Ivers W. Riley

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Ivers W. Riley
Ivers Riley.jpg

The late Ivers W. Riley was a pioneer and innovator in the options and exchange-traded funds space and a former executive at several exchanges. He was most recently a director at Interactive Brokers, LLC. [1] Before that he was chairman of the International Securities Exchange from 2002 to 2006. [2]

Riley was inducted into the FIA's Futures Hall of Fame in 2005 and also received the Joseph Sullivan Award, the highest honor given in the options industry, the same year. [3][4]

He died on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at the age of 82.[5]


Riley had a long track record in the exchange industry. He was first noted for his work in the mid-1970s at the Chicago Board Options Exchange for his efforts to promote and educate regulators and the industry on put options. He earned the nickname “Mr. Puts” for his relentless efforts on behalf of the contract.[6]

In 1979, Riley partnered with Joseph Sullivan, the CBOE’s first president and the man largely credited for the creation of the first options market. Together they formed the industry’s first options consulting firm, The Options Group, where they worked on products for various exchanges and other options-related clients including Track Data, which was created in 1981 to provide options data for Wall Street firms.

In 1983, he joined the New York Stock Exchange to help them create an options exchange that would compete with the CBOE. That exchange was later purchased by CBOE when NYSE abandoned the product.

In 1985, he was among a handful of candidates to succeed Robert J. Birnbaum as NYSE president. The post went to Richard Grasso in 1988.[7]

In 1986 he moved to the American Stock Exchange (Amex), where he was senior executive vice president in charge of all derivatives activity from 1986 to 1993.[8] There he worked with Nate Most to develop the first US exchange-traded fund, the Standard & Poor’s Depository Receipt or SPDR, launched in 1998. The SPDR, an ETF based on the S&P 500 index, spawned a $2 trillion industry. He also helped to develop and promote the QQQQ, which tracks the Nasdaq 100 index.

From 1994 to 1997, and again from 1999 to 2000, he was chief executive of the Hong Kong Futures Exchange and chairman of the HKFE Clearing Corporation. [9]

John Lothian News Obituary

"Ivers Riley: A Man for All Markets" by Jim Kharouf for JLN


Riley received his Bachelor of Science degree in finance from The University of California, Los Angeles in 1955 and completed an advanced management program at Harvard University in 1986.


  1. Ivers Riley: Executive Profile. Bloomberg Businessweek.
  2. Ivers W. Riley Profile. Forbes.com.
  3. Futures Hall of Fame. FIA.
  4. Riley earns options award. FOW.
  5. Ivers Riley Obituary. Legacy.com.
  6. Ivers Riley: A Man for All Markets. John Lothian News.
  7. Ivers W. Riley, Who Helped Introduce Spider ETF, Dies at 82. Bloomberg News.
  8. ISE Holdings Statement on the Passing of Ivers W. Riley. ISE.
  9. Ivers W. Riley. FIA.