David Johnson – Open Outcry Traders History Project

John Lothian

John Lothian

Executive Chairman and CEO

David Johnson was trading OTC stocks and options for Pershing in 1970. He was in the right place at the right time when the CBOT decided to launch an options exchange. He came to Chicago in 1974 from New York and never left. He saw the immense growth of the CBOE and the options business, but dealt with the tough times, including the stock markets crash of 1987. He experienced the growth that ultimately demanded technology to manage the risk. He was always a proponent of technology. He joined Morgan Stanley in 1982. He served on the original Globex Committee at the CME with Leo Melamed and John Geldermann.

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Kenny Polcari – Open Outcry Traders History Project Part 2

Kenny Polcari – Open Outcry Traders History Project Part 2

When Kenny Polcari started out at the New York Stock Exchange, “It was paper and pencil until the turn of the century,” he said. 

The exchange started to introduce handheld computers in the late 1990s, but it was only in beta, not full blown yet.  Everyone was preparing for Y2K. When Y2K happened and the technology didn’t fail, Polcari said, there was a push on the industry to move forward with modernization. They converted all the stocks over to decimals alphabetically, one at a time, over a six-month period, starting with the stocks named A to D. 

Kenny Polcari – Open Outcry Traders History Project Part 1

Kenny Polcari – Open Outcry Traders History Project Part 1

When he was young, Kenny Polcari wanted to be in politics – preferably to eventually be president of the United States. But, he said, “Thank God none of that came true.”

When he was 19, he interned on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. He knew nothing about the business and was from Boston rather than New York. At first he thought, “Who wants to move to New York City in the summer as a 19-year-old kid?”  He was going to go back to Cape Cod and be a lifeguard.  But he thought about it and did his homework and said, “What’s the worst that can happen?” 

Options Veterans Forge New Path With Tried-And-True Strategy

Options Veterans Forge New Path With Tried-And-True Strategy

As its name suggests, Options Solutions is an options-centric asset-management firm that aims to increase the returns of investors’ portfolios with customized options strategies. JLN’s John Lothian and Suzanne Cosgrove recently interviewed the founders of the new enterprise, described by CEO Michael Brodsky as an early-stage, high-growth company. Team members are led by former CBOE Chairman and CEO Bill Brodsky, as well as Michael, his son, and options industry strategist Steve Sears.

Larry Abrams Part Two: Trader, “New York Jew” and Magician

Larry Abrams Part Two: Trader, “New York Jew” and Magician

Trader Larry Abrams Talks About His Career for the Open Outcry Traders HIstory Project

In part two of the JLN MarketsWiki Education Open Outcry Traders History Project interview with Larry Abrams, he talks about the emotionally draining market openings every day, his rather ugly experience in Kansas City opening a futures trading operation for Cooper Neff, options exercised out of the money, electronic trading, economic opportunity (and small worlds) and being a magician.

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