John J. Lothian & Company, Inc.

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John J. Lothian & Company, Inc.
JJLlogo.jpg
Founded 2003
Headquarters Chicago, IL
Key People John J. Lothian, Sarah Rudolph
Employees 7
Products John Lothian News, MarketsWiki
Twitter @JohnLothian
LinkedIn Profile
Facebook JohnJLothianCompanyInc
Website www.JohnLothian.com

John J. Lothian & Company, Inc. (JJLCO) is an Illinois, United States-based global markets focused media company owned solely by John J. Lothian.

JJLCO is the parent company for John Lothian News (JLN), a financially focused news division, publishing the John Lothian Newsletter and JLN Options. JJLCO is the sole owner of MarketsWiki and its companion sites, MarketsReformwiki and MarketsWiki Education. The firm also has a division, John Lothian Productions, which offers custom video work.

JJLCO is also the owner of John Lothian Managed Futures, LLC, a CFTC registered Commodity Trading Advisor.[1]

History

John J. Lothian incorporated John J. Lothian & Company, Inc. ("JJLCO") in November of 2003. At the time of incorporation, John Lothian Newsletter was given its official name. The company also registered with the National Futures Association as a Commodity Trading Advisor and operated trading programs it acquired from Defender Capital Management, Inc.[2]

In June 2006, JJLCO partnered with financial journalist Jim Kharouf to create and publish the JLN Environmental/Energy (formerly Environmental Markets Newsletter), a daily email intelligence briefing that included news, information and commentary about global emissions and clean-tech markets.

In July of 2007, JJLCO hired Jon Matte as chief operating officer to help begin work on creating MarketsWiki. MarketsWiki would launch on January 11, 2008. The name of the site was kept a secret until its launch. A proxy site was displayed to show work being done on MarketsWiki. The URL of the proxy site was WikiWhoMustNotBeNamed.com.

Kharouf joined JJLCO as editor-in-chief in the fall of 2007 and led the development team for MarketsWiki.

Early MarketsWiki development team members included Gail Osten, Laura Oatney, Sarah Rudolph, Jeff Bergstrom, Jon Matte, Steve Zwick, Robert Luke, Christine Marie Nielsen and Doug Cameron.

Jessica Darmoni, then Jessica Titlebaum, joined JJLCO as an intern in 2009. She later was hired full-time and held the titles of senior vice president, head of business development and editor-at-large. Darmoni would later leave to join the National Futures Association in a communications role.

Allan Schoenberg, then at the CME Group, persuaded John Lothian to sign up for Twitter and begin to use the service in 2009. Lothian and Schoenberg later collaborated on an event outlining how traders are using Twitter that included participation by Jon Najarian of OptionMonster.[3]

In 2010, Jon Matte took over the primary assembly of the John Lothian Newsletter from John Lothian after moving to Norway. Lothian had been the primary editor for 10 years. Also in 2010, Jeff Bergstrom was named chief information officer of JJLCO.

Also during 2009, Ryan Lothian joined the company as head of marketing and Chris McMahon became the initial editor of JLN Metals. JJLCO launched JLN Metals when NYSE Liffe acquired the precious metals futures markets of the Chicago Board of Trade from the CME Group. CME had to divest the metals as it was acquiring the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In 2011, JJLCO created the John Lothian News Division, with Kharouf as its editor-in-chief and John Lothian as its publisher. Also in 2011, JJLCO launched MarketsReformWiki and hired Doug Ashburn to lead the project.

During 2011, Patrick Lothian joined JJLCO as head of video production. His work on news videos would lead to the creation of John Lothian Productions, the division that produces custom videos.

In January of 2012, JJLCO launched FuturesCrowd.com as a crowdsourcing exercise to find ways to restore customer confidence in the markets after the bankruptcy of MF Global.[4]

In October of 2013, JJLCO launched www.johnlothiannews.com, a news website featuring comprehensive content from across John Lothian News and all of its newsletters. Additionally, Sarah Rudolph was named managing editor of JLN and Doug Ashburn assumed the title of vice president in addition to editor-at-large.

Also in 2013, JJLCO launched the MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity series in Chicago with 30 speakers over five events. MarketsWiki Education uses a TED Talk-like format with notable speakers from the global markets addressing interns, college students and newer employees. CME Group would later sponsor the event and allow its expansion to London, New York and Stockholm.[5]

In 2014, Matte left JJLCO and took a full-time job in Norway for a travel company. Doug Ashburn was named chief operating officer of the firm after Matte left. John Lothian resumed as the primary editor and assembler of the John Lothian Newsletter, though other members John Lothian News team regularly participated in its production.

Also in 2014, Ryan Lothian left the company for a position with the Cook County Forest Preserve.

Nancy Ashburn, the wife of Doug Ashburn, joined JJLCO in 2014 and eventually was named head of finance and administration.

Spencer Doar joined JJLCO as an intern in April of 2015 and became an associate editor in November of 2015.

Doug Ashburn left JJLCO in 2016 for a position with T3 Custom. In December of 2016, Michael Forrester, Jr. joined JJLCO as a videographer. Forrester's first project was shooting a video about his father, a 50-year member of the Chicago Board of Trade.

During part of 2016, 2017 and then again in 2018, the @JohnLothian Twitter account was ranked number one or two by the Streeteye.com website.[6][7][8][9]

John Lothian stepped down as CEO and moved to executive chairman in January of 2017 and Jim Kharouf was promoted to CEO of JJLCO.[10][11] However, Kharouf stepped down as CEO in December of 2017 and John Lothian became CEO again. Kharouf would leave the company as an employee but stay with John Lothian News as a freelancer with the title "contributing global markets editor."[12]

In April of 2018, Lothian named Sarah Rudolph as head of editorial operations, and promoted Spencer Doar to editor and Mike Forrester to producer. Jeff Bergstrom added cryptomarkets news to his responsibilities.

During the FIA Boca Raton conference in 2018, Lothian announced a new project to create a microwiki, CryptoMarketsWiki.com, and a special purpose company to own it.[13]

Also during the 2018 FIA Boca Raton conference, Lothian was interviewed by Intercontinental Exchange's "Inside the Icehouse" podcast series by Josh King about his career and his role in the book "Zero Sum Game" about ICE's attempt wrest control of the Chicago Board of Trade from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.[14]

Publishing

What later became the John Lothian Newsletter started as a viral marketing experiment by then futures broker John Lothian in August of 2000 when he was the president of the electronic trading division of The Price Futures Group. Lothian started the newsletter to expand his private network at a time when single stock futures presented both a threat and an opportunity to the futures industry. It was also meant to help him market Commodity Trading Advisors he had equity raising agreements with, including Jon Matte of Defender Capital Management.

Lothian began aggregating news and sending out a single daily email with his name in the subject line in order to educate clients, prospects, colleagues and other to the rapid changes that were occurring in the markets as open outcry trading was being replaced by electronic trading. Also, Lothian said Jim McNulty being named as CEO of the CME prompted him to start the newsletter. McNulty had been a mentor to Lothian when he first graduated from Purdue University and then Lothian lost touch with him over later years.

As a result of Lothian's name in the email subject line, reader started calling the newsletter various names including "The Lothian Report," modeled after "The Drudge Report." However, Lothian settled the name issue in 2004 when he created JJLCO and named the newsletter "John Lothian Newsletter."

In 2001, Lothian began attending the Futures Industry Association International Conference in Boca Raton, Florida as a journalist, but also as a broker.

In 2002, Peter McKay of the Wall Street Journal wrote a story about Lothian questioning his dual role as broker and journalist. The newsletter was described a compendium of articles and commentary as the term "blogger" was not yet part of the modern vocabulary.

In 2004 Lothian traveled to Switzerland to the Burgenstock Conference of the then Swiss Futures & Options Association a journalist exclusively, though he was still a futures broker. At the end of 2003, Lothian instituted a voluntary pay basis to support his newsletter work and travels.

A year later at the Burgestock Conference, Richard Sandor suggested to Jim Kharouf that it would be good if there was a publication in the growing environmental markets like John Lothian's in derivatives. Kharouf would never get that project off the drawing board, but later Lothian approached him with an offer to collaborate and leverage the style and distribution of the Lothian's newsletter to establish Environmental Markets Newsletter. Lothian with JJLCO and Kharouf would form a partnership to publish the newsletter, which was launched in June of 2006.

In the spring of 2007, Jon Matte approached Lothian and asked for a job. Matte had sold his trading system and customers to Lothian in 2004 and had left the financial markets. In order to hire Matte, Lothian developed the plan to build MarketsWiki. Lothian approached potential supporters of the project at the FIA Boca Raton conference in 2007 and received a positive response. At the time mainstream media was seemingly bankrupt strategically and financially and financial market firms needed to find replacement marketing venues to replace print newspapers. Lothian is often quoted as saying the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 was a paradigm shit for how people were going to receive information and one of the reasons he developed MarketsWiki.

In 2006, Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia said that the Mediawiki software that ran the site was so important to mankind and civilization for the creation of knowledge bases, collaboration and sharing that he was going to give the software away for free. Lothian would take Wales up on the offer and launch development of MarketsWiki with Matte on August 1, 2007.

MarketsWiki launched in January 11, 2008. Lothian announced the launch and the name prior to moderating a panel for the Securities Traders Association of Chicago's Annual MidWinter Meeting. The first year of operation, MarketsWiki generated one million page views. Lothian and the MarketsWiki Development Team would celebrate the achievement with a dinner in Chicago that included Jon Matte, who was then living in Portland, Oregon.

Sponsors from around the world were secured to support MarketsWiki, including Cboe, NYSE Euronext, Eurex, Cinnober, Patsystems, Fidessa, Trading Technologies, TradeLink and others.

After the financial crisis of 2007-08, Lothian developed the idea of a regulatory reform wiki. NYSE Liffe approached Lothian about doing something in regulation, which prompted him to launch work on MarketsReformWiki.

Subsequently, JJLCO launched JLN Metals as a daily metals update with NYSE Liffe as the sole sponsor.

Ryan Lothian was hired at the time JLN Metals was launched and brought new ideas on newsletter publishing, as Web 2.0 was the current theme. JJLCO adopted the style and technology of JLN Metals for its other newsletters and subsequently started two blogs and a bi-weekly managed futures newsletter.

The blogs were JLN Options and JLN Interest Rates. Sarah Rudolph was the first editor of JLN Options and Christine Marie Nielsen led JLN Interest Rates.

Later the blogs were developed into daily newsletters as sponsors were found to support them.

In December 2010, JJLCO announced the launch of a seventh newsletter and blog, JLN Forex. JLN Forex was a weekly newsletter launched in January 2011, accompanied by daily blog updates.[15]

In February of 2011, JJLCO launched MarketsReformWiki, the aggregation and news site dedicated to the global markets regulatory reform efforts.

JJLCO reorganized its brand in 2011 and renames the news division John Lothian News.

In May of 2011, JJLCO launched MarketsWiki.tv with an interactive video series titled Questions: Exploring Financial Technology. MarketsWiki.tv was decommissioned in 2014 upon the launch of JohnLothianNews.com.

On July 9, 2012, John Lothian News broke the story of the suicide attempt by Peregrine Financial Group CEO Russell Wassendorf, Sr. and the revelation of his financial fraud using customer funds.[16]

The failures of Peregrine Financial Group and MF Global prompted John Lothian News to publish a series of interviews under the title "Restoring Customer Confidence."[17]

Additionally, John Lothian News launched a website called FuturesCrowd.com to crowdsource ideas on how the futures industry could recover from the collapse of a major futures commission merchant.[18][19]

In October of 2013, JJLCO launched www.johnlothiannews.com, a news website featuring comprehensive content from across John Lothian News and all its newsletters.[20] Additionally, Sarah Rudolph was named managing editor of JLN and Doug Ashburn assumed the title of vice president in addition to editor-at-large.

In late 2013, JJLCO launched MarketsWiki Education as a site to display market-related educational video and collateral materials, including the videos from the MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity events.

In 2013, JJLCO combined the content of several newsletters into the content of the John Lothian Newsletter. JLN Options remained as the only stand alone newsletter besides the flagship John Lothian Newsletter.[21]

In December of 2015, John Lothian endorsed Doug Bry and Ernest Jaffarian for the board of directors of the National Futures Association representing Commodity Trading Advisors and Commodity Pool Operators rather than James Koutoulas, who Lothian had endorsed in a previous successful election for Koutoulas. Lothian labeled Koutoulas a "bombastic loose cannon" for his criticism of NFA staff and fellow NFA board members in a controversy that saw NFA board chairman Chris Hehmeyer hire the law firm of Skadden, Arps and former CFTC General Counsel Mark Young to work on the case and to investigate the issue. Koutoulas threatened to sue Lothian for libel after Lothian wrote Koutoulas was incapable of being trustworthy.”, Koutoulas noting he was a pretty good lawyer. Koutoulas and his Commodity Coalition collaborator John Roe lost the election and Koutoulas did not sue Lothian. Bry and Jaffarian won the election.Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag Its trading programs dealt in a limited number of futures and options markets while allowing investors a choice of programs with minimum investment requirements as low as $15,000.

JJLCO, an Illinois corporation, was established in 2003 and registered with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as a CTA and a member of the National Futures Association (NFA) in February of 2004. JJLCO began trading client assets as of Dec. 1, 2004. It discontinued trading client funds in 2011.

In November 2004 JJLCO acquired rights to the managed futures programs of Defender Capital Management, Inc. (Defender), which began managing client assets in June of 1998. In 2006, JJLCO acquired the exclusive intellectual property rights for the trading strategies Defender trading programs. The Defender managed futures programs acquired by JJLCO are named “Maple Sugar” and “Big ED.” JJLCO had contracted with Jon Matte to receive Big ED and Maple Sugar trading signals, position sizing, and trade management and money management instructions.

JJLCO’s Maple Sugar program traded No. 11 World Sugar futures and options on ICE Futures US and Canadian Dollar futures and options on the International Monetary Market of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. JJLCO’s Big ED program traded Eurodollar futures and options on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

The two programs employed a directional trading methodology developed to generate trade signals and incorporated risk management techniques to provide insurance against a shifting market.

Registration Information

  • John James Lothian - NFA ID 0212478
  • John J. Lothian Managed Futures, LLC - NFA ID 0431985

External Links

References

  1. John J. Lothian Managed Futures, LLC. National Futures Association.
  2. Q & A WITH JOHN LOTHIAN. Advantage Futures.
  3. Twitter. MarketsWiki.
  4. John Lothian News launches FuturesCrowd.com. John Lothian News.
  5. John Lothian News Brings A World of Opportunity to London For Third Year. John Lothian News.
  6. Leaderboard. Streeteye.com.
  7. Financial News on Twitter: Who to Follow? Mapping and Ranking the Top 100 Twittersphere Accounts. {{{org}}}.
  8. The Top 100 People To Follow To Discover Financial News On Twitter, May 2016. Steeteye.com.
  9. The Top 100 People To Follow To Discover Financial News On Twitter. ValueWalk.
  10. Lothian hands CEO title to newsletter editor. Crain's Chicago Business.
  11. Jim Kharouf Named New CEO of John J. Lothian & Company, Inc.. John Lothian News.
  12. Jim Kharouf Resigns as CEO of John J. Lothian & Company, Inc.; Will Continue Work with Company in Freelance Role. John Lothian News.
  13. New CryptoMarketsWiki.com Site Planned by John Lothian. John Lothian News.
  14. Episode 11: John Lothian: Chronicler of Futures. Ivoox.com.
  15. JJLCO launches JLN FX. John Lothian News.
  16. A Stake in the Heartland. John Lothian News.
  17. First Read. John Lothian Newsletter.
  18. Archive for the ‘MF Global’ Category. Needham Consulting.
  19. John Lothian News launches FuturesCrowd.com. John Lothian News.
  20. John Lothian News Launches New Comprehensive News Website. John Lothian News.
  21. Industry news. Contango Markets.