Equity Member Subscription Rate Program Frequently Asked Questions

CME Group's Equity Member Subscription Rate Program was established for certain clearing and corporate equity member firms of CME, CBOT and NYMEX and certain individual members of CBOT that are required to have assigned shares of Class A common stock of CME Group for equity membership privileges. Under the terms of the program, participants may, at their sole discretion, substitute the assignment of required shares by paying a monthly subscription fee. 

Please note: participants must still maintain the seats required for their applicable membership status.

Learn more about the Subscription Fee Program. 

View PDF version of Subscription Fee Program Q&A Guide.

Firm Eligibility

Who is eligible for the program?

All current and potential equity member participants of CME, CBOT and/or NYMEX are eligible. 

Which CME Group Exchanges is this program available for?

This program is available to equity member participants at CME, CBOT and NYMEX.

Please note: CME and CBOT non-equity member firms, COMEX member firms, and CME, NYMEX and COMEX individual members do not maintain a share requirement and therefore are not eligible to participate.

What is the program’s effective date?

The program will become effective on 11 August 2016, pending regulatory review and CFTC certification.

Can I be approved effective with the program’s initial 11 August effective date?

Any applicant desiring to be effective on the 11 August 2016 initial effective date must complete and submit an Equity Member Subscription Rate Program Application form and remit the initial subscription fee payment amount by no later than Thursday, 4 August 2016.

Please note: applications and payments received after 4 August will be processed as quickly as possible; however, the applicant may not be approved on the initial effective date.

Program Fee Schedule

What is the fee schedule for the program?

Exchange Membership Type Amount per Month
CME 106.J. Equity Member Firm $7,500
NYMEX 106.J. Member Firm $7,500
CBOT 106.J. Equity Member Firm (Full/B1 Division) $7,500
CBOT 106.J. Equity Member Firm (AM/B2 Division) $3,500
CBOT Individual Member (Full/B1 Division) $7,500
CBOT Individual Member (AM/B2 Division) $3,500
CBOT Individual Member (GIM/B3 Division) $1,500
CBOT Individual Member (IDEM/B4 Division) $500
CBOT Individual Member (COM/B5 Division) $1,000

Application/Approval Process

How does an eligible participant apply for the program?

An applicant must submit a scanned copy of the completed Equity Member Subscription Rate Program Application form to:

CME Group’s Concierge Team

CME Group
c/o Concierge Team
20 S. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL, 60606

In addition to the completed application, the applicant must also submit the initial subscription fee payment amount. Refer to the section on payment information for additional details on the initial subscription payment amount.

Download the application form.

How long is the approval process?

Once the completed application and initial subscription fee payment have been received, the application may take up to five business days to process and complete.

How will the applicant be notified of their approval in the Equity Member Subscription Rate Program?

On the approval date, CME Group’s Concierge Team will send an approval letter to the applicant and notify the applicant’s clearing member firm(s) by email of the applicant’s approval into the program. The approval will be effective on the following business day.

When will my assigned shares be reflected as unrestricted at CME Group’s transfer agent?

Upon final approval, CME Group will notify the applicant and will instruct our transfer agent, Computershare, to reflect the applicable number of assigned shares as unrestricted. Please allow up to five business days for shares to be reflected at Computershare as unrestricted.

For the initial effective date, shares relating to accepted Equity Member Subscription Rate Program Application forms and initial subscription fee payment amounts received by Thursday, 4 August will become unrestricted on 11 August 2016. Thereafter, assigned shares will become unrestricted as applicants are process on first in basis.

How can I transfer my unrestricted shares from CME Group’s transfer agent?

Once shares are reflected as unrestricted at Computershare, an equity member participant may elect to transfer the shares to their broker.

In order to transfer shares from Computershare to the equity member participant’s broker through a Deposit and Withdrawal at Custodian (“DWAC”) transfer, the equity member participant’s broker must first initiate a deposit request using Computershare's DTC #50108.

In addition, the equity member participant must notify CME Group’s Shareholder Relations Department with the following information:

Shareholder Relations Department

  • Name of broker
  • Broker DTC #
  • Computershare Account Number
  • Name on Computershare Account
  • Number of shares being transferred

Once the equity member participant’s broker initiates the transfer request and the equity member participant provides CME Group’s Shareholder Relations Department with the required information, CME Group will authorize Computershare to process the request. Failure to follow these instructions may result in a delay in the transfer of the shares to the broker.

For more information on transferring of shares, contact:

Elizabeth Hausoul, Shareholder Relations
+1 312 930 3484

Payment Information

What will be my initial subsequent fee payment amount?

An equity member participant electing to apply for the program will be required to submit an initial subscription fee payment consisting of:

  • Current month subscription fee amount
  • One subsequent month subscription fee amount
  • One month subscription fee security deposit, for each exchange applied for prior to approval

See above for the Fee Payment Schedule.

Note: CME Group will process a credit (as applicable) for the equity member participant’s prorated initial current month subscription fee payment based on the number of calendar days during the initial current month that the equity member participant was not a participant in the program. The credit will be applied towards the equity member participant’s subsequent month subscription fee bill.

What will be my subsequent month’s subscription fee payment amount and when are payments due?

For each subsequent month enrolled in the program after approval, CME Group will submit an electronic bill to the equity member participant on or around the fifth business day of the month for the subsequent month’s subscription fee. The subsequent month’s subscription fee will be due by the 28th of the month or will be auto-debited on the 25th for participants enrolled in CME Group’s auto debit program.

How can I make the initial subscription fee payment?

The initial subscription fee payment can be made by wire transfer using the following wire instructions: 

Bank Name: JPM Chase Bank

Address: 270 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017

Aba (Routing): 021000021

Swift: CHASUS33

Account: 066016010

Name: NYMEX General Account

Note: The equity member participant should inform CME Group’s Concierge Team prior to the wire transfer and provide details such as amount, transfer date and the initiating bank in order to more easily confirm receipt of funds. 

How can I make subsequent subscription fee payments?

For easy and efficient electronic processing of monthly subscription fee payments, CME Group requires participants, as applicable, to enroll in CME Group’s auto-debit program.

The auto-debit application form is included as part of the program application. To make payments directly to CME Group, please refer to “Remit to” instructions on the invoice.

For additional questions on payments and payment options, contact:

CME Group’s Accounts Receivable Department
+1 312 338 2487

What happens if a participant firm fails to make a payment?

CME Group reserves the right to withdraw any participant from the program that does not make the required subscription fee payments. A participant’s withdrawal from the program would result in the participant no longer qualifying for applicable equity member fees.

Other

Can I hold shares for one CME Group Exchange and be approved in the program for another CME Group Exchange?

Yes, an equity member firm may elect, at their sole discretion, to meet the shareholding requirement with shares at one CME Group exchange while being enrolled in the program for another CME Group exchange.

If you elect to partially enroll in the program, contact Elizabeth Hausoul to provide specific instructions as to which shares will remain subject to assignment and which are being requested to become unrestricted:

Elizabeth Hausoul, Shareholder Relations
+1 312 930 3484

Can an equity member firm withdraw from the program and remain a corporate member firm?

Yes, an equity member firm who withdraws from the program may remain as a corporate member firm contingent upon the participant meeting the applicable seat and/or share requirements for corporate membership.

Can a firm who was previously enrolled in the program reapply? If so, what is required?

Yes. A new or returning firm must complete the Equity Member Subscription Application Form and submit the initial subscription fee payment prior to approval. 

In the past, CME Group has reduced the number of shares required for equity member participants. Will this program also reduce the number of shares required for equity member participants?

No. The program allows equity member participants, at their sole discretion, the option to substitute the assignment of required shares by paying a monthly subscription fee. For an equity member participant electing to assign shares for equity membership privileges, there is no change to the current share requirements.

Why is CME Group charging a fee for equity member participants electing to have their shares released?

In order to provide an additional option and provide for further potential financial flexibility for participants electing to obtain equity membership status, this program allows equity member participants, at their sole discretion, the option to substitute the assignment of required shares by paying a monthly subscription fee. For an equity member participant electing to assign shares for equity membership privileges, there is no change to the current share requirements.

May new equity member participants and trading members upgrading to equity member status participate in this program?

Yes. New equity member participants and trading member firms upgrading their status to equity membership may complete the Equity Member Subscription Rate application together with their membership application if they elect to participate in this program. Alternatively, they may also meet the share requirement through holding the appropriate number of shares for their desired equity member status.

Does the program reduce the funds available to satisfy a defaulted clearing member firm's obligations?

No.  Effective May 13, 2011, CME Group eliminated the requirement for clearing members to assign CME Group shares for their clearing membership privileges.  Although clearing members may elect to assign shares to be eligible for equity member exchange fee rates, assigned shares may not be used to satisfy a defaulted clearing member's obligations.  Thus, the program does not reduce the amount of funds available to satisfy a defaulted clearing member firm's obligations.

Who can I contact with additional questions?