Leo Melamed was an immigrant child who, along with his parents, miraculously outwitted the Gestapo and the KGB in an odyssey that spanned two years, three continents and seven languages, arriving in the USA in 1941 at the age of nine.
Today, he is globally recognized as the founder of financial futures. In 1972, as chairman of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group), he launched currency futures with the creation of the International Monetary Market (IMM)—the first futures market for financial instruments. Twenty years after their inception, Nobel Laureate in Economics Merton Miller named financial futures as “the most significant innovation in the past two decades.” In 1987, Melamed spearheaded the introduction of Globex®, the world’s first futures electronic trading system, and became its founding chairman.
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, today the CME Group, is the world’s largest futures market and where Melamed serves as Chairman Emeritus. Melamed has served as special adviser on futures markets to governments worldwide and his prize-winning memoirs, including Escape to the Futures (Wiley, 1996), have been published in Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian. He is also the author of Leo Melamed on the Markets (Wiley, 1993), The Tenth Planet (a science fiction novel, 1984), and For Crying Out Loud (a memoirs continuation, Wiley, 2009).
He was also editor of an anthology entitled The Merits of Flexible Exchange Rates (George Mason University Press, 1988). Melamed is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2005 CME Fred Arditti Innovation Award. He holds Doctor of Letters, University of Illinois, 1999; Doctor of Humane Letters, Loyola University, 2000; an honorary degree in Doctor of Humane Letters, DePaul University, 2005. In 2007 he was appointed Honorary Dean of Beijing University. In 2008, he became the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the William F. Sharpe Lifetime Achievement Award. Leo Melamed is an attorney by profession and an active futures trader. He is chairman and CEO of Melamed & Associates, Inc., a global consulting enterprise.