Statement on the passing of futures industry pioneer Leslie Rosenthal

Rosenthal Collins Group LLC (RCG), an independent futures brokerage and clearing firm, has issued the following statement on the Sept. 16, passing of its co-founder and Managing Partner Leslie Rosenthal at the age of 84 after a brief illness:

J. Robert Collins, the firm’s other co-founder and Managing Partner, said: “Our hearts are heavy with the loss of one of the industry’s great leaders and my friend and partner for the past three decades. His breadth of knowledge, depth of experience, creativity and passion for the business helped make the futures industry what it is today. I will miss Les greatly, but it has been an honor to build and grow our business together and to ensure that we always put our clients first in every situation.”

RCG Chairman & CEO Scott Gordon said: “It’s been a profound privilege to work with Les over the better part of my career. He had the rare combination of qualities that made him so successful, not only as a visionary and strategist but as the most pragmatic person I’ve encountered. Our staff will miss his brilliance and sense of humor. While he won’t be around to see through some of the latest seeds we’ve planted for our growth, he made his imprint on the foundation we’ve laid in recent months, and we will proudly carry on the principles that he and Bob have instilled in our organization.”

Rosenthal spent his entire career in the futures industry and was inducted into the FIA Futures Hall of Fame in its inaugural year in 2005. He first became a member of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) in 1958 and served for two terms as its Chairman beginning in 1981. He was also Chairman of the Board of Trade Clearing Corporation.  He was a director of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and MidAmerica Commodity Exchange and a founding member of the National Futures Association.

Starting his career as a trading floor runner, he worked his way up the ladder in the brokerage business and as a floor trader, founding his own brokerage firm, Rosenthal & Co., in 1970 as a CBOT clearing member. In 1988, he merged his business with Collins Commodities, which traced its roots back to 1923 with the founding of Greene and Collins. Together, they became Rosenthal Collins Group.

Les Rosenthal was an early and vocal proponent of introducing financial futures contracts as well as electronic trading. He said: “Unless you do something to change with the times, you become non-existent.”