Cboe: Delivering Leadership Through Evolving Times

By: Ed Tilly, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Cboe Global Markets Aug 2022

2022 has proven to be a challenging year for many investors as global markets continue to face uncertainty. How is Cboe working to better support its customers? 

In this difficult global environment, risk management remains paramount. The continued effects of the global pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and rising inflation are creating volatility across global markets and uncertainty for investors.

At Cboe Global Markets, we’re addressing changing market dynamics by broadening our geographic reach and extending access to our unique set of products and solutions for both retail and institutional participants around the globe, all the while remaining a leader in capital markets innovation. Whether it’s offering products in different shapes and sizes (ranging from standard options to the much smaller Nanos options) and across new and emerging asset classes or delivering tools and services that provide investors with education, data and access to make better informed trading decisions, we are focused on enhancing the investor experience.

Cboe is also deeply committed to doing our part as a global market infrastructure provider to help ensure the orderly operation and security of our markets. Our 25 markets across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific continue to demonstrate remarkable resiliency amidst market turbulence, providing a forum for investors, both large and small, to express their views and manage risk.

Of course, Cboe is not alone in this mission. WFE, and all our member exchanges around the world, are equally committed to ensuring that strong and smart market infrastructure remains the solid foundation of our global capital markets. The stability exchanges have provided the global marketplace over the last several years is testament to this commitment, and I commend the WFE and our member exchanges for their continued dedication to serving investors. The pillars of trust, transparency, fairness and resiliency must remain the bedrocks of our global market infrastructure.

Cboe opened its new trading floor in Chicago on June 6. What purpose does the new floor serve and what value does it bring to market participants? 

At their core, exchanges provide a marketplace for bringing together buyers and sellers, facilitating hedging, asset allocation and risk management. Market participants rely on the exchange model, trusted for its transparent and regulatory-first approach, even more so during times of extreme market stress and volatility.

The convergence of buyers and sellers is increasingly done electronically, but Cboe believes there can still be a place for open outcry trading. Our customers tell us they continue to find value in open outcry, especially for executing larger, more complex orders, and rely on the floor for its price discovery and deep liquidity. Our trading pits continue to handle a significant amount of options volume, particularly in S&P 500 Index (SPX) options and Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) options.

To that end, we were pleased to open our new trading floor in Chicago in June. Our new and enhanced 40,000 square-foot trading floor offers a vibrant, technology-driven environment that seamlessly integrates both open outcry and electronic trading mechanisms to provide customers a truly unrivaled, world-class trading experience. Significantly, Cboe has received interest from a number of trading firms who were not previously on our trading floor, but now wish to have a presence there. Whether electronic or floor based – or a combination of both – a customer-first approach to building trusted markets is essential in today’s changing landscape.


ESG has been one of the most important topics for the last few years. In your view, how are exchanges helping to support the financial industry’s move towards ESG? 

The challenges of the past few years – from the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical tensions, to heightened social unrest and climate change – have certainly heightened the focus on ESG issues on a global scale. ESG has long been a guiding principle and core strategic mandate of the WFE, and our member exchanges around the world are demonstrating their commitment to these values through action.

Exchanges are incorporating greater ESG efforts into their business practices and engaging with customers, issuers, regulators, policymakers and other stakeholders to advance on ESG priorities and set global standards. In addition, many are offering sustainable tradable products and solutions, and working with important international organizations like the United Nations’ Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative to drive impact on a broader scale. The exchange industry’s leadership of ESG continues to gain momentum, and as the world seeks to build a better and more inclusive society, I’m confident we will continue to lead by example and be a part of the solution.

Personally, I’m incredibly proud of the entire Cboe team’s continued dedication to furthering our mission to operate a trusted, inclusive global marketplace. On the environmental front, we remain focused on doing our part to support a net zero economy and are committing to achieving net zero emissions across our operations and material scope 3 emissions by 2050. In addition, we recognize our associates are our greatest asset and are focused on supporting their needs by bolstering our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, facilitating greater engagement across the organization and reevaluating what our future of work will look like. We also continue to play our role as a good corporate citizen in the communities in which we work and live. I’m particularly pleased with the successful launch of our new community engagement program, Cboe Empowers, earlier this year, which supports under-resourced students across the educational spectrum through mentorship, scholarships and learning opportunities.

Digital assets are transforming global financial market infrastructure and creating new ways for investors to participate in the financial ecosystem. How can exchanges help shape this evolving space now and in the near future? 

As demand for digital asset trading continues to grow, exchanges can play a leading role in helping this asset class reach further maturation by providing a trusted marketplace, rooted in the exchange principles of investor protection, transparency and market resiliency, to benefit institutional and retail participants alike.

Regulatory progress is critical to the growth of the ecosystem. In spite of ongoing efforts to clarify how the current regulatory framework should be applied to the digital asset ecosystem, a lack of clarity remains. Cboe has advocated for several targeted enhancements to the U.S. digital assets regulatory framework that we believe are within reach for policymakers in the near-term.

In addition, increasing demand for digital assets has led to a growing need for new products, services and solutions, whether it is market data to help investors better evaluate the appropriateness of crypto execution prices, or derivatives products to help investors better manage risk. As a leading market innovator, Cboe has made great strides to help investors access traditional financial markets through product innovation, education and collaboration with our industry partners. With our recent acquisition of ErisX and network of industry partners, we plan to bring the regulatory framework, transparency, infrastructure and data solutions of our trusted markets to further mature and expand digital asset trading for all market participants.

It is my hope that the exchange industry will continue to work together to enhance the digital assets ecosystem. Our traditional markets have been established through broad and inclusive collaboration among diverse stakeholders, and I believe this could ultimately be the path forward for digital assets.


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.