William J. Brodsky

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William J. Brodsky
Employer Cedar Street Asset Management LLC
Location Chicago
LinkedIn Profile

William J. Brodsky is a lawyer, exchange executive and civic leader who led both the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange during his career. He is currently the chairman of Options Solutions, a specialized asset management firm that uses option-based strategies.[1] He also serves as an Advisory board member at Cedar Street Asset Management LLC, his son Jonathan Brodsky's investment firm.[2]

Brodsky retired as the executive chairman of the board of CBOE Holdings, Inc. and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) in 2017. Brodsky assumed this role in May 2013, after serving as CBOE chairman and chief executive officer from 1997 to 2013. He stepped down as CEO on May 23, 2013, and Edward Tilly took over the role. [3]

In his sixteen-plus years as CBOE chairman and CEO, Brodsky oversaw a period of tremendous growth for the company as well as significant product and technological innovation. He successfully guided CBOE through its demutualization, whereby the exchange converted its business model from a membership organization to a for-profit corporation, which culminated in the company’s initial public offering (IPO) in June 2010. In the three-year span from the IPO to the conclusion of his tenure as chairman and CEO, the company produced record revenues, operating margin and net income, and returned more than $700 million in capital to stockholders.

In October 2008, Brodsky was the first leader of a derivatives exchange to be named as chairman of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) and served in that capacity from 2009 until 2011. He was also the former chairman of the International Options Markets Association (IOMA) from 2007 through 2008. Brodsky continues to be a leading industry advocate in options market policy and regulation.

On January 19, 2022, his former law school classmate, U.S. President Joseph R. Biden, nominated him to the Securities Investor Protection Corporation board. [4]

Earlier Career[edit]

Before joining CBOE, Brodsky served for 15 years at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), where he oversaw the launch of the CME Globex trading system and played a pivotal role in the development and globalization of stock index futures. He joined the CME in 1982 as executive vice president and chief operating officer and in 1985 was named president and chief executive officer, a post he held until joining CBOE in February 1997. He was at the CME during the 1987 stock market crash and his relationship with the president of the New York Stock Exchange from their days together working at the American Stock Exchange helped calm the relationship between the two exchanges. NYSE Chairman John Phelan had accused stock index futures as being the culprit responsible for the stock market crash.[5]

Brodsky's first job in the industry was on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange when he was 17 years old - a summer job. His father worked on Wall Street for 60 years and encouraged him to pursue a career in the business.[6] After graduating from law school, Brodsky worked as an attorney with the securities brokerage and investment banking firm of Model, Roland and Co. in 1968. In 1974, he joined the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) where he became head of options trading in 1976 and served as executive vice president for Operations between 1979 and 1982. He also served for seven years as the AMEX representative on the board of The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC).[7]

Professional Affiliations[edit]

In July 2013, Brodsky was named chairman of Navy Pier, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation established to maintain the Pier’s historic landmark status and oversee its redevelopment. He serves as a director of Integrys Energy Group, Inc., an S&P 500 company, and is chair of the board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. [8] He is a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's International Advisory Committee, the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, and the Executive Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago.

He also serves on the Kellogg School of Management Advisory Council and as a trustee of Syracuse University.


Brodsky holds an A.B. degree and a J.D. degree from Syracuse University and is a member of the Bar in Illinois and New York.


Numerous organizations throughout the financial community have recognized Brodsky for his contributions to the options and futures industries. Brodsky was selected for induction into the Derivatives Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Junior Achievement Chicago Business Hall of Fame in 2001. He received the William F. Sharpe Indexing “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2009 for his career-long support of index products as risk management tools [9]. That same year, Brodsky was the recipient of the Joseph W. Sullivan Options Industry Achievement Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the growth and integrity of the U.S. options market. Futures and Options World magazine named him their “Person of the Year” for 2011 [10] and included Brodsky among their “Top 30 Most Influential People in the Last 30 Years” in 2012. He received a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from Markets Media magazine. Locally, in June of 2011, Brodsky and two other Chicago dads were honored in Chicago by the American Diabetes Association as "Fathers of the Year."

In 2013, Brodsky was inducted into the Futures Industry Association's Futures Hall of Fame, which was established in 2005 to commemorate outstanding contributions to the global futures and options community.[11]



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