Once dubbed “Prince of the Pit”, Richard Dennis began his career as a runner at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange at the age of 17 and a few years later was trading for his own account from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade Building. Dennis is president of the Chicago-based Dennis Trading Group and vice-president of C&D Commodities.
Much of his early success involved following “the Great Russian Grain Robbery,” when the U.S. government secretly agreed to sell grain to the Soviet Union, driving up prices over an extended period. Over the years, Dennis, a trend follower, has lived by his strong belief that successful trading can be broken down into a set of rules and is an activity that can be learned rather than being an innate skill. To prove this theory, in the early 1980s he recruited and trained a group of traders in two groups called the “turtles,” inspired by a visit to a turtle farm in Singapore. The program with the turtles has since ended, but many of these traders have moved on to successful careers in the industry.