The Footprints of a Successful Entrepreneur, Jos Schmitt

June 30, 2022

Jos Schmitt is an entrepreneur. He’s also Cboe’s Senior Vice President, Global Head of Listings and NEO President, and the Co-Founder and CEO of NEO before Cboe’s acquisition.

“I’ve always considered myself an entrepreneur,” he says. “Building new businesses is what gets me excited and, clearly, it has shaped my career.”

Jos began his career in consulting but quickly became involved in a project where he drove the transitioning of a stock exchange from open outcry to an electronic platform.

“That was the first time I worked on anything related to exchanges and it definitely lit a fire in me,” he says. “From there, I worked for and with a number of exchanges across the globe, which all led me to where I am today.”

Notably, Jos led strategy and market operations for the Brussels Stock Exchange before creating the Belgian Derivatives Exchange and Clearinghouse, where he served as CEO. He went on to co-found a consulting firm where he travelled the world leading numerous market infrastructure projects, from strategy missions to full-core technological implementations. Subsequently, he co-founded Alpha ATS and served as CEO until the business was acquired in 2012.

Then, Jos was contacted about building another ATS in Canada. Along with RBC Capital Markets, he built out the strategy, attracted shareholders and, ultimately, created NEO, not an ATS but a full-fledged stock exchange with some unique additional features.

“The vision behind NEO was to set up as a new kind of stock exchange, focused on one core principle: always doing what is right for investors,” Jos says. “And it turns out that doing the right thing works pretty well.”

When exploring potential strategic transactions, Cboe’s commitment to innovation, fairness, transparency and customer service, is what made it an attractive buyer, Jos explains, and the cultural fit was there too.

“Cboe is a global company now, but it still has those Midwestern roots that are similar to the Canadian way,” he says. “In our conversations leading up to the acquisition, it also rapidly became clear to me that, like NEO, the Cboe team is committed to quality execution and doing what’s best for its customers.”

Now that NEO is a part of the Cboe network, Jos is excited to work with various Cboe teams to expand Cboe’s global listings presence and provide additional solutions to the Canadian market.

“There is great opportunity to further increase competition in Canada, to the benefit of the Canadian capital markets and all its stakeholders, and to provide new and better capital formation options for investors and capital-raisers worldwide. I can’t wait for what’s next.”