The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is introducing its first branding
effort, an estimated $5 million global print push that could usher in a
new marketing era for the obscure world of derivatives trading.

Changes in the industry
The push, which comes amid an industry shift to digital trading, is
designed to enhance the exchange's profile around the world by
showcasing some of the high-profile hedge fund executives, money
managers and insurance stalwarts who use its services. The
mid-seven-figure effort will run ads in global financial publications
such as the Wall Street Journal and Forbes.

That's a new challenge for exchanges like the Chicago
Mercantile Exchange as trading moves off the floor and into a more
global arena. At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange today, for instance,
more than 70% of all its trades are made electronically, compared with
15% in 2000.

As a result, exchanges all over the world can compete
aggressively for business, which was the driving force behind a recent
round of mergers within the European market.

To assert themselves in that frontier environment, companies
such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the New York Mercantile
Exchange are ramping up marketing. A NYMEX spokeswoman said the
exchange is more focused on advertising, but wouldn't on future plans,
citing a U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission-enforced "quiet
period."

Chicago Mercantile Exchange's glossy ads, which begin running
today, feature prominent financial-world figures, such as Ken Griffin,
CEO of the $12 billion Citadel Investment Group hedge fund, and top
executives at financial giants such as HSBC Bank and Swiss Re Capital
Management.

The ads were produced in-house by the exchange, with assistance from Chicago design firm VSA Partners.

ON: Mercantile Exchanges Turn to Marketing as Trading Becomes Digital via @jpenabickley