By Tom Polansek
CHICAGO, Sept 18 The clearinghouse for all U.S.
stock options on Wednesday named Craig Donohue, former chief
executive officer for CME Group Inc, as its new executive
Donohue will assume the role at OCC, formerly known as
Options Clearing Corp., on Jan. 1 following the expiration of an
agreement that bars him from competing with CME until
the end of the year.
The move puts Donohue back on top of a Chicago-based
financial firm after he resigned from CME last year following 23
years with the world's largest futures exchange operator,
including eight years as CEO.
He will join OCC as U.S. exchange-operators cope with
technology issues that have caused a series of trading outages
and malfunctions this year.
OCC has nearly 120 clearing members that include the biggest
U.S. broker-dealers, futures commission merchants and non-U.S.
securities firms. A source in July said Donohue had been in
talks to become chairman.
"Broadly speaking, all financial markets are still in the
process of adapting to the transformation that has happened over
the last decades in terms of a greater degree of electronic
trading," Donohue said in an interview.
Options trading was halted sporadically across all U.S.
markets on Monday due to an unexplained issue with the system
that distributes price quotes.
The stoppage came after U.S. exchanges officials last week
pledged to ramp up efforts to safeguard systems and prevent
technology failures after a meeting with Mary Jo White,
chairwoman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The SEC meeting was in response to a software bug that
caused a three-hour outage in all Nasdaq-listed stocks on Aug.
22 after a securities information processor (SIP) malfunctioned.
On Friday, trading on two of CBOE Holdings Inc's
securities exchanges was halted for more than half an hour due
to unidentified technical problems.
Donohue had little interaction with market regulators at the
SEC, which is OCC's main regulator, when he was chief of CME.
CME's main regulator is the Commodity Futures Trading
"I have a substantial amount of experience but at the same
time this is a learning opportunity for me," he said of his new
CME paid Donohue $6.1 million in 2012, making him the
company's highest-paid executive even though he held the chief
executive post for only the first four months of the year,
according to a regulatory filing.
He will replace OCC Chairman and CEO Wayne Luthringshausen,
who will retire at the end of the year after 36 years as
chairman. The company is separating Luthringshausen's roles.
Michael Cahill, OCC's president, chief operating officer and
treasurer, will become chief executive on Jan. 1.
"I've already had a very important CEO role before so it's
nice to have a chairman role," said Donohue, who has been
spending time with his family since leaving CME.