Ray Carmichael – The History of Financial Futures – Part 2

John Lothian

John Lothian

Executive Chairman and CEO

Carmichael Led Communications at the Chicago Board of Trade During a Decade of Incredible Growth in Financial Futures

Ray Carmichael was in the thick of the new markets, the early days of electronic trading and huge change in the futures industry globally as the head of corporate communications for the Chicago Board of Trade. He was there when financial futures grew dramatically at the CBOT, making it “the most exciting time in the world to be at the Board of Trade; it was the glory days.”

Carmichael is an excellent communicator and storyteller. In this John Lothian News interview, Carmichael talked about everything from Aurora to Globex to Project A, trading platforms of the CBOT. 

Aurora was unveiled at the Futures industry Association’s Boca Raton International Conference and scared the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Carmichael says. It hit the “Merc like a ton of bricks.” The CBOT was a big Apple Computer fan, and their Aurora system used Apple Computers.  

However, the networks of the time could not support the Apple-like user interface of Aurora.  So the CBOT joined the Globex Alliance. Before Globex could launch, though, the CBOT pulled out and released a local area network trading system, Project A.

Carmichael talks about the competition between the two exchanges, which he describes as being like Coke and Pepsi. He said the competition between the exchanges made the exchanges great.

He talks about representing the leaders in the futures industry as a communications professional. Whether it was the colorful Pat Arbor, or the CME’s Jack Sandner, the press loved the futures markets’ colorful characters.

He was willing to take the heat as head of public relations for the CBOT and developed a committee of members to really understand the value of public relations and marketing.

He talks about the beginning of the FIA and its role in the industry. He talks about being surprised how successful it became amid the competing desires of the exchanges and member firms.

Here is part two of the John Lothian News interview with Ray Carmichael, the former head of communications of the Chicago Board of Trade, for The History of Financial Futures video series.

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