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Bury the hatchet, and choose Liffe

In his first two months in the job, Bernie Dan, chief executive of the Chicago Board of Trade, has made two quick and bold decisions. It was the second that got the most publicity: the announcement to dump the exchange's joint venture with Eurex in favour of using the Liffe Connect trading platform.

Dan says his objective is "to make the Board of Trade a much more independent marketplace, building off transparency, liquidity and ethics. Our users are demanding more in tools and capabilities to enable multiple trading strategies. And Liffe Connect has an open architecture, so we'll be able to integrate the floor liquidity."

Combining cash and futures
The decision to choose Liffe brought into sharper focus Dan's first decision. Announced a week before Christmas, it took the markets completely by surprise. The Board of Trade would be listing its futures prices on Cantor Fitzgerald's eSpeed electronic platform.

Bernie Dan

Cantor and the CBOT have spent most of the past seven years at each other's throats.

"The eSpeed announcement proves that the Board of Trade can work with outside partners effectively, even if there is a litigious history," says Dan.

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