Cboe Global Markets is working with local communities to boost access to financial education and careers

By: The WFE Focus Team Nov 2021

Name: Gina DeRaimo

Title: Head of Cboe Options Institute and Business Optimization, Cboe Global Markets 

1. How would you describe Cboe’s commitment to the next generation of market participants?

Cboe Global Markets has a long-standing commitment to education, which enables all types of investors to access our markets, understand our products and benefit from our solutions. The company recognizes the importance of financial literacy, and the development of financial education programmes is fundamental to its role as a global market infrastructure provider.

For more than three decades, the Cboe Options Institute has advanced Cboe’s vision of increasing investor IQ by making product and markets knowledge accessible and memorable. My team of educators works tirelessly to cultivate a community of learners and provide easy-to-access financial literacy programmes for all experience levels. We offer tailored programmes to fit specific education needs, including live options basics courses, webinars on a range of derivatives topics and courses for college students.

I believe that education can create path-changing experiences. When an individual is exposed to several different learning opportunities or teachable moments, they are empowered to make smarter choices, and ultimately better decisions. Being able to make those choices starts with awareness, and education is the great equalizer.

Cboe’s commitment to empowering the next generation of investors to define a sustainable future is most evident through our annual summer internship programme. Even though our interns work for teams throughout the organization, they are also required to take financial classes through the Cboe Options Institute. 

2. What is your team’s approach for developing the summer internship educational programme? 

Our goal this year was to provide students with more of an apprentice learning experience. Students were able to take knowledge learned through our courses and directly apply it to their roles and future interests – professionally and personally.

This practical approach to financial education helps reduce barriers to entry, which is why Cboe’s partnerships with community organizations, such as the Greenwood Project, Econ Illinois and Working in the Schools (WITS), are key to expanding access. We are dedicated to being a local partner in the communities where we live and work. Our partners help us reach students who may never have considered a financial career or even investing as a viable opportunity.

The Greenwood Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to introducing Black and Latinx students to careers within the financial industry. For several years, Cboe has provided Greenwood Project students with exposure to the Cboe trading floor, corporate offices and other learning opportunities. We had the privilege to host several Greenwood Project scholars for Cboe’s summer 2021 internship.

At the end of the summer, students got to share feedback about their internships. It was exciting to hear them share that options education was one of the most valuable parts of their experience at Cboe. Many of the interns said they came in with several previously held beliefs that were debunked and investigated, leaving them to realize the variety of interesting paths within the finance field. 

3. Can you walk us through some of Cboe’s local community-focused initiatives?

Recognizing the value in opening doors for young people, Cboe recently launched Cboe Empowers, a community engagement programme that provides mentorship, scholarship and guidance to under-resourced students throughout their educational journey.

My colleague, Kelli Haywood, Community Impact Manager, is leading the charge on building Cboe Empowers in coordination with Cboe’s leadership team and a board of Cboe associates. We are so excited about the growth of the Cboe Empowers programme and the impact that it will make in underserved communities. Cboe Empowers will work as an active global citizen, providing resources to serve youth and communities most in need.

Cboe Empowers supplements its own programmes by collaborating with local partners, including the Greenwood Project, to create maximum impact for participants. After a $250,000 donation to the Greenwood Project in December 2020, Cboe further entrenched its long-term support by committing to an annual $100,000 donation for the next five years. Additionally, Catherine Clay, Head of Data and Access Solutions at Cboe, joined the Greenwood Project Board of Directors and I was elected to the organization’s educational committee.

I really wanted to do my part to provide Greenwood Project with the resources they need to promote financial education year-round. As a committee member, I help shape the financial curriculum and I am currently working to create best-in-class on-demand learning experiences that prepare students for their internships or full-time jobs.

Cboe’s commitment to education is unwavering and our position as a global market infrastructure provider enables us to reach curious minds throughout the world. Our goal is to use education to inspire anyone and empower everyone to pursue a sustainable financial future.



The views, thoughts and opinions contained in this Focus article belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect the WFE’s policy position on the issue, or the WFE’s views or opinions.