CME Looks Abroad

Terry Flanagan

The derivatives exchange operator has appointed new management for its international operations.

CME Group will shift William Knottenbelt, who had been managing director of international products and services since 2009, to head of European, Middle East and African regional operations, effective mid-November. Robert Ray, who had previously been at the helm of CME’s international operations, will move to a new role heading up strategic initiatives in Europe and South America. Knottenbelt and Ray will be based in London and will report to Bryan Durkin, CME chief operating officer and managing director of products and services.

“CME Group’s business continues to grow during European and Asian trading hours, and we believe the best way to serve these clients is to develop regional products through a significant presence in EMEA,” said Durkin in a release. “We are extremely pleased that both William and Bob will assist us in these efforts, using their deep market expertise and strong customer relationships to help us continue to meet the needs of key client segments throughout the region.”

Knottenbelt has more than 30 years of experience in the European financial services industry. He had previously held management roles at Royal Bank of Scotland. Prior to joining CME, Ray held management position the Chicago Board of Trade, Robertson Stephens and Dean Witter Reynolds.

The move comes about a week after the company appointed Gary Morsches as new managing director for its energy business. Morsches will be based in New York and will report to Kendal Vroman, managing director of commodity products, OTC services and information products at CME. Morsches’s appointment took effect Sept. 30. He has had more than three decades of experience in the energy industry, most recently as a partner and managing director for Boston Consulting Group, advising clients in the energy space on business strategy and development

The new hire may have come as a way to shuffle up an energy business that lagged behind some of its other units. The company recently recorded an all-time record 17.1 million contracts traded per day in August, an increase of 46 percent from 2010 and of 35 percent from July. Metals volume reached a record 521,000 contracts per day, an increase of 131 percent, as investors flocked to the safety of gold. Interest rate and equity index options, the company’s top two products by volume, were also up 83 percent and 47 percent, respectively. Energy, on the other hand, the company’s third largest offering by volume, was up just eight percent over 2010.

Also as part of its European expansion, CME Clearing Europe has also recently announced that it will launch cleared over-the-counter metal products in the continent by the end of the year.

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