Olivier Raevel – MarketsWiki Education Open Outcry Traders History Project

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John Lothian

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Olivier Raevel is the first trader from the International Petroleum Exchange, or IPE, to be interviewed for the JLN MarketsWiki Education Open Outcry Traders History Project. He made history as a founding member of ICE and recommended that ICE buy the IPE. He was among the first generation of electronic traders in commodities, pushing the OTC online trading of ICE in competition with Enron Online.

Raevel has been a floor trader, an over-the-counter trader, a founding member of the board of ICE and an exchange executive. Today he works for Griffin Markets.

As a young man required to serve his country, Raevel chose civil service over military service in France and after completing business school, he was hired by a bank. His position at the bank was as a market maker on the floor of the International Petroleum Exchange, or IPE, for which he earned the pay of a soldier. 

He has a background in mathematics and science and wanted to become a pilot.  However, his eyesight became an issue and he turned to business.

Following a successful 16 month stint at the IPE, he was hired by Societe Generale to be an upstairs energy trader.

He later moved to New York and traded OTC against NYMEX products. He had two tours in the U.S. and met his wife there and they had two children during those years.

While working for Societe Generale, he was assigned to be the bank’s representative for the ICE project. This was at the time of the founding of the InterContinental Exchange as a competitor to Enron Online in trading over-the-counter energy products.  ICE’s Jeff Sprecher had originally tried to partner with NYMEX to be their OTC solution, but was laughed out of the board room, Raevel said.

While a board member of ICE, he suggested they should buy the IPE, so they could combine the futures and the options to trade electronically together. 

After stints at ABN AMRO and later Koch Supply & Trading in Switzerland he moved into market infrastructure and became involved with BluNext, a “failing spot missions quota trading outfit.” NYSE Euronext was one of the owners of BluNext. After ICE bought NYSE Euronext and spun off Euronext, Raevel was asked to help develop the commodities business at Euronext. He eventually became a Euronext employee and head of commodities.

He is now with Griffin Markets, a large specialist in natural gas and power, where he is managing director for Europe.

Here is his story for the MarketsWiki Education Open Outcry Traders History Project.

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