Edelman emerges to land CME account

Chicago: The Chicago Mercantile Exchange has picked Edelman as its PR agency of record.

Chicago: The Chicago Mercantile Exchange has picked Edelman as its PR agency of record.

The CME considered a dozen agencies and heard final presentations from three before selecting Edelman to help it gain visibility in the US and abroad.

Edelman won the business because "they showed the greatest level of understanding," said Ellen Resnick, CME director of corporate communications. "We were looking for a firm

that could have a global presence, a strong presence in Chicago, financial expertise, and the ability to understand complex issues."

At the end of 2002, the CME became the first major US exchange to offer shares to the public via an IPO. It faces increasing competition from all-electronic exchanges and non- US-based exchanges. The CME does 44% of its business electronically, and in the first quarter recorded more revenue from electronic trading than from its traditional floor trading for the first time, Resnick noted.

Edelman will have eight people working on the account, led by Jeff Zilka, EVP of financial communications in Chicago, and Hollis Rafkin-Sax, global managing director, financial communications, in its New York office. Edelman's Washington, DC office will also work on the account, as will its London office for events there. "It is a high-level team," Zilka said.

Edelman wants to position the CME as an innovation leader in the world of futures and options, as well as an organization that will survive and prosper as exchanges around the world consolidate. "The CME is a very proactive, change-embracing organization," Zilka said.

Edelman will use media relations, special events, and the CME's website to get out its messages. It also plans to seek out speaking opportunities for CME officials.

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