Barry J. Lind

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Barry Lind
Barry Lind.jpg
Occupation former futures industry veteran

The late Barry J. Lind was a veteran futures industry brokerage executive and investor. He died on January 23, 2013 in an auto accident in Riverside County, California.[1][2]

At the time of his death, he was the managing partner of Silver Young Capital, a Chicago-based private equity group. He was the founder of Lind-Waldock, the discount futures brokerage firm that later became part of bankrupt brokerage firm MF Global. He was a member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.[3] In 2006, he was inducted into the Futures Industry Association Futures Hall of Fame.[4]

Lind chaired the 2217 Group, LLC, a corporation with real estate and venture capital interests. Lind’s firm was among the first business organizations in Chicago to “cross the expressway” and move west of the city’s main commercial center. In 1989 he purchased an old industrial building in this area and renovated it into loft-like space for his new company headquarters, providing an anchor for several other businesses relocating to the district. The area, the city’s new west side, is now one of the most rapidly developing spots in the city.

Lind was the creator and chairman of the Rose Lind Charitable Trust, named in honor of his mother, which concentrates its philanthropic activity in the areas of medical research and access to health care for the underprivileged. He serves on the finance committee of the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation.[5]

Background

Lind became an exchange member and began trading and doing business as a futures broker on the trading floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in 1962. Within three years, he had developed enough of a following among his clients to open his own firm.

Lind founded Lind-Waldock & Co. alongside partner Jack Waldock in 1965. The company became one of the industry’s first and largest retail-oriented futures brokerage firms.[6]

In the 1970s, Lind-Waldock grew to include 13 offices, taking its place as one of the larger futures brokerage firms. However, in the early 1980s, Lind realized that the fixed commission structure, which had vanished in the world of equity trading, likewise would not survive for futures trading. Anticipating the shift in the economics of futures brokerage, Lind shed all of his offices except those in Chicago and New York, re-engineered his business processes, and took the ground-breaking step of adapting the discount brokerage model for the futures trading. Lind-Waldock thus became the first discount futures brokerage firm.

He was one of the so-called Young Turks, a small band of exchange members who were instrumental in the creation in 1972 of a new division of the CME, which was named the International Monetary Market (IMM) in keeping with the high aspirations of its founders. [7] The IMM became the vehicle through which the CME expanded its horizons beyond the traditional agricultural contracts and embraced the financial instruments—such as futures contracts based on Eurodollars deposits and stock indexes—that fueled its growth into the most active U.S. futures exchange, and the second largest in the world. Besides being a key figure in conceptualizing and creating the IMM, Lind served as its vice-chairman during the critical period of its early development. Through the years, Lind has been a member of the most important policy committees of the Exchange, dealing with strategic planning, product development, technology implementation and international expansion. He was a major advocate of “e-mini” S&P futures trading, a singular event in the history of U.S. futures markets that signaled the expansion of electronic trading from a minor supplemental system available only during night hours to its current status as a driver of the dramatic growth in futures trading around the clock.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Lind served as a proponent of the use of technology in futures trading in the face of industry resistance to automation. He devoted a major part of his firm’s resources to technology development; with members of his technical staff, he designed an automated order management system that even today serves as basis for the applications offered by one of the two major developers of futures systems, and his firm was among the first to offer online futures trading.

When Lind sold Lind-Waldock in 2000,[8] the firm had expanded from two full-time and two part-time employees to a work force of over 1,000, had been entrusted to act as the futures “broker’s broker”[9] for such firms as Charles Schwab, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, and T.D. Waterhouse.

Lind authored two publications to introduce non-professional traders to the trading methods he developed. He was the first to use national print media for his futures advertising, and led in identifying and employing new media, such as the cable television networks, that became important in reaching the investing public. Lind was among the earliest to appreciate the marketing potential of the Internet: his firm’s website, offering trading, analytic, and educational tools, was regularly cited as the best among direct access futures brokers. Recognizing the increasing globalization of futures trading, Lind’s was the first futures brokerage firm to keep its headquarters operations center available on a 24-hour basis, and he opened offices in London and Hong Kong to better serve the growing international clientele for futures trading.

Lind served for 12 years on the board of directors of the National Futures Association (NFA), a self-regulatory organization founded in 1982 with the express mission of protecting the public investor by maintaining the integrity of the marketplace. In 1987, Lind presented testimony to the Brady Commission, chaired by then-Secretary of Treasury Nicholas Brady, responsible for investigating the causes of the stock market crash of October 1987. He was a member of the Financial Products Advisory Committee, a primary advisory committee to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal agency that regulates U.S. futures trading. His wide-ranging testimony and position paper, delivered to the CFTC during its process of reviewing the body of laws governing futures trading, made several proposals that were incorporated in the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. Lind has been an active participant on task forces organized by the futures industry’s national trade association. He also played a prominent part in the association’s extensive efforts to establish a common clearing organization for the U.S. futures industry.

Education

Lind was a graduate of Northwestern University.

References

  1. Futures Firms Elect Dissident Candidates to Regulator’s Board; LSE hails pick-up in trading activity; NYSE: Won’t Sell Euronext to Rival. John Lothian News.
  2. Pioneer in monetary markets, futures is struck, killed by car in Calif.. Chicago Tribune.
  3. "Barry J. Lind”. FIA.
  4. Futures Hall of Fame 2006. FIA.
  5. Futures pioneer Barry Lind struck, killed by car. Chicago Sun-Times.
  6. Futures industry pioneer Barry Lind dies in accident. Crain's Chicago Business.
  7. Leo Melamed:IMM Tenth Anniversary Celebration. LeoMelamed.com.
  8. Refco Completes Acquisition of Futures Broker Lind-Waldock. PR Newswire.
  9. Barry Lind. Silver Young.
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