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Hall of Fame 2010

10:30 July 1st 2010 in hall-of-fame

Hall of Fame 2010

“Class 2010”

In 2009, Profit & Loss celebrated its 10th anniversary with the launch of the Profit & Loss Hall of Fame to recognise those individuals who have made significant contributions to the growth and success of the foreign exchange industry. This year, the honourees have long been industry leaders that have garnered respect from peers and colleagues, both professionally and personally. It is with great pleasure that we unveil the next six members of our industry to be honoured in the Profit & Loss Hall of Fame:

First and foremost, John Caccavale is a great trader. Talk to anyone who knows or has worked with him and you will hear the same message – amazing risk management skills; always looks after the customer. How did he manage risk so well and still manage to put the customer first? Well, we are back to those great trading skills. In many ways, Caccavale was ahead of his time with the ethos – in the 1980s – that the customer comes first, but this highlights another trait – he is always thinking about the industry, the likely next evolution; different ways of doing the job of trading. Again, talk to people who know him and they will all say John Caccavale knows what shapes markets and embraces innovative ideas to make those markets more efficient.

A 20-year career at JP Morgan started in New York as a junior FX dealer, but within four years Caccavale was not only senior spot FX dealer, he was a lecturer for the JP Morgan training program. This was the first, but certainly not the last time he was willing to share his insight, talent and knowledge with others through teaching.

He moved to London in 1991 to become head of spot FX trading for JP Morgan. Those who worked with him in London became the next set of colleagues to admire his trading skills. They also discovered his professionalism and integrity. As one former colleague puts it, he is someone people are proud to work with.

A move back to New York in 1995 saw him briefly take on the role of head of spot FX for the New York desk before being appointed regional manager for trading for North America.

In 2001, Ivan Ritossa was building Lehman Brothers’ FX business and one of his early appointments was Caccavale as global head of spot and forward trading. When Ritossa, a fellow Hall of Famer, moved to Barclays Capital in 2002, he ensured that Caccavale was with him, appointing him head of FX trading for the Americas.

Caccavale became part of the team at Barclays Capital that developed BARX into the first rate platform it is today. As the market evolved towards the e-channel, he continued to train, cajole and encourage younger traders and salespeople to develop their skills and evolve with the industry.

Earlier this year, Caccavale left Barclays Capital and he is soon to return to his roots, with a job at his alma mater, Duke University. Over the years he has been an active alumnus for Duke, mentoring and tutoring students. It is this ethic, the desire to help others whilst ensuring he conducts himself to the highest standards, that makes him a welcome entrant to the Hall of Fame.

In some ways it is fitting that Paul Chappell started in the financial industry in 1974, because when he joined Hambros Bank in London at that time, the world was entering a new post-oil shock, floating dollar era. That was probably the last time he wasn’t one of those driving change.

After four years at Hambros and then a further seven at Chemical Bank in London, Chappell moved to Bank of America with the brief to build the bank’s FX business. He achieved that with great success and no little style, turning BofA into a forex powerhouse.

In 1996, he made what was then quite a leap of faith, becoming one of the early bank FX traders to leave the industry and go it alone with his own currency management firm. Since then, few have succeeded to the same degree – C-View has seen assets under management grow steadily as the firm repeatedly turns in good risk-adjusted returns with a low volatility return profile to investors. People who know him stress Chappell is a trader’s trader – he understands the trading business so well because no matter how busy he is with running the operation, he always has time for a position, or three! He insists upon the highest standards and sets those standards in his professional behaviour.

From its early days in 1996, C-View has been an adopter of the e-channel. Indeed Chappell was a member of the group that established EBS in 1993, further reinforcing the impression of him as an innovator and a pioneer.

Not only that, but C-View has from inception been involved in emerging markets. It has ridden the rollercoaster of emotions from being in these markets since 1996 and come out even stronger – testimony to a solid risk profile and awareness of the wider market environment, both characteristics of Chappell. Along the way, C-View has been an advocate, and physically supported, the growth of electronic markets in NDFs, making it again one of the pioneers in bringing efficiency and change to our industry.

When one talks to Chappell about the foreign exchange industry, one quickly becomes aware that this is someone who knows the markets inside out – but with that all-important humility of knowing that taking one’s eye off them for a minute can result in a bad day!

He is a deep thinker on how to improve his business and how he can bring the rest of the industry along with him. Well into his fourth decade in the FX market, his pioneering spirit shows no sign of abating and he is a worthy inductee to the Hall of Fame.

Taking over the largest FX operation in the industry may have been a daunting task for some, but career Citi veteran Jeff Feig has, in the six years since taking on the global G-10 FX role, driven the division to new heights.

Feig has been with Citi since he began his career as an associate on the FX desk in Toronto in 1989. From there he moved onto the interest rate derivatives desk, but returned to the FX fold after a spell, eventually heading the forwards book in Canada. In 1993, he moved to New York as a trader on the FX short-term interest rate trading (Stirt) desk, which he was appointed head of in 1996. In 2000, he was further promoted to global head of Stirt and later added global head of proprietary trading to his responsibilities. He moved to London in 2001, to take up a new position as head of European FX. Three years later, he was appointed to his current role and moved to New York.

In addition to his role at Citi, Feig has served on the New York Federal Reserve FX Committee since 2005, and has been acting chairman of the committee since the beginning of January 2010. He also serves on the Canadian Foreign Exchange Committee and was on the Board of Directors of EBS until its sale to Icap.

Throughout his tenure running the FX business, Feig has been unwavering in his commitment to the market and continued investment in e-commerce, research, advisory services and technology. The Citi Velocity platform, launched in 2009, is widely considered a market front runner. Colleagues credit him with Citi’s decision to move into FX prime brokerage which, within a few short years, has established itself as a market leader in the space.

Feig’s impact on the FX industry has been manifold. While serving on the FXC, fellow members say he was actively involved in leading communications amongst members during the banking crisis and led many conversations regarding how FX could be a market leader and innovator during that period of turbulence.

His industry peers also recognise him for his efforts in the post Lehman credit crisis, a time during which he played a pivotal role in getting Citi firmly behind CLS after Lehman collapsed. Peers also credit him with playing a leading role in mitigating the squeeze on US dollar funding post-Lehman, a result of lengthy discussions with the New York Fed at the time.

All that in addition to his day job…oh, and he’s a helluva trader too.

From his humble beginnings as a trainee money broker back in 1978, Mickey Gooch has come a long way. As CEO of GFI, the derivatives brokerage that he founded in 1987, he has steered what was once known as a derivatives boutique into a 1,700-person global powerhouse, with offices in 14 countries and more than $800 million in revenues last year.

GFI today is a provider of wholesale brokerage, electronic execution and trading support products for global financial markets. The firm provides brokerage services, market data, trading platform and analytics software products to institutional clients in markets for a range of credit, financial, equity and commodity instruments.

Gooch nearly went through life as an accountant. He was actually in the process of doing “the articles” for a firm of chartered accountants when he picked up a copy of Monty Python’s “Why Accountancy is Not Boring”, and made a quick career change. Derek Tullett gave him his first job, working on the forward French franc desk in London. This is where he got his start in FX and interest rate arbitrage, a background that helped him get to where he is today.

After several years with Tullett, Gooch spent a year with Citibank as a forward Canadian dollar trader. But he returned to money broking in 1982, joining Harlow Butler, where he says he first became aware of currency options, then in its infancy. Around that time, Gooch became a partner in Financial Options Group, which was established as a floor broker on the Phlx, a move that gave him his first real taste of the potential for currency options broking.

In the mid-80s, Gooch established the first currency options broking desk in New York. At the time, this was such a new business that the only competition came from a rival shop in London. Given his interest in currency options, Gooch was amongst the first to see the value of Fenics as a standard pricing tool for the market. “I was so impressed with Fenics that I bought an option to buy the options tool,” Gooch told P&L, and he excercised that option in 2000.

Gooch recalls that the currency options market wasn’t even viable for broking until 1984, as there were only a handful of active banks. “At the time,” he said, “most banks were keen to have a broker involved to encourage liquidity.” Words to live by.

It’s not often that you will see someone inducted into the Profit & Loss Hall of Fame whose oversight is firmly in the fixed income securities space. But Jack Jeffery, CEO of MTS, is a notable exception. With most of his career spent in the FX industry, we will forgive him this transgression. Jeffery’s leadership contributed greatly to the growth of the FX market. His legacy continues in the direction that market evolution is taking to this day. He joined EBS as CEO in January 2002 and was confronted with overall spot market volumes that had declined 32% over the previous three years. Responding to this, he led EBS through many innovations, each of which was controversial in its day, but which ‘grew the pie’ for all participants. Some of these innovations included the launch of direct, low-latency feeds directly from an inter-dealer electronic broker so that banks could make improved prices to their customers, attracting more business into the market. He was also behind the launch of the first capability for banks to trade on an inter-dealer electronic broker through an API. Every transaction had, until that time, been the result of a manual keystroke. The introduction of prime broking into the inter-dealer market, enabling more banks to join the market, also occurred under his watch, with the added benefit of providing a new source of revenue to prime broker banks. Opening the inter-dealer market to new classes of non-bank participants, which greatly added to liquidity, was another of his legacies, as was the decision to begin publishing historical market data to enable back testing of models, thereby increasing participants’ confidence in their strategies. He also helped pave the way for electronic broking of non-deliverable forwards. Jeffery was selected by the people for his ability to build broad consensus amongst the banks, including EBS’s owners, many of which had greatly differing views regarding the future direction of the foreign exchange market. He did all this while managing the existing EBS business in which he initiated a three-year programme of investment and upgrade in EBS’s technology which was, by 2002, more than 10 years’ old. On a more personal level, both at EBS and throughout his career at Citibank and HSBC, he is known for maintaining extremely high principles. His steady, straight-forward manner helped him gain the confidence of banks and loyalty of staff.

Jeffery contributed greatly to the growth and structure of the FX market that we see today and Profit & Loss is proud to welcome him into the ranks of the Hall of Fame…even if he is now rubbing elbows with securities folk.

Jamie Thorsen, today one of the longest standing members on both the New York Fed’s FX Committee and the Bank of Canada’s FX Committee, was one of a group of some 30 Liberal Arts graduates who, in 1977, were selected by the Harris Bank to join its management training programme in Chicago. For the next seven months she would work at the bank during the day, while after hours, she worked to get her business degree.

By 1984, Thorsen was overseeing FX trading and sales for Harris. In 1994, a decade after Harris was acquired by BMO, an integration of the FX operations under the BMO umbrella created one of the five largest FX operations in the US and Thorsen was given responsibility for North American FX sales for both banks, which operated as separate entities from Chicago and Toronto.

By 1996, Thorsen was appointed SVP, global head of FX trading and sales, and was charged with fully merging the FX operations under the BMO name. At the time, she was one of just a handful of women running FX at a global level for a top 30 bank…and she remains the only female global head in the industry today.

Thorsen continued to rise through the ranks at what is now BMO Capital Markets, to reach her current position, responsible for BMO’s global FX operations, as well as the capital markets operations of the firm in China (since 2006), including FX, money markets and fixed income. In this dual role, she manages a group of 85 professionals across eight cities and four countries. She is a member of the Capital Markets Executive Committee, the Capital Markets Management Committee, the enterprise wide Performance Committee and Chair of the US Pension and Investment Committee.

But her career has not been without challenges. In the years following the merger, Thorsen had to make some difficult decisions to ensure the success of the business, which meant repositioning as a client-driven FX business.“When we first began merging the business, we sent out a clear message; clarity, consistency, integrity; in terms of what we were doing and how we were doing it.

The move to consolidate was a bold move at the time, but one that has since proved its worth. “Ours is a good example of a bank that consolidated its operations, but has been able to stay in the business,” she told P&L back in 2005. “We are a client service organisation, so we took the decision to focus on our core strengths.”

That core strength has served her well…and for those that know her, we’re not talking about that exercise ball in her office.