02/19/2015

Loss of a Great Visionary

The derivatives world has lost one of its biggest innovators and most important visionaries – Ivers Riley.

Ivers had a hand in almost every transformative moment involving listed equity derivatives since their inception in the 1970s. He played a key role in milestones as diverse as the approval of listed puts, the creation of the Options Clearing Corporation, the development of ETFs, and the advent of electronic trading. Investors the world over benefit from the high level of transparency and liquidity that his efforts put into motion over the last several decades.

At various points in his storied career he served in senior positions on key exchanges, including the International Securities Exchange, the Hong Kong Futures Exchange, and the Hong Kong Futures Exchange Clearing Corporation.

I was lucky to have known Ivers personally and consider it a privilege that he served as an active advisor and advocate for my firm, Exceed Investments. Our discussions would range from specific insights and directions on product development to his general approach on life. When I experienced unforeseen delays and other frustrating challenges in launching Exceed, Ivers would remind me that it took him five years to launch SPY, and even then additional time had to pass before SPY would see the utilization he sought.

He was one of the most modest people I knew, despite having had accomplished so much. He remains an inspiration to me and his input will always be a part of Exceed’s DNA. He was a true talent and an incredible person – he will be missed.

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