LIT America

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LIT America was a Chicago-based brokerage firm created by the acquisition of several Chicago firms by LIT Holdings P.L.C. of London. It was a fast-growing firm in the 1980s and a major player in the consolidation of smaller brokerage firms. At one time, LIT America was the largest clearing broker in the futures industry.[1]

LIT America itself was later acquired by Spear Leads Kellogg in 1993 and made a division of First Options of Chicago.[2]


LIT American Inc. merged with the Goldberg Organization, the Shatkin Trading Company and Rialcor-Shatkin Securities Inc. in June of 1989. In July of 1989 it acquired G. H. Miller & Company, and in September it bought the Shatkin Investment Corporation.[3][4][5][6][7]

In 1989, David J. Vogel was named chairman and CEO and John J. Ruth was named president and COO. Vogel been an executive vice president for capital markets at Thomson McKinnon Securities Inc. of New York.[8]

In 1989 it also acquired Barnes & Co. for an undisclosed amount. Barnes was the sixth major acquisition by LIT Holdings PLC since 1982. Barnes was formed in 1986 by Rick Barnes, a Chicago futures trader who purchased the former Hennessy & Associates.[9]

In 1990, Henry Shatkin and Patrick Arbor were dismissed from the company in a cost cutting move.[10] Arbor and Shatkin would late form a firm Shatkin Arbor Karlov, later just Shatkin Arbor.

One of the FBI agents involved in a sting operation in the late 1980s at the Chicago Board of Trade, using the name Michael McLoughlin, cleared his trades through LIT.[11]

Key People


  1. How Brokers Are Building Their Capital Bases. Highbeam.
  2. near: LIT America, a wholly owned subsidiary of LIT... {{{name}}}. Chicago Tribune.
  3. Five Minutes with Mike Manning. John Lothian News.
  4. From Pit to Peak. Chicago Tribune.
  5. Britons Buy Goldberg Organization. Chicago Tribune.
  6. Leaner, Lasalle St. Presses On. Chicago Tribune.
  7. Britons Buy Goldberg Organization. Chicago Tribune.
  8. David J. Vogel Profile. BusinessWeek.
  9. LIT America buys futures brokerage Barnes. Chicago Suntimes.
  10. Lit Firms Post Profits. Chicago Tribune.
  11. F.B.I. Commodities 'Sting': Fast Money, Secret Lives. Chicago Tribune.