CME Group says CFO to retire at age 49, new CFO is 50

CHICAGO, Aug 27 (Reuters) - CME Group Inc’s 49-year-old chief financial officer will retire at the end of the year and will be replaced by an executive who is a year older, the world’s largest futures exchange operator said on Wednesday.

Jamie Parisi, who has held the role of CFO for a decade, will be replaced by his deputy, John Pietrowicz, 50, who has worked for CME since 2003.

Parisi said in a statement issued by the company that the decision to leave CME, which owns the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and New York Mercantile Exchange, after 26 years was “bittersweet.”

He was well-known among investors and analysts as a spokesman for Chicago-based CME’s corporate strategy, which has focused on overseas growth.

Asked about Parisi’s reasons for retiring or his plans, a CME spokeswoman said only that he was retiring.

The change will probably not affect CME’s strategy because Parisi is being succeeded by his deputy, said Gaston Ceron, equity analyst for Morningstar in Chicago.

“He’s certainly a go-to person, not only when you want to know about CME but also the futures industry,” Ceron said of Parisi.

Earlier this year, CME increased Parisi’s base salary to $550,000 a year from $500,000. Pietrowicz’s salary will be disclosed after he assumes the CFO role, a company spokeswoman said.

Parisi told analysts on a conference call last month that CME had “refocused” its teams on reducing expenses after weak trading volumes resulted in lower-than-expected second-quarter earnings.

The futures industry, including exchanges, has suffered repeated blows in recent years as new regulations have raised operations costs and high-profile scandals at brokerages MF Global and Peregrine Financial Group have shaken traders’ confidence.

CME on Sunday suffered a four-hour trading halt on its electronic trading platform due to a technical problem. (Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by David Gregorio)