Robert K. Wilmouth Passes Away; Remembered as Respected Industry Leader and Colleague

John Lothian

John Lothian

Executive Chairman

Robert K. Wilmouth, the founding National Futures Association president and CEO, passed away yesterday, the NFA said.

Wilmouth served as head of the newly formed NFA from 1982 to 2003. He was succeeded by Dan Roth, who recently retired from the role and was replaced by Tom Sexton.

Wilmouth also served as the president of the Chicago Board of Trade for about five years. He was brought to the exchange by then exchange chairman William D. Hagerty, Jr.

Wilmouth’s futures industry career was preceded by some 27 years in banking, beginning in 1950 at the first National Bank of Chicago. He became manager of First National’s branch in Milan, Italy in 1968 and later general manager of all European Operations. He returned to the U.S. as head of the international banking department and was elected executive vice president of First National in 1972 and named to the bank’s board in 1973.

In 1975, he became president of the Crocker National Bank of San Francisco. He was also chairman of LaSalle National Bank for more than two decades. He joined the futures industry in 1977, but continued to serve the banking industry in various capacities.

When I worked for William Mallers, Sr. at First American Discount in the 1980s, he told me how he helped create the National Futures Association as a way to get Wilmouth out of the CBOT. Mallers, a political maverick elected chairman at the CBOT in 1969, often clashed with the Wilmouth.

Wilmouth was a Lifetime Trustee of the University of Notre Dame and the former Chairman of its Investment Committee.  He also served on the advisory council of Northwestern University’s Graduate School of Management.

He was a native of Worcester, Massachusetts and graduated from Holy Cross College and held a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame.  He was married to the late Ellen (Boyle) Wilmouth and had five children and five grandchildren.

.I have asked several industry leaders who knew him well to offer brief reflections on his life and contributions to the futures industry. If you would like to share a reflection, please email me  back.

The reflections can be found HERE.

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