CME going global?

Thursday 19 February, 2009

I checked out this luncheon recently which featured Jamie Parisi, CFO of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange speaking on  Perspective on Futures Industry Role in Global Economy The CME was given the Corporate Growth Award by the Chicago Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth in front of 140 members.  Here’s what he revealed from an international perspective:  Globex is now available in 80 countries.  When questioned about CME’s international growth & perhaps acquisition plans, Parisi admitted that CME has historically been a North American-centric organization.  However, better telecommunications connections have enabled CME to reach the 4 corners of the globe.  They are introducing new products on an ongoing basis to address world markets for financial products.  CME has taken a minority stake in BM&FBOVESPA in Brazil.  Federal governments won’t allow foreign companies make more than minority investments in their local exchanges, so CME will tread lightly in this area.

I don’t know if it’s any indicator of their proclivity for success, but the CME has been looking for a Director of International Business Development on Monster.com for months.  The time they’re taking to fill the position certainly indicates that it’s not a priority.  Granted, the qualifications they are seeking are pretty specific, but like most American firms, they value the hard skills at the expense of soft skills.  Deal-making experience in financial services/ trading/exchange or broker-dealer environment are required, while international experience is only preferred & language skills are only helpful. I’m not a finance guy, but I do think they’re shortchanging the importance of being able to build mutual win-win personal as well as business relationships with counterparts throughout the world.


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