As the 35th Options Industry Conference gets underway, OCC Chairman and CEO Craig Donohue spoke with John Lothian News about everything from the industry’s first woman to be awarded the Joseph Sullivan Award to executive changes at the clearinghouse.

Gina McFadden served in the options industry for almost 40 years. She served as president of The Options Industry Council (OIC) from 2006 to 2013 and executive vice president at The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC). She retired from both of those positions in September 2013.

At OIC, McFadden was responsible for business and product development, corporate communications, and investor and internet services.

“She had a major influence on options education and OIC for many, many years,” Donohue said. “And I think it’s important not only that we recognize that, but particularly because she has been a woman who has been successful in the industry.”

Donohue added that gender equality is a big issue for the OCC. In his view, a diverse workplace is one of the keys to the industry’s long-term viability.

“It starts with the kind of decisions that we make and how we act as a role model, not only me as an individual but us as an organization,” Donohue said.

Leadership changes

Donohue also addressed the large number of executive changes that have occurred over the past several months.

“We’ve had a lot of people who have been great contributors over many years,” Donohue said. “But we’re also needing new skills.”

Mike McClain, president and chief operating officer left in April after more than 15 years and was replaced by long-time industry veteran John Davidson. David Hoag, joined as senior vice president and chief information officer.  Adi Agrawal was promoted to senior vice president and chief business transformation officer.  David Ridgway was hired as senior vice president of enterprise risk management to work under John Fennell, chief risk officer. Mark Morrison was brought on in recent days as chief security officer.

Some of the changes have been a matter of shifting the organization’s bench strength to adapt to the OCC’s recent designation as a SIFMU, or Systemically Important Financial Market Utility.

But Donohue also added that it’s also about helping the organization make the jump to a new clearing platform.

“So what remains for us, as we get through these regulatory adaptations is on the strategic front, looking for ways we can create value for market participants and our stakeholders by  broadening the services we offer the marketplace,” he said.

As for Donohue’s future, he has signed on to remain in his leadership role for three more years. But the moves he is making today are designed to set up the organization for years beyond that.

“I really came here to be chairman,” Donohue said. “One of reasons I’m here is to develop the next leadership for the next 20 to 25 years.”


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