Fortis Clearing Americas
|Fortis Clearing Americas|
|Key People||Mark E. Cermak, director of execution services; Gary M. Katler, vice-president|
|Products||Clearing services for derivatives, bonds, equities and commodities|
Fortis Clearing Americas is a unit of France's BNP Paribas. BNP Paribas acquired the investment operations of the Belgo-Dutch financial services group Fortis when Fortis was forced to sell 75% of its Begium and Luxembourg holdings due to a solvency crisis. The business was originally formed with the 2006 merger of Fortis Clearing Chicago and Chicago-based O'Connor & Company.
Fortis launched its US operation in 2001, tripling the scale of its clearing operation with the acquisition of O'Connor & Company in November 2005. The deal closed in September 2006.
O'Connor & Company was established in 1959 by Edmund and William O'Connor, who helped launch the Chicago Board Options Exchange. In 1972, the O'Connor brothers founded First Options of Chicago which grew to become the largest clearing firm for option market makers in the world. First Options was later acquired by Spear Leeds & Kellogg in 1977.