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Steven Kaplan Speaks with Financial Innovator Richard Sandor About Creating New Markets

The University of Chicago’s Becker Friedman Institute, the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and the Coase-Sandor Institute for Law and Economics recently held a conversation between Chicago Booth professor Steven N. Kaplan and Richard L. Sandor, a financial innovator and entrepreneur.

Led by Kaplan, the Neubauer Family Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance at the Booth School of Business and Kessenich E.P. Faculty Director of the Polsky Center, Sandor looked back on his career, which spans five decades.

During this time, Sandor created three new markets: T-Bond Futures, Climate Futures, and AMERIBOR (American Inter-Bank Offering Rate), the successor to LIBOR. On how he did this, Sandor said, “If you want to be on time for a financial innovation, you better be early.” He then went on to discuss his process from the brainstorming phase to the actual implementation of his ideas, as well as obstacles he faced.

When asked from where he gets the idea for new markets, Sandor responded, “I think, like anything else, there’s an ‘aha’ moment, right? The ‘what is the source of this’? And there’s no formula for it.”

Currently, Sandor serves as Chairman and CEO of the American Financial Exchange (AFX), the electronic exchange company, and as CEO of Environmental Financial Products, which specializes in inventing, designing, and developing new financial markets. Sandor is also the Aaron Director Lecturer in Law and Economics at the University of Chicago Law School.


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