Leo Melamed receives highest Japanese honor

CME Group, a leading derivatives marketplace, announced that Leo Melamed, CME Group Chairman Emeritus, was conferred the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, by the Government of Japan.

The Order of the Rising Sun decoration represents one of the highest awards the Government of Japan can confer on someone who is not a Head of State or Royalty.  Its standing is comparable to that of the United States’ Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Melamed was recognized for initiating financial futures worldwide, for his outstanding contribution to Japan-U.S. relationships, and for promoting recognition of Consul General, Chiune Sugihara’s life-saving deeds during World War II.

“I am both honored and humbled to be bestowed the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star decoration by the Emperor of Japan,” said Leo Melamed, CME Group Chairman Emeritus.  “My ties to Japan run deep.  And it was at my urging that CME Group set up its first Asian office in Tokyo exactly 30 years ago.  Since then, we have been working very closely to further the development of Japan’s futures markets.”

Melamed has a strong affinity with Japan.  As a young boy fleeing the Nazis in World War II, Melamed and his family were issued life-saving transit visas to seek refuge in Japan by Chiune Sugihara, then-Japanese Consul General to Lithuania.  Sugihara was widely credited with helping thousands of Jews flee Europe during the Holocaust.

Recognized as the founder of financial futures markets, Melamed was instrumental in the creation and launch of CME Group’s FX, interest rate and stock index futures markets at the International Monetary Market (IMM) of the CME, and the exchange’s CME Globex electronic trading system.  He served as CME/IMM Chairman of the Board from 1969 through 1977, and as Chairman Emeritus since 1997.  Melamed is the author of several books and the recipient of numerous awards.  He was named by the editor of the Chicago Tribune, “among the 10 most important Chicagoans in business of the 20th Century..  He serves in advisory and board roles across various organizations including the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the China Securities Regulatory Commission, National Futures Association, the University of Chicago’s Becker Friedman Institute and LEAP Innovations.  Melamed currently serves as Chairman and CEO of Melamed & Associates, a global consulting group.

The Order of the Rising Sun was established by Emperor Meiji in 1875 and was Japan’s first award in its honor system. Awarded to both Japanese and non-Japanese nationals, it is one of the most prestigious awards and is given to those who have demonstrated notable achievements in the following fields: international relations, advancements in their field, promotion of Japanese culture and developments in welfare or preservation of the environment.