Anniversary Video about the history of the exchange, Cox explains how the exchange and Singapore’s regulators adopted CME’s rules, a crucial move that would propel Simex and later SGX to become an international futures exchange and market powerhouse.