Richard L. Sandor is an American businessman, economist, entrepreneur and chairman and chief executive officer of Environmental Financial Products LLC, which specializes in inventing, designing, and developing new financial markets with a special emphasis on investment advisory services, established in 1998. He is also the chairman and CEO of the American Financial Exchange (AFX), an electronic marketplace for small and mid-sized banks to lend and borrow short-term funds, which launched on December 11, 2015.
He also is a managing director at Endurance Asset Management, LLC, and serves on the firm’s investment committee. He took the post in April 2013. Endurance, founded in October 2003, is an investment advisor that manages a multi-strategy fund of funds.
Sandor is widely recognized as the “father of financial futures” for his pioneering work in developing the first interest rate futures contract in the 1970s, when he served as chief economist and vice president of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT).
Sandor is also the founder of the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) — the world’s first exchange to facilitate the reduction and trading of all six greenhouse gases. In 2007, he was named the “father of carbon trading” by Time magazine for his work in designing, developing and launching CCX and affiliated exchanges.
Sandor is known for asserting that the next financial revolution will be in the convergence of the financial markets and the environment. He is often credited for founding the field of environmental finance. His first book, “Good Derivatives: A Story of Financial and Environmental Innovation”, was published by John Wiley & Sons in February 2012.
In October 2012, the World Federation of Exchanges presented Sandor with the 2012 WFE Award for Excellence. WFE said Sandor was selected for the award in recognition of his work in environmental and financial markets for more than four decades.
In September 2015, Sandor, with backing from the Chicago Board Options Exchange and Northern Trust, announced plans for the American Financial Exchange, an anonymous, bilateral electronic platform for small and mid-sized banks to lend and borrow funds over the short-term.  The exchange will create a new benchmark interest rate index, Ameribor. Sandor said that he "thought there was a crying need for a benchmark interest rate for these banks because often times their lending costs and the way interest rates move for them may not parallel the big banks."
As a young professor on sabbatical from the University of California, Berkeley, in the 1970s, Richard Sandor became the chief economist and vice president of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). At the CBOT, Sandor not only pioneered the first ever interest rate futures contract, but the most widely traded and imitated interest-rate futures in the world, the Treasury bond futures contract. This revolutionized the field of finance and earned him the title of “father of financial futures.” Sandor was honored by the CBOT and the City of Chicago in 1992 for the creation of financial futures.
Sandor was also a strong proponent of electronic trading at a time when most exchanges favored open-outcry. In fact, he had presented the case and designed the platform for electronic trading as early as 1970- even before the concept of electronic trading was patented. At Berkeley, he was the project leader of the California Commodity Research Project (CCARP), which looked at the feasibility of establishing a for-profit, all-electronic exchange in at the time when none existed.
At the CBOT, Sandor championed innovative financial instruments such as event-linked derivatives. Sandor served as vice chairman of the CBOT Insurance Committee and was the originator and co-author of the catastrophe and crop insurance futures and options contracts.
From 1991 to 1994, Sandor was Chairman of the Chicago Board of Trade Clean Air Committee, which developed the first spot and futures markets for sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission allowances and supervised the annual allowance auctions conducted on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He also led the effort to create the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI)- the first global indexes that tracks the financial performance of leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide.
Sandor has held a variety of senior executive positions in financial service companies, such as Drexel Burnham Lambert, Kidder Peabody and Banque Indosuez. Sandor has served on numerous exchange committees and boards, including the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), Intercontinental Exchange(ICE), LIFFE and the international advisory board of Marché à Terme International de France(MATIF). Sandor played an advisory role in helping Swiss Options and Financial Futures Exchange(SOFFEX) become the world’s first electronic exchange. Teaming up with Boston-based Battery Ventures, Sandor also helped to promote Liffe’s electronic trading platform  and is credited for Liffe’s successful contract- the universal stock futures contract. He also assisted the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) on the design of the options contract for crude oil.
Sandor founded the Climate Exchange PLC family of companies. They include Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX); the Chicago Climate Futures Exchange (CCFE), a futures branch of the former; and European Climate Exchange(ECX), Europe’s leading exchange operating in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and the benchmark for world carbon prices. Additional global affiliates included the Tianjin Climate Exchange in China, the Montreal Climate Exchange in Canada and Envex in Australia. The emissions covered under the Chicago Climate Exchange were larger than that of Germany under the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme. It included 50 states and all major sectors of the U.S. economy. Its membership represented 17 percent of the companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and 20 percent of the largest CO2 emitting electrical utilities in the U.S., and 11 percent of Fortune 100 companies.
By 2011, Sandor and his firm, Environmental Financial Products LLC (EFP) ventured into water trading. EFP was retained to study the possibility of a water quantity exchange for the state of New Mexico. Sandor also researched the viability of a water market in the Great Lakes region. Additionally, Environmental Financial Products was engaged by Alberta Water Research Institute to examine the benefits of implementing a rules-based exchange for water resources in Alberta, Canada  and helped develop a pilot nutrient trading effort in Pennsylvania.
In August 2002, Sandor was chosen by Time magazine as one of its “Heroes for the Planet” for his work as the founder of the Chicago Climate Exchange. Five years later, he appeared in Time magazine’s fifth annual list of “Heroes of the Environment” for his work as “the father of carbon trading.” In 1992 Sandor served as an expert advisor to the UN Conference on Trade and Development on tradable entitlements for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
In June 2010, CLE was acquired by the Intercontinental Exchange. (ICE) 
Awards and Acknowledgements
Sandor received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the City University of New York, Brooklyn College, and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Minnesota.
All Smalls and Mediums: Richard Sandor Looks To Transform The Small and Mid-Tier Bank Sector
In this video, Sandor discusses the American Financial Exchange, his venture that allows banks to lend and borrow in the overnight and interbank market on an anonymous bi-lateral platform.
The financial industry has adapted to new technologies before, but AFX CEO and Chairman Richard Sandor believes blockchain will gain traction in financial services much quicker than electronic trading did. In this video from JLN’s annual series with industry leaders, Sandor talks about why he is a “buyer” of the crypto ecosystem.
Started at the end of 2015 to address the interbank funding needs of small and midsize banks, the American Financial Exchange (AFX) just welcomed its 80th member, bringing its clients’ assets to more than $1 trillion.
Richard Sandor discusses his new book “Good Derivatives: A Story of Financial and Environmental Innovation” with John Lothian News. The book outlines the creation of the Chicago Climate Exchange (and its affiliated exchanges) and the role of markets in addressing climate change and other environmental challenges. Interview published March 5, 2012.
@JohnLothian Twitter Feed
We visit more than 100 websites daily for financial news (Would YOU do that?). Read the John Lothian Newsletter.