Duke Chapman was one of the legendary figures in the securities industry, first as an executive at the heart of one of the most amazing growth stories on Wall Street and then as the head of the Chicago Board Options Exchange during a crucial period in its history. He began his career as an attorney at the Securities and Exchange Commission and the New YorkStock Exchange and later joined Shearson, Hammill and Co. to begin a remarkable 20-year career on Wall Street. As the firm’s President and Chief Executive Officer, he negotiated a merger with a rival firm, Hayden Stone, headed by legendary dealmaker Sandy Weill. The combined firm grew rapidly through a series of mergers and acquisitions and was eventually acquired by American Express.
In 1986 he entered the second phase of his career, serving as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CBOE for 11 years. He provided leadership through the October 1987 market crash and oversaw a dramatic expansion in the range of options offered by the exchange. He also led initiatives aimed at improving investor education and cultivating new products suchas long-term options or LEAPS, and developing state-of-the-art trading and order automation systems. Former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt described Duke Chapman as “a man of great and generous humanity” who was “perfectly comfortable in the halls of power, whether Washington or Wall Street, London or LaSalle.”