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Van Hemphill
By Lawrence G. McMillan

Van Hemphill was one of the early floor brokers on the CBOE. He eventually partnered with others – some of whose interviews are on this website – to form one of the most formidable floor brokerage operations on the CBOE. I personally remember Van as the “face” of the short-lived NYFE options exchange, when he briefly came to New York; the NYFE ran full-page ads in the Wall Street Journal featuring Van as their “poster boy.” When I was running the prop trading desk for Thomson McKinnon in the 1980's we often used Van and his partners to execute “not held” orders – that is, we didn’t specify a limit, instead trusting the execution to the floor brokers who could see the order flow. Sometimes, that meant not getting an execution – which was fine – and it almost always meant we were getting the best execution possible.

I became a floor broker on the AMEX after graduating from college in 1968. When the CBOE opened in 1973, Bill Silver taught me the basics of options. Bill was a long-time trader on the AMEX, and he was fascinated with the new option markets. He used to sit with a Quotron and look at option prices all the time. He was involved early, trading options on the CBOE...

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