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Hall of Fame 2011

10:43 July 1st 2011 in hall-of-fame

Hall of Fame 2011

“Class 2011”

In 2009, Profit & Loss celebrated its 10th anniversary by establishing the Profit & Loss Hall of Fame, which sought to recognise those individuals who have made significant contributions to the growth of the foreign exchange industry.

The Class of 2011 continues to reflect that ethos, comprising people who have long been held in great esteem by peers and colleagues, both professionally and personally.

It is with great pleasure that we unveil the next eight members of our industry to be honoured in the Profit & Loss Hall of Fame:

During what is to date a near 30-year career in the currency markets, Scott Brusso has been around for many milestones within the industry – especially over the past 18 years at CME Group – and he has been a key player in many of them. As we note elsewhere in this year’s Hall of Fame, CME Group has played an increasingly bigger role in the foreign exchange industry – a role recognised by two CME alumni being selected this year.

While he has spent the majority of his career at CME, Brusso cut his teeth in 1983 as a customer arbitrage trader (from cash to futures). In 1987, he moved to the Market Logic Group where he analysed global FX market movements, providing customers with the valuable information they needed to manage their currency risk.

In 1988, he became the chief FX dealer for Banco Di Roma where he was responsible for the bank’s proprietary trading, as well as providing hedging strategies for his customers and from 1990-1993 he worked in the managed funds sector trading FX cash, futures and options.

But it is with CME that Brusso has really become a stalwart of the market. He was recruited in 1993 to develop and sell CME’s rolling spot contract. His introduction of the Rolling Spot Forwards contract at the time became the fastest growing FX contract ever introduced by CME.

He continued his success as a key part of the team that launched CME’s emerging market pairs for the Mexican peso (1995), Brazilian real (1996), South African rand (1997) and Russian rouble (1998). In 1999, while running CME’s FX business, he embarked on another pivotal moment in FX history. He began the transition from the Deutsche mark (one of CME’s more liquid contracts at the time) to the euro, which is now the most liquid FX contract traded on CME. Brusso developed a process whereby customers could transfer their positions with as little impact as possible.

Probably his biggest claim to fame came in April 2001, when he successfully expanded access to CME’s foreign exchange products to CME Globex, providing global customers with nearly 24-hour access to CME’s currency futures and options. This was no small feat. At the time he encountered resistance from market participants hesitant to start streaming live data feeds from Globex, but his relationships with the bank, hedge fund and CTA community helped get the project off the ground.

Perhaps one of the best testimonies to the effectiveness of Scott Brusso is that when CME transitioned to Globex, average daily volume in CME’s currency pairs hovered around 60k contracts. That is now more than 900,000.

A veteran trader and innovator, Scott Brusso has seen it and done it all, but, importantly, he still maintains his enthusiasm for the foreign exchange industry. We welcome him to the Profit & Loss Hall of Fame.

There aren’t many Chief Dealers – let alone women Chief Dealers – that have been consistently on the job through the many market evolutions that Claudia Jury has traded through. Quietly plugging away as MD and head of FX Spot Trading in New York at one of the busiest FX dealing desks in the world, Jury has been at the top of her field since promoted to the role at JP Morgan back in 2004. Notwithstanding mergers, she has been with the same institution – trading dollar/yen – since she joined the firm right before the MHT/Chemical Bank merger.

In addition to trading, she has been working extensively with Eddie Wen on improvements in e-trading, and is Co-Chair of the Fed’s FX Chief Dealers Working Group. “The business has really changed a great deal, which has meant that I’ve had to stay very current. The learning curve has been steep especially with respect to electronic strategies. It has completely challenged the way I look at trading. Cultivating an environment where both manual and algorithmic traders can successfully co-exist has become a number one priority. ”

Market moving events present other challenges. “I’ve seen unprecedented events, some unforeseen but others which I have spent my whole career preparing for; the credit crisis obviously being one of them. The tricky part at times is managing your own risk whilst ensuring the desk is on their game as well,” she quips.

Within JP Morgan, she has been active in many women’s initiatives. She was an original member of the bank’s Diversity Committee and is presently the senior leader of the Women Who Trade group, as well as a member of the advisory board of the Investment Bank Women’s Network.

“I had been on a fairly steady trajectory until I was made Chief Dealer, which is when things really took off in terms of my career. It was unusual to see women FX traders let alone ones in charge, which is probably why I did not strive sooner to run the desk. So although the promotion to Chief Dealer perhaps came later in my career than it might have otherwise, I am very appreciative of the collaboration and support I’ve received from people such as Troy Rohrbaugh, and Tom Pluta who have been phenomenal sponsors of my career.”

She is passionate about the subject of women in trading: “I would encourage women who are contemplating a career in trading to not shy away simply because they do not see many role models filling these seats. There are very successful women traders out there and pursuing a career in trading as I have can be very rewarding in many ways.

“Being someone who is very passionate to this day about markets and having the opportunity to actively participate is what I find exciting and keeps me wanting to come to work everyday,” she says.

Spoken like a true trader. Welcome to the Profit & Loss Hall of Fame Claudia Jury!

Unlike many of our other inductees this year, Cliff Lewis does not have a long career in the foreign exchange industry – but in the time he has been a part of the industry he has had a major impact. Part of that impact is in his character – and he is a character as anyone who has seen him in full flight can attest! More pertinently, however, look beyond the public face of Lewis and one finds a shrewd businessman who engenders staff and client loyalty.

Speak to people about Currenex in the Cliff Lewis era and one phrase is repeated ad nauseam – customers get what they want, and they get it quickly. Lewis installed this ethos in a company that was, when he took over as CEO in 2003, on its knees. Volumes were not picking up sufficiently to sustain the business and there were criticisms of the model. Lewis changed both.

A deal with Refco bought time through increased flow, new technology was added to the platform and, probably for the first time, Currenex became a platform that embraced all participants. Key to this was an excellent technology team, as Lewis is keen to stress in any conversation, but also important was having a man of character and vision at the helm – and, a man not afraid to take a calculated gamble.

By promoting the mantra, “faster, better and fairer” Lewis drove Currenex ahead to the extent that in late 2006/early 2007 he negotiated its sale to State Street’s Global Link for $556 million. It is fair to say that the amount paid was greeted with industry-wide awe, however as Profit & Loss commented at the time (January 2007 issue), what was often overlooked was how Lewis had effectively reinvented the company as a technology provider, with trading volumes attached.

The breadth of white label deals signed by Currenex in Lewis’ first years in charge, allied to the aforementioned technological excellence, made the price tag a worthy one in the eyes of State Street and many others in the industry.

Since assuming the head of State Street’s eExchange business, Lewis has overcome another difficult challenge – marrying the needs of two distinct platforms in Currenex and FX Connect. Already a hugely successful business, FX Connect could easily have been undermined by the influx of new blood on such a scale, but the fact it wasn’t is testament to the skill of Lewis and other leaders of those businesses.

As things stand, Cliff Lewis sits astride a business that is respected and used by everyone in the FX industry, from the largest bank to the smallest retail trader. One only needs to look back eight or so years ago to how Currenex was positioned then, to see that he has presided over one of the biggest success stories of the last decade.

Martin Mallett, it can be said without contradiction, has lived through some interesting times, and on many occasions he has been at the centre of those events. As chief dealer of the Bank of England, he sits in the central bank overseeing the biggest local FX market in the world. This gives him a good perspective on events, but importantly he is keen to share that perspective, engage with other participants in the market, all of which makes him one of the shrewdest observers of the FX industry.

With a famous interest in meteorology, Mallett piped up with the words “FX” when asked at his entry interview to the Bank of England in 1986 which area he was interested in. He mentioned FX because the daily rates were above the weather forecast he had been reading on the back of the paper whilst awaiting the interview! Since that fateful day, his interest in FX and support for the industry has been unwavering.

His outstanding ability is recognised in the fact that he was not only the youngest dealer to enter the Bank’s dealing room at 19 years old, he was also the youngest chief dealer appointed by the august central bank. That ability was honed by being at the heart of some pretty dramatic market events, none more so than Sterling’s exit from the European Rate Mechanism on September 16, 1992.

Although he remains a “people person”, stressing the value of relationships, the e-commerce era has benefited from Mallett’s insight, both in his role at the Bank of England and his work on various global committees including the UK’s FX Joint Standing Committee. Very early on, he was stressing the need for balance between buy and sell side, a sentiment that has proved prophetic on several occasions over the past few years as the industry has had to deal with a swinging balance of power between banks and buy side.

Mallett also, famously, coined a phrase that was to become one of the most repeated during the latter half of the past decade: “liquidity mirage”. His warning, that the FX market was creating an illusion of liquidity, was proven correct on occasion, most specifically when one of the core matching engines in the market had an occasional outage. Banks very quickly learnt what this central banker already new – pricing engines had to become even more sophisticated.

It would be easy to state that Mallett fulfils his role as information conduit to policy makers exceptionally well. To that vital skill, he adds an equally vital understanding of how the infrastructure of the industry is changing. This is all a result of his openness and approachability, as well as his willingness to discuss all issues foreign exchange. These qualities mean he is warmly welcomed as the first central banker in Profit & Loss’ Hall of Fame.

Richard Mahoney has enjoyed a long and storied career in the FX industry. Having started in the business more than 35 years ago, he has not only witnessed, but been an active participant in the market’s development, particularly during the global financial markets crises when he chaired the US FX Committee.

Mahoney recently announced his retirement from his role as chief executive officer of Global Markets at the Bank of New York Mellon after spending the past 18 years with the firm. He retires at the end of June.

During his career in the financial markets, he has covered multi-currency interest rate trading, global securities trading, asset liability management, foreign exchange and derivatives. He has traded and managed trading operations in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

James Palermo, vice chairman and head of global client management at BNY Mellon, said this about Mahoney: “We are going to miss his leadership, his passionate commitment to our company and clients, and also his friendship. Rich has been an outstanding contributor to our company since joining in 1993. One of Rich’s greatest accomplishments has been leading a talented team in achieving market leadership and global recognition. His team continually receives the highest scores in industry surveys and has earned the enduring trust of the clients they serve. We will miss Rich’s great vision and steady hand.”

Mahoney joined BNY Mellon in New York in April 1993 from Citibank. As head of Global Markets, Mahoney’s responsibilities included trading and sales in FX, interest rate and equity derivatives, e-commerce and research activities. He has been a member of BNY Mellon’s Operating Committee, Asset/Liability Management Committee, Developing Markets Portfolio Management Committee, and the bank’s Market Risk Committee.

From 2007-2009, he served a three-year term as chairman of the US Foreign Exchange Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and was featured on the cover of the May 2009 edition of Profit & Loss. He has been a member of the FXC since 1994. In his role as chairman, he steered the FXC through the murky waters of 2008-2009, aiding the FXC in its mission to develop recommendations on specific market-related topics, while co-ordinating with peer industry groups operating in the UK, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada and at the European Central Bank.

We welcome Richard Mahoney to the Hall of Fame in recognition of his long dedication to the industry.

John Nixon has served as an executive director on the ICAP board since 2008. His management responsibilities include oversight of ICAP Americas and ICAP Electronic Broking as well as strategic acquisitions. Prior to his appointment to the board, Nixon was the CEO of ICAP Electronic Broking from 2006-2008 and a member of the firm’s Global Executive Management Group from 2003. From 1998-2002 he served as a non-executive director and strategic consultant to ICAP. He was previously CEO of Tullett and Tokyo Forex, now part of Tullett Prebon, where he worked from 1978-1997 in Toronto, New York and London.

Nixon works directly with group CEO Michael Spencer and the management team keep the world’s largest inter-dealer broker growing through strategic acquisitions, organic growth and technological advances.

Nixon was among the few interdealer brokers that embraced technological developments early on, recognising the need for brokers to incorporate technology into their day-to-day businesses. As much as 12 years ago, Nixon advocated consolidation amongst the voice brokers, although not everyone agreed with his views at the time. He since landed at a company that shared his strategic vision.

Since joining ICAP, Nixon has been actively involved with some of the biggest acquisitions that ICAP has made in the electronic space – BrokerTec and EBS. He was also actively involved in the merger with Garban and the acquisition of energy broker ABP.

The 2006 acquisition of EBS was a major event for the FX industry. Once merged with the BrokerTec bond trading platform, it created the world’s largest electronic OTC trading division. At the time, people had doubts about the $775 million price tag ICAP paid for EBS, but since the acquisition in early 2006, volumes have been consistently record breaking.

In the May 2008 cover interview with Profit & Loss, Nixon said this about the acquisition: “We felt that EBS could be integrated into ICAP’s e-business and that there were synergies we could derive, not only from the economics, but from the management and culture of our company. We were confident that e-trading would continue to grow and under the ICAP banner we felt we could build onto what EBS had already accomplished...To be honest, while EBS had been well served by it’s bank ownership structure, at the time, the concept of a management team backed by a consortium of banks had probably run its course in FX.”

Nixon has been involved in the FX industry for over 30 years and is a longstanding member of the New York Fed’s FX Committee. He currently also sits on the Bank of England’s FX Joint Standing Committee and CFEC.

We are proud to recognise John Nixon’s strategic vision and welcome him into the Profit & Loss Hall of Fame.

The city of Chicago, and in particular CME, have played an increasingly influential role in the foreign exchange market over the past few years. The second (strictly on alphabetical grounds!) of our two CME Group alumni into this year’s Hall of Fame is David Schulz, a man who is CME through and through – both as a customer, member and now employee.

Schulz began his career on the trading floor of CME in 1980 as a clerk, but used his time wisely, studying FX markets, technical analysis and the all important (at the time) hand signal execution. This work was rewarded by promotion and a CME membership from Merrill Lynch in 1982, one year after which Schulz, with his colleagues, created Merrill Lynch Capital Markets (MLCM) at CME. The newly formed group concentrated on FX cash to futures arbitrage and established significant market share with clients from all the major moneycentre banks around the world.

Schulz managed sales, order execution and market analysis on the CME trading floor until late 1985 when he was offered a position as an FX trader at Lloyds Bank in New York, but the pull of Chicago was strong and he soon returned to MLCM heading up FX futures and emerging markets on the CME trading floor. He consolidated institutional and retail customer execution in 1989, building a staff of 16 and educating many bank traders on the benefits of cash versus futures trading by facilitating hands-on training on the CME trading floor and bank trading desks.

Schulz ended his long association with ML (but not CME) in 2000, when he left and worked as an independent trader in the FX and equity quadrants on the CME floor. He was involved in pit trading, but was also heavily involved in the evolution to electronic trading.

Reinforcing his credentials as a “Merc Man”, Schulz served as a member of the Foreign Exchange Committee at CME from 1987-2000. In all, he was a CME member for 19 years.

In a way he can be said to have come “home” when, in 2003, Schulz was appointed associate director of foreign exchange sales for CME and promoted to director in 2007 – recognition of the tremendous growth in CME’s FX business from occasionally influential venue to one of the top public venues in the industry.

As is the case with his colleague Scott Brusso, who is also honoured this year, Dave Schulz has spent much of his time at CME in the “engine room”, promoting the benefits of the Merc as a venue and leveraging the enormous number of relationships he has created over a 31-year career. CME’s success story is obviously the result of more than just a couple of people, but in Dave Schulz we have the epitome, or maybe even the prototype, of the “Merc Man”. He is Chicago through and through.

Hard as it may be to believe, but this year marks the first decade of FXall – the launch of which, alongside Atriax, really saw the birth of the multibank portal era. FXall beat off the competition from Atriax early on and has been setting the standard for functionality, business model and stability ever since.

So much of that success has been down to CEO Phil Weisberg, who took the project from an original idea in the middle of 2000, to a launch in May 2001. It is often said that anyone can come up with a good concept – only the very good make it a reality, and Weisberg is very good.

From a background with JP Morgan, where he worked as a currency derivatives trader after joining the bank in 1989 – eventually becoming global head of that business – Weisberg transferred to LabMorgan, the bank’s finance incubator and became a managing director. Within this division he cut his teeth in the e-commerce space through the development of various client-targeted portal developments.

This background made him the ideal man to drive a project the size and scale of FXall, not least because, as we noted when inaugurating Jack Jeffery last year, there was the small matter of maintaining a good, positive dialogue between a large number of banks! Weisberg not only achieved this, he also built a strong business in FXall – a business he remains very much the driver of to this day.

His commitment and belief in the value of technology has been vindicated in FXall’s success, but those values have also helped him stay “current” on the latest technological innovations. His willingness to engage directly with customers makes him the kind of “hands on” leader necessary for this type of role; it also stresses the core value of the FXall business – customer first.

Possibly reflecting his trading background, Weisberg is also not shy about making radical business decisions, none more so than that to buy LavaFX in early 2010. At the time, at the height of the global financial crisis, there were serious questions being asked in the FX industry about the sustainability of the multibank portal/ECN model. Weisberg, however, took a different view. He saw FX benefiting from increased volumes and also saw the opportunity to enhance FXall’s product offering to existing clients, as well as introduce a new generation of clients to the benefits of FXall’s full service proposition.

The result of that decision can be seen in increased customer numbers and increased trade flow – the true measures of success in this business. It has, undoubtedly, been an occasionally rocky ride over the past decade but through his vision, commitment, diplomacy and business-savvy, Phil Weisberg has proved himself one of the most influential people in the FX technology business.