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Patricia Campbell
Peregrine Financial Group, Inc. (PFGBEST)
(312) 775-3411

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Celebrates Ten Years of Online Futures with BESTDirect Platform

BESTDirect was among the first platforms to deliver customer orders direct to CME Globex Trading Engine

Chicago, May 29, 2008 – Ten years ago, in 1998, retail futures traders were able to click and trade in a sub-second for the first time ever, using the BESTDirect electronic trading platform created by (PFG) to link directly to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Globex trading engine.  That breakthrough put retail investors and traders using BESTDirect on a level playing field with any institution or professional trading desk using the exchange’s electronic futures contracts.  It meant they could all enjoy the technological advantages of timely fills, trade reports and risk assessment.

Russell R. Wasendorf, Sr., chairman and CEO of, had championed the retail futures trader since starting his own brokerage in 1972.  Wasendorf spent a great deal of his time and capital to create the BESTDirect electronic platform for the firm’s customers. His idea was, well before 1998, to create an ultra-efficient “super broker” via new technologies. Noted Wasendorf: “I worked with my technology team to build a platform that would be ultra-efficient – a goal of accuracy 100 percent of the time, providing all necessary information on a timely basis, and the ability to take care of the trading customer’s margining and risk parameters on a real-time basis.  We created our BESTDirect platform to be a super broker that was fast, simple and reliable. We had it in the hands of customers in time to be one of the first retail groups ever to send trades to Globex, in 1998.” 

Proposed initially by CME Chairman Emeritus Leo Melamed in 1987, Globex was introduced in 1992. In its first launch, Globex used Reuters’ technology and network.  In 1998, the CME launched the second generation of Globex, on a modified version of the NSC trading system, developed by Paris Bourse for the MATIF (now Euronext.) 

Mr. Melamed said that Globex was founded in part due to CME’s belief that the retail trade would boost liquidity in E-mini stock index futures and that the product’s successes – both the E-mini futures and Globex trading engine – would transform the industry. “In September of 1997, in daring to launch our E-mini S&P contract, my colleagues and I at the CME put our reputation on the line.  We were out to prove that a futures product, designed specifically for the retail trade, would find a universe of participants.  More importantly, these users would trade electronically on Globex.  We were overwhelmingly proved correct.  The E-mini and its retail users were the launching pad for Globex and electronic trade. “

As the years went by, CME was able to grow the capability of Globex so that institutional groups could execute in larger lots, and the retail business became a smaller percentage of overall electronic volumes, even as it was a major contributor in building the liquidity level of Globex-traded products to a substantial level.

Explained Liam Boyle, CIO for, “In 1998, there was a limitation of order size to 20-lots on Globex, and that made it ideal for our retail audience.  Due to the limitation of lot size, institutions used Globex in a very limited way 10 years ago.”

In layman’s terms, according to Boyle, the electronic trading language used from 1998, is FIX (Financial Information Exchange) API.  This had its beginnings in the securities industry; the goal was to provide a common, global language for the automated trading of financial instruments. This language continues to be used for electronic trading by most exchanges today.

In 10 years of electronic trading: owns its own technology, so customers are never in the hands of any third party or independent software vendor to handle trades or market data.  Through its model of customer-driven technology, makes sure that customers are connected directly to the exchange order entry systems and market data. is one of the largest non-clearing U.S. futures commission merchants, with customers, affiliates and brokerage offices in more than 80 countries. It offers a range of trading and investor products and services for retail investors as well as for commercial and institutional clients.  The company is a leader in sustainable investing through diversified products including managed funds and forex, full-service brokerage, trader education, research, and direct online futures trading through its BESTDirect platform, now celebrating its 10th anniversary.  Please visit to learn more.