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CME Group: From Mainframe to HFT

Published in Automated Trader Magazine Issue 26 Q3 2012

In nearly thirty years at CME Group, COO Bryan Durkin has seen numerous technological changes. In this issue's Exchange Views, Bryan tracks some of those changes in the context of the exchange's expansion and shifts in the trading landscape.

Bryan Durkin

Bryan, you've obviously experienced, and in some cases been responsible for, changes at CME Group. Which do you regard as the most significant of these?

While there's clearly been substantial technological change since I've been with the exchange, I would say that in many respects the last five years have probably been the most remarkable. In that time we have grown into a truly global organisation and our technology has had to keep pace with that growth. A key part of that has been providing ease of access to users in more than 150 countries around the world.

At the same time we've had to extend our support to a broader and more diverse set of asset classes. Within the last five years we have brought together some of the largest trading institutions in the world by combining CME Group, CBOT and NYMEX, with most of that process taking place within barely two years. So CME Group's existing base in interest rates, agricultural products and equity indices had to be integrated with energy and metals from NYMEX, together with the other agricultural products and interest rate products of the CBOT.

All of these individual product groups have their own nuances that have to be allowed for in the associated technology used to deliver them to users. That meant that the onus was on us to ensure that the technology in Globex, our gateway infrastructure and our telecoms were kept ahead of the curve and were also sufficiently flexible to accommodate these nuances. The same also applied to functionality in areas such as risk management and credit control.

How did you handle the migration in technology terms? What were the challenges specific to the exchanges you incorporated?

NYMEX and the CBOT were different in terms of the scale of the work that needed to be accomplished. In the case of the CBOT, it had previously been using the CME Group to provide clearing services. Therefore, our focus was on transitioning all of the CBOT's products onto the GLOBEX Electronic Trading Platform. In the case of NYMEX, the task was slightly different in that the exchange was already on Globex, but was on the NYMEX Clearing system which needed to be migrated to CME Clearing.

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