We hear from some of Mr Brodsky’s friends, colleagues and peers on the eve of his retirement from CBOE and the WFE.
Edward Tilly, CBOE Holdings Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
“I would describe the relationship with Bill - and not just with me but the whole industry - as one of tireless passion, and an incredible drive to teach. As his student for many years, I’m just amazed by his patience and the way he embraces being a leader and a mentor.
“If there is something good to pursue, Bill will frame the argument, Bill will explain the argument, he will teach, he will rewind and repeat.
“His drive to make the industry better, and the customer’s experience better, is unending. And it’s also about creating a more knowledgeable customer, whether it’s a new product or something related to governance. If it’s the right thing to do, then Bill Brodsky will back it, and he has instilled that philosophy into the team here at CBOE. He has been encouraging to all of us, and become the go-to for all things in this industry.
“Bill’s enthusiasm and passion for our business has never relented. The man never slows down, he has boundless energy. After I was elected member Vice Chairman, the first time I traveled with Bill was to attend Bürgenstock, when the conference was still up in the mountains. Bill told me he’d arranged a panel opportunity for me, which was great. He said: “When we get there, I’m going introduce you to some key people, and it’s really important that you get to know them. This is a close industry and these are my friends.” I thought, that sounds great, my panel’s at 2:00 pm, so I should hopefully also have some time for a hike on this beautiful mountain, and later on there’ll be a cocktail reception and nice dinner. It will be a nice, relaxing day. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
“The day started with not one, but two, breakfast meetings with Bill, followed by several press interviews and an industry meet-and-greet before I even got to my panel. After the panel, I was exhausted. I thought OK, now I’ll be able to sit out for a bit, unwind, and have a beer in this stunning location.
“But the day was only half over. Bill said: “We have cocktails with this group, then dinner with another group, then the conference dinner, and after dinner, we’re going to meet with three other people.” And I said: “Bill, I can’t keep up with you!” “Well that’s too bad,” replied Bill, “because we’re doing this all again tomorrow!”
“He absolutely loves the time, the engagement, the camaraderie, and this whole industry. There’s no part of it that he doesn’t love. And I will never forget watching his face light up as he was introducing me to his friends, his colleagues, and the leaders of this industry. That meant a lot to me – both personally and professionally.
“He’s my friend, but always continues to be a teacher, which is quite remarkable.
“So, that’s Bill – tireless, educative, passionate, and an advocate for this industry. He’s a champion.”
Sandy Frucher, Vice Chairman, Nasdaq
“I've known Bill Brodsky as a fierce competitor, a learned and wise industry colleague, the CEO of a cherished Nasdaq listed company, and as a very dear friend.
“About 15 years ago when I was running the Philadelphia Stock Exchange we had a customer event in Saratoga Springs, NY. I knew that Bill and Joan were visiting her mom who lived nearby, so I invited them to attend the opening reception and concert. As luck would have it, my '67 Morgan broke down and I called and asked Bill to greet the guests. The customers, who were CBOE's as well as PHLX's, while a bit surprised, loved every moment of it, and no one was surprised at the wonderful things Bill had to say about PHLX.
“Bill is gracious, witty, engaging, friendly, helpful, balanced, generous with his time and resources, the foremost ambassador for capital markets across the globe and most important of all, a loving husband and an extraordinary father and grandfather.
“Enjoy your retirement Bill, but we all know that you won't be far from the action!”
Craig Donohue, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, OCC
“Bill Brodsky has been a pioneering ambassador for the financial services markets, and the derivatives markets in particular, for many years.
“His leadership and business acumen, which have been demonstrated in the growth and success of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and more recently at the Chicago Board Options Exchange, are part of the reason why the City of Chicago is considered the financial derivatives capitol of the world!
“Whether it was talking to exchange members on the trading floors in Chicago or Members of Congress in the halls of power in Washington, D.C., Bill has been an articulate supporter and advocate of the value that derivatives markets bring to the U.S. and the global economy.
"Aside from being a personal friend and mentor to me for nearly 30 years, Bill serves as a powerful role model to the next generation of business leaders through his unfailing devotion to civic and philanthropic endeavors. He truly epitomizes the saying ‘A life full of enthusiasm, hope and contributions through one’s own talent is a life well lived.’”
Nandini Sukumar, Chief Executive Officer, World Federation of Exchanges
“I first met Bill in 2004, and being able to work closely with him has been one of the greatest pleasures of being at the WFE for me over the past two and a half years. He is simultaneously strategic and pragmatic, simultaneously able to see the big picture and be in the detail, and simultaneously all business and great fun. He’s also down to earth while being able to walk with kings.
“He has given me much great counsel and advice on many complicated business issues. If I had to pick one out of the many profound things he’s said to me about life, it’s this: “Keep your eyes on the goal but look back regularly because that’s how you’ll be able to tell how far you’ve come.”
“And it’s simple, and it’s so true. Bill has the gift of making complicated things seem straightforward.
“Thank you, Bill, for being a great mentor and guide. One of the best parts of my job has been having your wisdom to call on, and being able to learn first-hand from you.”