Historical Timeline - 100 Years in the Making


  • RJO expands its operations in Europe through the acquisition of The Kyte Group Limited, now known as R.J. O'Brien Europe Limited.


  • R.J. O’Brien & Associates celebrates its 100th anniversary year. RJO remains the oldest futures brokerage firm in the United States and the last surviving founding member of CME.
  • To commemorate the Centennial, a video is produced that includes interviews with industry leaders, management, clients and members of the O’Brien family, including 95-year-old Robert J. O’Brien, Sr., for whom the company is named.
  • RJO today is the industry’s largest independent futures brokerage and clearing firm, with more than 500 employees and offices in Chicago, New York, London, Beijing, Hong Kong and Toronto.


  • RJO introduces a newly designed corporate logo and re-branding initiative.
  • The firm releases its first-ever mobile trading application, RJO Mobile Trader.
  • RJO expands Chicago institutional brokerage operation.


  • RJO invests in UK operation as a focal point for growth in Europe.


  • RJO assumes 20,000 of the 38,000 accounts at MF Global after that firm declares bankruptcy.
  • RJO CEO Gerald Corcoran testifies before U.S. House Committee on Agriculture on recommendations for strengthening industry’s financial safeguards.


  • O'Brien Family resumes majority interest in R.J. O'Brien & Associates LLC.
  • RJO becomes member of CBOE Futures Exchange.
  • RJO launches R.J. O’Brien & Associates Canada Inc., its first Canadian subsidiary.


  • RJO expands business in Asia opening operations in Hong Kong.


  • RJO partners with Powerline Petroleum, marking continued expansion into commodity hedges.


  • RJO partners with Spectrum Equity Investors and Technology Crossover Ventures. Gerald Corcoran assumes the additional role of Chairman.


  • RJO establishes first presence in Asia with a sales representative office in Beijing.


  • RJO releases new trading platform that includes real-time risk management, one click trading, depth of book and streaming quotes.


  • RJO launches a fund of funds product.
  • Retail online FX trading system launched at RJO.
  • O’Brien Investment Services, an RJO subsidiary serving self-directed private clients, becomes RJO Futures.


  • RJO joins the New York Mercantile Exchange and COMEX (now part of CME Group) and the New York Board of Trade (now ICE Futures U.S.).
  • RJO purchases SDC software, which provides real-time risk management of all customer accounts.


  • RJO re-brands its logo to better represent itself as a market leader.


  • RJO moves its offices to 222 S. Riverside Plaza.
  • John W. O'Brien named Chairman of the Board.
  • Robert O'Brien, Sr. named Chairman Emeritus.
  • Robert O'Brien, Jr. named Vice Chairman.
  • Gerald F. Corcoran named Chief Executive Officer.
  • RJO introduces Market Center Direct (MCD ©) trading platform.


  • RJO begins FX trading operations.


  • RJO introduces its Customer Access Terminal (CAT ©) order routing technology.


  • RJO joins London International Financial Futures Exchange (Liffe).


  • Gerald F. Corcoran named Chief Operating Officer and Director of RJO.


  • RJO joins the Chicago Board of Trade.


  • Mayor Richard M. Daley proclaims October 17 as R. J. O'Brien Day in Chicago in honor of the firm’s 75th anniversary. RJO has approximately 70 employees.


  • Gerald F. Corcoran joins RJO and is named Chief Financial Officer. Firm has approximately 35 employees.


  • John W. O'Brien, Sr., son of Robert J. O’Brien, Sr., named CEO of RJO.


  • RJO moves to 550 W. Jackson.


  • First live, direct-from-the-floor commodity report in broadcast history: "Bob O'Brien Commodity Report."


  • Robert O'Brien, Jr. named President of RJO.
  • Robert O’Brien, Sr. named Chairman of the Board of RJO.


  • RJO moves to 444 W. Jackson when CME relocates.


  • Robert O’Brien, Sr. made Director and Secretary of the new International Monetary Market upon creation of the world’s first financial futures.


  • John V. McCarthy company name officially changed to R.J. O’Brien & Associates (RJO).


  • Robert O’Brien, Sr. appears on Tonight Show presenting "Great Western Grand Champion Steer" to host Joey Bishop.


  • Robert O’Brien, Sr. elected Chairman of the Board of CME and served two consecutive one-year terms through 1968.


  • An RJO employee, 22-year-old Sandra Stephens, becomes the first woman ever to work on the floor of CME.
  • Robert O’Brien, Sr. elected Second Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.


  • First branch office established - Russ Brooks: Harlan, Iowa.


  • RJO takes first delivery of the new Live Cattle contract, the first live commodity traded on the CME floor.
  • Robert O’Brien, Sr. elected to Board of Governors of Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) (served continuously from 1964-1977).


  • John V. McCarthy dies.


  • Robert O’Brien, Sr. named President of John V. McCarthy.


  • Robert J. O'Brien, Sr., son-in-law of John V. McCarthy, joins firm and spends two years traveling through Midwest on a grassroots campaign, learning about clients and their businesses and visiting grain farms, hatcheries and egg companies. John V. McCarthy & Co. has four employees.


  • Geraldine McCarthy, daughter of John V. McCarthy, marries Robert J. O’Brien, Sr.


  • John V. McCarthy & Associates locates at 110 N. Franklin


  • Firm becomes founding member of Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) when it is transformed from the Chicago Butter & Egg Board.


  • John V. McCarthy & Co. established on October 17 as cash butter and egg house.