CME Group: 2013 expenses to rise on hiring, industry PR campaign

Tue Feb 5, 2013 5:31pm EST

Feb 5 (Reuters) - CME Group Inc expects expenses to rise to $1.25 billion this year, as the exchange operator plans a public relations campaign to restore confidence in an industry battered by customer losses stemming from two high profile brokerage failures.

The rise in expenses, from $1.22 billion this year, also comes as the Chicago-based firm resumes hiring to handle new technology and regulatory needs, CME Group's chief financial officer said on a conference call following release of financial results from the fourth quarter.

The 2011 failure of MF Global, which left a $1.6 billion hole in customers' pockets, and the 2012 collapse of Peregrine Financial Group, whose CEO stole more than $200 million from his clients, shook the industry and hurt trading activity. It forced regulators to tighten oversight and exchanges like CME to redouble efforts to reassure clients their money is safe.

CME Group CFO Jamie Parisi said on Tuesday the company plans a $10 million marketing campaign to boost confidence.

He added that expenses could be as low as $1.23 billion, if CME does not meet expected levels of trading activity. He declined to say what level of trading was forecast.

Separately, CME Group CEO Phupinder Gill said he continues to see no large acquisition opportunities, and said IntercontinentalExchange Inc's planned takeover of NYSE Euronext "doesn't change anything" in terms of CME strategy.

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