The Cboe Global Markets team is looking forward to reopening our trading floor Monday. This decision was not made lightly. The health and safety of our trading floor community -- which includes Cboe associates and Trading Permit Holders, or TPHs (the firms that conduct trading on our floor) -- guided our decision to temporarily close the floor as well as our plans for its reopening.
Developing and executing our safety-first plans was an incredible companywide lift. Our team has redefined open outcry trading at Cboe by restoring the benefits of our unique hybrid trading system, while incorporating best practices and requirements for workplace safety as set forth by health and government officials. I am incredibly proud of and thankful to our team for successfully executing this massive project in a short period of time.
This historic initiative required the orchestration of numerous and wide-ranging components, from reconfiguration of trading pits to rewiring the entire floor; from codifying new policies and procedures to working on rule changes with our regulators; from construction of massive partitions and engaging an industrial cleaning company, to revising check-in procedures and securing PPE.
The physical reconfiguration of the trading floor, in itself, was a major undertaking. The photos below provide some perspective on the scale of the project, which transformed the traditional hallmark of open outcry trading, densely populated trading pits, to an environment where socially distanced market participants will fan out across an expansive open space.
Traders and Cboe staff will be asked to sanitize their hands and put on a face mask before entering the building.
A temporary twelve foot wall will help maintain social distancing on the trading floor. Community members will only be able to access their designated side of the trading floor.
We worked closely with our TPHs throughout this process, beginning with informal and ongoing discussions in April, followed by three Town Halls. We’ve developed a “TPH Playbook” detailing standards of conduct in the new trading environment, with a strong emphasis on health and safety. TPHs tested their equipment on the trading floor in shifts and some 160 brokers and market makers participated in our first large-scale test of the new environment. We’ll be conducting a final test with our trading community this Saturday.
I am deeply grateful to our trading floor community for their flexibility and patience when health concerns necessitated the temporary closure of the floor and for their collaboration in helping us to map out its reopening. We look forward to welcoming them back to the trading floor and returning to open outcry trading.
Learn more about Cboe’s COVID-19 response and plans here.