Cboe Chairman, President and CEO Ed Tilly commemorates the company’s 48th anniversary by celebrating its people
Today marks Cboe Global Markets’ 48th anniversary. As I place the past year in the larger context of Cboe’s storied history, I am incredibly proud of the extraordinary adaptability of our people in the face of unrelenting challenges. Our associates and customers around the globe transitioned to working from home on a moment’s notice and quickly adapted to entirely new work and trading environments. We came together to fine-tune systems and processes, discover new ways of communicating and, most importantly, show our support for one another.
As we embark on our 49th year in business, I’d like to share more about our people — how this past year and our recent growth demonstrates the resilience of Cboe associates and why they make me believe in our vision for the future.
A Global Associate Base
At our core, Cboe is defining markets by putting people first. It is our people who bring innovation, a desire to do more and passion to work each day, driving forward our mission to build one of the world’s largest global derivatives and securities trading networks.
Since the beginning of 2020, Cboe has acquired six companies, with plans to add Chi-X Asia Pacific to our roster later this year, subject to regulatory review. Each of these deals have been highly complementary to our business but it is the people, with their variety of experiences, skills and specialties that make Cboe better, stronger and more suited to meet the needs of our global client base.
It is an exciting time at Cboe as we broaden our global footprint by entering new markets and expanding the technology solutions and product and service offerings we provide to investors around the world. Our extension of global trading hours complements our work on the planned launch of European derivatives later this year, subject to regulatory review, and our planned entry into the Asia Pacific market.
Adapting to a Changing Marketplace
The full Cboe team keeps us nimble and ready to adapt as we pave the way in defining the modern trading environment. The global shift to a completely remote work environment accelerated our adaptation of technological solutions and pushed us to develop enhanced educational resources while increasing the speed of execution, cost savings, efficiency, stability and scalability.
In addition to demonstrating our adaptability, the shift allowed us to identify opportunities in the growing retail marketplace. Throughout 2020, we released new product offerings, such as mini-sized options and futures contracts, and made market structure enhancements that cater to the efficient execution of retail trades.
The sudden and extreme uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the resiliency of Cboe’s global team. With our associates pushing Cboe to new heights, we posted a record-breaking year, driven by record trading volumes in U.S. cash equities and multi-list options. While adapting to a new work environment, navigating several unknowns and trying to solve new problems, associates still kept our mission of defining markets top-of-mind, which enabled us to grow and create an even stronger foundation for the future.
Commitment to Diversity Equality and Inclusion
The pandemic, geopolitical tensions and social unrest made for an unimaginably challenging year that prompted our team to come together as a community to examine how to advance racial equity, diversity and inclusivity within Cboe. This initiative is a top priority for Cboe’s Board of Directors, Executive team and associates around the world, who believe that we grow and become stronger when we bring new perspectives and a greater variety of experiences and viewpoints to our workplace.
Cboe has implemented substantial changes to attract, engage, develop and retain a more diverse associate base, and to foster an environment where all can flourish and contribute. We created a Diversity Leadership Council (DLC) to help us challenge bias, embrace differences and become a stronger team. The DLC and the Cboe Women’s Initiative — our Associate Resource Group dedicated to the advancement of women — are driving important changes in the way we think, work and interact with each other. In addition, we expanded our Human Resources recruitment team and initiatives and aligned our Executive Team goals with our corporate diversity and inclusion goals.
Dedication to Good Citizenship
Cboe remains committed to being a local partner in the communities where we live and work — even as our business expands globally. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cboe donated $1 million to deploy patient isolation units to fire departments and hospitals in Chicago, New York and Kansas City. We also increased our matching gift rate from 100% to 150% per associate for donations made to nonprofit organizations that support COVID-19 related efforts, social justice issues, Black communities and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. The influx in donations made through Cboe’s matching gift program was an inspiring testament to our associates’ dedication to good citizenship. I was heartened to see the outpouring of support from our associates, not only through monetary donations but also through their volunteerism and advocacy.
Cboe’s 48 years in business have been remarkable, but this past year proved what I have always known — that the Cboe team will always rise to the occasion and bring flexibility, creativity and innovative solutions along with them. The entrepreneurial and collaborative team spirit that has always defined Cboe has never been stronger. As we look ahead, we are poised to fully harness the strength of our team and build on our storied legacy of success with new solutions and market-defining innovations.