R.J. O'Brien & Associates

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R.J. O'Brien & Associates
Founded 1914
Headquarters Chicago
Key People Chairman and CEO, Gerald F. (Gerry) Corcoran
Employees 500
Website rjobrien.com

R.J. O’Brien & Associates, LLC (RJO) is the oldest and largest independent futures commission merchant (FCM) in the United States, and is considered one of the last boutique firms in the industry. It facilitates 24-hour execution and clearing on all the major futures exchanges worldwide. In 2014, RJO celebrated its 100th year in business.[1]

The company's headquarters are in Chicago, with affiliate offices in New York, Canada, London and Hong Kong.

RJO services a global network of more than 400 introducing brokers, along with some of the world’s largest financial, industrial and agricultural institutions. Its futures division specializes in trading access for individual investors. RJO provides clearing services for more than 100,000 client accounts.

As of June 2013, the firm reported client assets of $4.0 billion and net capital of $204 million.[2]

Futures Magazine ranked R.J. O'Brien 11th in its list of the top 50 futures brokers of 2013.[3]

RJO won the "Best FCM - Innovation" Award at the CTA Intelligence European Services Awards 2015.[4]

On March 12, 2014, FIA presented RJO with an award for “100 years of excellence” in the futures industry. [5]


RJO’s roots extend to 1914, when John V. McCarthy & Co. established a cash butter and egg brokerage and became a founding member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange five years later. RJO is the only CME founder still in existence.

In 1959, Robert J. O’Brien, Sr. was named president, and the firm’s name was changed to R. J. O’Brien & Associates, Inc. In 1967, he was elected chairman of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Two sons of Robert J. O’Brien joined the family firm and took leadership roles. Robert J. O’Brien, Jr. was named president in 1975. John W. O’Brien was named chief executive officer in 1986. The current CEO, Gerald F. Corcoran, took the reins in 2000, and added the role of chairman in 2007.

In 2007, the firm sold a majority stake to the investment firms Spectrum Equity Investors and Technology Crossover Ventures for an undisclosed sum,[6] while the O’Brien family retained a minority ownership. In December 2010, RJO was back in the hands of the O’Brien family after the two private equity firms opted to sell back the control acquired in 2007.[7] It remains majority-owned by the O’Brien family.

In 2014, RJO was honored at the Futures Industry Association's International Conference in Boca Raton, FL for their 100 years in business. As part of the celebration, a short video was played at a lunch prior to a presentation by newsman Ted Koppel.

The full-length version of the 100th anniversary video, which debuted October 17, 2014, can be seen on RJO's web site here. The video plus a brief write-up can be found on the JLN web site here.

Products and Services

RJO facilitates 24-hour execution and clearing on every major futures exchange in the world. It operates on an agency-only model, and does not participate in proprietary trading.

The firm is a clearing member of:

The firm's Canadian affiliate, RJO Canada, is a clearing member of the Montreal Exchange and ICE Futures Canada.[8]

The company's London-based affiliate, R.J. O'Brien Limited (RJO Limited) was approved as a Category 2 clearing member of the London Metal Exchange (LME) on July 23 and went live on August 19, 2015. [9]

More introducing brokers are associated with RJO than any other FCM in the industry. RJO hosts an annual conference for introducing brokers, a semi-annual broker training program and quarterly regional meetings.

RJO provides anonymous access to the marketplace through open outcry and online. Institutional and commercial clients can access RJO’s order desk around the clock to handle specialized orders and strategies. RJO also offers these clients customized back-office services. The firm has teams that specialize in grains, interest rates, metals and softs markets.

RJO offers proprietary market insights which include daily updates and trade ideas as well as long-term price outlooks in the futures, cash and OTC markets.

The RJO Futures division offers individual investors online trading platforms and broker support.

Key People



  1. R.J. O'Brien Celebrates Centennial. R.J. O'Brien.
  2. cftc.gov. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
  3. Top 50 Brokers of 2013. Futures Magazine.
  4. RJO Wins "Best FCM - Innovation" Award at the CTA Intelligence European Services Awards 2015. RJO.
  5. R.J. O’Brien & Associates Receives Award from FIA for 100 Years of Excellence as Firm Begins Centennial Celebration. CBS8.
  6. R.J. O'Brien & Associates Company Profile. Yahoo! Finance/P.R. Newswire.
  7. O'Brien Family Resumes Control Of Chicago Brokerage RJ O'Brien. Nasdaq.
  8. press release. R.J. O'Brien.
  9. R.J. O'Brien Goes Live on London Metal Exchange. R.J. O'Brien.