Now, as the world begins to look toward returning to the workplace, technology reshapes financial trading, and the global economy responds to the pandemic, the company is set to lead the way again as it opens two new breakthrough workplaces in Chicago.
Starting in 2021, Cboe will occupy 185,000 square feet within Chicago’s historic Old Post Office Building and move its trading floor, which includes open outcry trading pits for S&P 500 Index options and Cboe Volatility Index options, to approximately 40,000 square feet of office and trading floor space in the Chicago Board of Trade Building.
Cboe’s new spaces will be showcase properties filled with state-of-the-art designs that fuel innovation and collaboration. We recently caught up with Cboe’s Vice President, Facilities, Marc Magrini to talk about how the company is preparing for the new spaces and evolving its business for future success.
Through the lens of Cboe’s business model, what’s an issue you’re thinking about every day now that wasn’t as critical when the year started?
Connection. For the time being, our workforce is entirely remote as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic, if you had a question for someone you could pop into their office, or you could catch someone in the hallway and hear about their weekend.
Now, it’s all about making sure we have the resources to connect with each other virtually to continue driving our business, and that we’re taking the time to have those non-business related conversations that are actually vital to helping our business thrive.
What do you think is ahead for Cboe and other global exchanges in the 1-3 year horizon?
We’ve recognized the needs of the customer don’t change, but the way you reach them and interact with them will continue to evolve. Technology, and the speed at which we introduce and adopt new technology, will be crucial. We pride ourselves on our top-of-the-line technology and our team is well suited to keep providing solutions that suit our needs, as well as our customers’ needs.
Your business is inherently a team sport, how does Cboe promote teamwork and collaboration across its organization?
Our core values — or as we call them, Guiding Principles — include Creative Collaboration and Good Citizenship, which encompass our belief that our associates should be accountable to one another, while working together to find solutions that create unity within the company.
Associates are introduced to our principles on their very first day, so from the start they know we value collaboration just as much as we value high quality work. As associates move up within the company, they’re expected to lead by example to foster teamwork and collaboration. No task is too small, and everyone pitches in where they can. Top-down and bottom-up, our team knows when we all work together, we all succeed.
How are your new workplace environments optimized to best support and nurture Cboe’s company culture?
Collaboration is obviously a big part of Cboe’s company culture, so we’re really excited to have an open office layout that allows associates to connect with each other in a more natural way.
We’ve also significantly increased the number of conference rooms available, making it easier for teams to get together for quick impromptu meetings and brainstorm sessions. Each conference room is equipped with super-charged video technology, so efficiently connecting with colleagues in our other global offices will be easier, as well.
Additionally, our new social hubs will be a welcoming place for associates to catch up over coffee or eat lunch together. Not to mention, our Windy City Lounge will certainly up the ante at our company wide happy hours, which are always a great opportunity for associates to catch up with teammates or meet new colleagues in other departments.
What most excites you about new generations entering the workforce? How is Cboe evolving to recruit and retain them? How will the new space help attract talent?
Each new generation brings a new perspective that helps us look at things in a new light. At Cboe, we pride ourselves on innovation and I think energetic new generations keep us from growing complacent, fueling our relentless search for the next best thing.
Our Human Resources department has done an excellent job revitalizing Cboe’s recruitment efforts to attract new generations of talent. From harnessing the power of social media, to connecting with industry-related college organizations and nonprofits that support student career development, Cboe HR is focused on casting a wide net to ensure they find the best, most diverse candidates available. Cboe retains associates through best-in-class benefits, career growth opportunities, an engaging company culture and more. The new office space is the cherry on top.
Our associates are eager to return to work and make use of the state-of-the-art space, and we know new talent will be impressed by our new office. We’re also looking forward to inviting potential new hires, as well as clients and partners, to our new headquarters.
Innovation drives your business as Cboe is constantly creating new products, markets and services. What do you consider the key to constant innovation?
We are always looking for ways to improve or fine tune our products, markets and services, no matter how successful they are. Everything we do is customer- and solutions-focused. We keep a pulse on the industry and try to anticipate what’s next before it happens so we’re ready to support our customers when a new need arises. I don’t think there’s a magic formula, but if you stay committed to providing the best possible customer service and products, innovation will follow.