Innovation has always been a driving force for the exchanges that form CME Group: CME, CBOT, NYMEX, and COMEX. We have continually embraced change and fostered an entrepreneurial spirit that has enabled both our exchanges – as well as the futures industry – to grow and prosper. We know from firsthand experience that innovation can transform business, influence the direction of civilization and alter its reality for the better.
But creative thinking and great ideas cannot exist in a vacuum – they benefit and gain momentum by being spread far and wide. Recognizing this, in 2003 CME founded the CME Center for Innovation – now called the CME Group Center for Innovation (CFI).
The CFI creates and sponsors thought-provoking original programming that identifies, showcases and fosters examples of significant innovation and creative thinking across multiple industries in both the public and private sectors. Each of the programs explores and communicates the principles behind innovation, and more importantly, showcases their application to a broad and diverse audience.
The CFI's programs help advance the application of innovation by providing a broad, multi-industry analysis of the concept. The CFI is interested in evaluating not only the principles behind innovation, but in taking a strong, hard look at innovation in action.
Executive Director, CME Group Center for Innovation
The CME Group Competitive Markets Advisory Council (CMAC) was originally organized by Nobel Laureates Myron Scholes and Gary Becker in partnership with Leo Melamed in March 2004. CMAC consists of financial experts, including Nobel Prize winners, who serve as a “think tank” to develop and provide advice to the Board in the form of policy, analyses, position papers and other strategic recommendations on significant market issues. Notably, CMAC plays an integral leadership role within the CME Group Center for Innovation by selecting the annual recipients of the CME Group Melamed-Arditti Innovation Award and the CME Group-MSRI Prize in Innovative Quantitative Applications.
The CME Group Melamed-Arditti Innovation Award is the signature program of the CME Group Center for Innovation. The award honors an individual or group of individuals whose innovative ideas, products or services have created significant change to markets commerce or trade. The award strives to celebrate innovation in action — not only the creative idea, but also the impact that practical application of the idea has made on improving the economic well-being of individuals, an industry or a nation.
CME Group named this award to honor Leo Melamed for his revolutionary achievements in introducing financial futures instruments to futures markets in 1972, and Fred Arditti, whose achievements in the 1980s developing CME's eurodollar interest rate and weather futures significantly advanced the management of risk in the futures industry. These innovations were instrumental in helping CME Group become the world's leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace.
Leo Melamed is recognized as the founder of financial futures. As Chairman of Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), he led the exchange's launch of currency futures with the creation of the International Monetary Market (IMM) in 1972—the first futures market for financial instruments. The introduction of financial futures paved the way for CME's launch of futures contracts on U.S. Treasury Bills, Eurodollars, and stock indexes in the decade that followed. In 1986, Melamed conceptualized CME’s Globex system, the first electronic trading platform for futures and options, and was instrumental in its launch in 1992. Currently Chairman Emeritus of CME Group and Chairman of Strategic Steering, Melamed continues his leadership role to help CME Group advance the world economy.
Fred Arditti developed futures contracts that transformed how businesses and individuals manage risk. Most notably, in 1981 he architected CME Eurodollar futures, the world's most actively traded futures contract today. Later, he was instrumental in strengthening CME’s focus on innovation in light of intensive competition from domestic and international markets. It was during this time that he originated weather futures. After his time at CME, he taught courses in futures and options while serving as a professor of finance at DePaul University in Chicago, as chairman of the University of Florida's Economics Department, and as a visiting professor at several institutions. Arditti authored the book "Derivatives" which remains one of the most authoritative publications on the subject at U.S. universities.
The CME Group Competitive Markets Advisory Council (CMAC), a council of outside advisors originally organized by Nobel Laureates Myron Scholes and Gary Becker in partnership with Leo Melamed in 2004, is responsible for selecting each year's award recipient. John Gould, the Steven G. Rothmeier Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, serves as the council's chairman. Members include David D. Hale, International Economist and Founder, Hale Global Advisors, LLC; Andrew Lo, Charles E. and Susan T. Harris Professor of Finance and Director of the Laboratory for Financial Engineering, MIT; Robert C. Merton, Nobel Prize-Winning Economist and School of Management Distinguished Professor of Finance, MIT; Michael H. Moskow, Vice Chairman and Senior Fellow for the Global Economy, Chicago Council on Global Affairs and former President, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; Myron Scholes, Nobel Laureate and Frank E. Buck Professor of Finance, Emeritus, Stanford University; Robert J. Shiller, Sterling Professor of Economics, Yale University
Ben Bernanke served two terms as chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 2006 to 2014. He also served as chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee, the System's principal monetary policymaking body.
In 2013, the CMAC unanimously recommended that the award be renamed from the CME Group Fred Arditti Innovation Award to the CME Group Melamed-Arditti Innovation Award in recognition of Leo Melamed's revolutionary innovation of introducing futures in financial instruments in 1972. Melamed's contributions enabled the creation of effective and efficient global risk management tools through futures markets. These innovations have been copied by financial centers around the world.
In conjunction with the esteemed Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), the CME Group-MSRI Prize in Innovative Quantitative Applications rewards exemplary work in the field of mathematical sciences and recognizes the vital impact quantitative research and application play in shaping global financial markets.
This prize recognizes an individual or group who has contributed and applied original and significant ideas and concepts to quantitative fields such as mathematics, statistics and computing.
The 2014 CME Group-MSRI Prize will be presented to José Scheinkman at the annual award luncheon in Chicago on February 9, 2015.
The CME Group Center for Innovation Mayoral Award for Student Achievement was established in 1986 by CME in conjunction with the Office of the Mayor and the Chicago Board of Education. The purpose of this award is to encourage outstanding Chicago public high school students to achieve excellence and is an acknowledgement of their exceptional accomplishments.
On the basis of an essay on the futures industry, along with the student's academic record and recommendations, one graduating senior is selected from each of the city's public high schools as the recipient of the award. This student is presented with a $1,000 cash grant, to be used for academic purposes only in furtherance of his/her education. In addition, students are chosen from this group for paid summer internships with CME clearing firms.
An awards luncheon for the students and their parents is hosted by CME Group, where the mayor, representatives from the Board of Education, and CME Group officials are invited to honor the recipients.
CME Group is proud to sponsor such an innovative program for talented Chicago public high school students. The Mayoral Award for Student Achievement is a testimony to the strength of our city's public schools and ensures the vitality of our future business community.
Public Affairs Manager, CME Group
Each year, the CME Group Center for Innovation also recognizes CME Group employees whose original thinking has led to developments in CME Group products, services and technology through its Employee Inventor Program. The program encourages CME employees to be innovative and to bring their ideas, particularly patentable ideas, to the company’s attention by awarding cash bonuses and other recognition to those employees who apply for and are issued U.S. patents. Innovations cover both new inventions implemented at CME and ideas we may someday implement, in areas such as technology, clearing operations, product development and market data services. The CFI is honored to recognize the strength of human capital and intellectual property at CME Group by conferring these awards.
CME Group employee inventors who have been recognized since the program’s inception represent nearly all divisions and a wide range of levels within the organizations. Over 100 CME Group employees have been named on at least one patent application of the four granted patents and 99 U.S. patent applications by CME Group.