The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) is setting up an Electronic Trading Resource Centre and launching two new training programmes to help members and floor staff develop the techniques required for screen-based trading.
The initiatives were developed by CME's Electronic Transition Committee following a survey which found that only one-third of CME's 3000 actively trading members deal exclusively electronically on the exchange's Globex platform. Another third trade only on CME's two open outcry trading floors, and the remainder use both platforms.
CME says electronic trading currently represents about 42% of its total volume and as that trend continues to grow it wants to protect and maintain its liquidity by developing the next generation of futures traders.
Terry Duffy, CME chariman, says the exchange wants to ensure all members are equipped to create and capitalise on electronic trading opportunities.
"Our goal is to proactively help our floor-trading members become as successful trading electronically as they have been in the pits, by helping them gain the knowledge and skills they need to conduct some or all of their business on Globex," he says.
The fully-equipped Electronic Trading Resource Centre (ETRC) will be located near CME's lower trading floor and will be open later this year. The centre will replicate an electronic trading room and include workstations offering front-end software from multiple Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), real-time news feeds and trading simulators.
As part of the initiative CME will launch its Globex Open Access for Learning (Goal) programme for members, which will offer training, trading floor and Globex access to traders after regular hours. The exchange will also run a Goal programme for permit holders, designed to help develop the next generation of electronic liquidity providers. CME says this programme will allow new electronic traders to gain the kinds of hands-on insight and knowledge about trading that currently develops from experience on the floor.
Also this year, CME is to continue upgrading technology at the trading floor. Projects include wiring all the booths on the floor for Internet access, which currently is offered only at some booths through member firms. In addition, the exchange plans to upgrade its electronic display boards, improve its news and information services and offer more of its upgraded Galax-C hand-held devices, which allow electronic trading on Globex while users are stationed in the trading pits.