Barry Lind, CME Trader Who Reshaped Futures Industry, Dies at 74

Barry Lind, who thrived in the open-outcry trading pits of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange before helping transform it into a central market for the electronic trading of financial instruments, has died. He was 74.

He died yesterday from injuries suffered the previous night when he was struck by a car in Rancho Mirage, California, according to a police report. His death was confirmed by Larry Silver, managing partner and co-founder of Silver Young Capital LLC, a Chicago-based private equity firm where Lind was a co-founder and managing partner. Lind had homes in Winnetka, Illinois, and Rancho Mirage.

In 1965, he founded Lind-Waldock & Co., which described itself as the world’s largest discount futures firm when it was bought in 2000 by Refco Group. He served in leadership posts at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange as it expanded beyond its roots as a center for agriculture-related trading.

He “played a critical role in CME’s transformation into a modern financial futures exchange,” the Futures Industry Association said in naming Lind to its Hall of Fame in 2005. “Lind was among the strongest proponents of increasing the use of technology in futures trading, and his firm was among the earliest to automate its order routing system and to offer online trading.”

‘Soul Mate’

Leo Melamed, the former chairman of the CME widely credited with transforming it into an industry powerhouse, largely through the creation of financial futures, wrote in his memoir that Lind was “my primary adviser and soul mate.”

Barry Joel Lind was born on Sept. 30, 1938, in Chicago, and graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

He spent three years as a floor trader at the CME before starting Chicago-based Lind-Waldock.

A 1976 Newsweek article on the frozen pork-bellies pit of the CME said Lind -- “a short, 127-pound Woody Allen lookalike” -- had become a millionaire several times over through his 14 years of trading.

“I’ve never found anything that gives you a higher high,” Lind said, according to the article. He also said, “A lot of people with great ideas go broke here.”

The toll of the job was evident, Newsweek reported, in Lind’s two divorces and his heavy smoking.

“This place makes you old quickly and keeps you young forever,” he said. “When that opening bell rings, the adrenaline just starts pumping.”

CME Group Inc., the Chicago-based parent of the market, said yesterday in a statement: “Barry was a very valued member of our exchange and our industry. He was instrumental in the development of the Chicago futures industry for nearly 50 years, and he will be sincerely missed.”

Lind also owned 2217 Group, a Chicago-based real estate and venture-capital firm.

Survivors include his third wife, the former Terri Mall; a daughter, Joanna; a stepson, Scott; and a stepdaughter, Lanie.

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