John Damgard announces retirement from FIA

After nearly 30 years in the post, John Damgard is stepping down as president of the Futures Industry Association. He made the announcement in the closing hours of this year’s Burgenstock Conference in Interlaken, Switzerland.

“I will step down as soon as the board finds a suitable replacement,” he told the crowd of industry leaders after a tearful introduction by Paul Meier, who announced his own retirement as Chairman of the Swiss Futures and Options Association (SFOA) just a few days earlier. Meier will be replaced by Otto E. Nägeli, who ran the Swiss Options and Financial Futures Exchange (SOFFEX) in the 1990s and oversaw its merger into what eventually became Eurex. He most recently acted as non-executive chairman of CME Clearing Europe.

Two other SFOA Board Members also announced their retirement from the Swiss association: Bill Brodsky, who is chairman and chief executive officer of the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and John Foyle, who is deputy CEO of Euronext.Liffe.

Damgard assumed the FIA presidency in 1982, and has been a strong advocate for the futures industry in Congress and in the media as it came under attack in the wake of stock market crashes, droughts, and scandals. He also risked alienating his own membership when he advocated on behalf of German exchange Eurex when it first opened offices in the United States.

Prior to joining the FIA, Damgard was responsible for marketing and regulatory functions in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). During the Nixon Administration, he was Assistant to Vice President Spiro Agnew.

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