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By Lawrence G. McMillan

David Krell was the Chairman and co-founder of the first U.S. electronic options exchange – the International Securities Exchange (ISE).  I spoke with him recently, to get his perspective on what proved to be a very important development in option trading.

Q: David, can you fill us in on how you got to the point of starting an electronic options exchange?

I started with Hornblower & Weeks as a technical analyst, when listed options first started. Since they weren’t quite sure what to do with this new option product, Hornblower put the option department under the research department.

About two years later, I moved to White Weld, where I was the “options strategist.”

They were eventually acquired by Merrill Lynch in 1978.

In 1981, the CBOE wanted someone to be in New York to run a New York office. Jim Kelly, the floor broker for Goldman, who sat on various CBOE Committees, hired me...

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