The trading floors of futures exchanges in Chicago and New York have not only been training venues for successful traders and futures exchange executives but many famous folks have spent some of their formative years in the trading pits. The list is slightly skewed towards athletes who always have been drawn to the trading floor due to the physical demands of trading, but a few may surprise you. Futures would like to thank CME Group for help in compiling this list.
1. John Houseman
John Houseman, an Oscar-winning, British-American film actor and producer, earned money the old fashioned way—he traded as CBOT member from February 1929 to April 1930.
2. Nassim Taleb
Nassim Taleb, author of New York Times bestsellers Fooled by Randomness and Black Swan, saw a few black swan events as a CME member from February 1991 to April 1993.
3. Michelle Williams
Michelle Williams acts the part of a trader. Williams never worked on the floor but the three-time Academy Award nominated actress took time off of her burgeoning acting career in 1997 to enter and win the World Cup Championship of Futures Trading.
She did get a little help from her famous father, Larry Williams, who won the competition a decade earlier and still holds the record for percentage gain.
4. Lee Dewyze
Lee Dewyze, the 9th season American Idol winner, was well prepared for having to deal with Simon Cowell by clerking on the CME floor from August 2006 to May 2010.
5. Jack O'Callahan
Jack O’Callahan, former U.S. Olympic hockey player for the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” gold medal winner, was a CME member from August 1985 to September 1998. Not sure if he still believed in miracles after trading futures for 14 years.
6. Gary Cohn
Gary Cohn, president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, used to stand in the gold and silver ring on the Comex trading floor. He climbed the ladder at Goldman, where many believe he is positioned to take over as chairman and CEO.
In 2011 his compensation was $15.8 million and he didn’t have to take a position in gold to get it.
7. Glenn Beckert
Glenn Beckert, former Chicago Cub second baseman (1966-73) who was an all-star in the 1969 "Midsummer Classic" when the entire Cub infield started for the National League, has been a CBOT member since 1976. Beckert became an all-star wheat trader as well becoming a CBOT member shortly after retiring from baseball.
8. Donovan McNabb
Donovan McNabb, former Philadelphia Eagle All- Pro quarterback and current free agent, spent a summer working for the CME while setting records for Syracuse University.
9. Matt Suhey
Matt Suhey was famous for opening up holes for Walter ("Sweetness") Payton as a fullback for the Chicago Bears.
Suhey fit the culture as a CBOT member from 1991 to 2000 like a glove where there were also a bunch of "Grabowski’s" on the trading floor.
10. Troy Murray
Troy Murray, a popular Chicago Blackhawk winger during the 1980s and 1990s and their current radio color analyst, had ONE GOAL after retiring from the sport and becoming a CME Member from June 1997 to March 2004 — trade profitably.
About the Author
Editor-in-Chief of Modern Trader, Daniel Collins is a 25-year veteran of the futures industry having worked on the trading floors of both the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Dan joined Futures magazine in 2001, before the name change to Modern Trader, and in 2005 he was promoted to Managing Editor, responsible for overseeing all the content that went into Futures and futuresmag.com. Dan’s incisive reporting and no-holds barred commentary places him among the most recognized national media figures covering futures, derivative trading and alternative investments.
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