Our Leadership Team
Our leadership team represents a wide variety of disciplines and brings unique perspectives to influence the direction of the business.
Robert Merrilees – Founder, Co-Head of Trading
Rob founded Spot in 1999, and is currently Co-Head of Trading. Prior to founding Spot, Rob was managing director and head of U.S. equities trading at Stafford Trading in Chicago from 1996 to 1998. He was managing partner at G-Bar Limited Partnership from 1991 to 1995, and he worked at G-Bar as an off-floor trader and risk manager from 1987 to 1990. Rob holds an A.B. from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Stephen Brodsky – Chief Executive Officer
Steve assumed the role of CEO in 2013, having joined Spot in 2010 as the Chief Financial Officer. He has 20 years of capital markets and finance experience, most recently as a Managing Director at Vernon & Park Capital from 2008 to 2010. Steve was previously the President of CHX Holdings, the parent Company of the Chicago Stock Exchange, where he also served as the exchange’s Chief Financial Officer. He joined the CHX in 2003 as Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning. Steve has also worked as Vice President in the Investment Banking division of Mesirow Financial, after starting his career at John Nuveen and Company. Steve is a member of the National Organization of Investment Professionals and the ChicagoNEXT FinTech Council. He holds a B.A. from Syracuse University and a J.D./M.B.A. from Northwestern University.
Edward Haravon – Chief Operating Officer
Ed has been with Spot since 2002 and has over 20 years of proprietary trading industry experience. As Spot’s COO, Ed’s responsibilities include seeking ways to grow Spot’s proprietary options trading business in line with its strategic and tactical goals, and growing Spot’s talent base through hiring and training. Prior to assuming his current responsibilities, Ed served most recently as Chief Administrative Officer, beginning his career with Spot as a trader. Before joining Spot, he was a trader with Stafford Trading from 1998 to 2002. Ed is a member of the Global Board of Help For Children (HFC), an international organization committed to preventing and treating child abuse, and also works on HFC’s Committee of Hearts for the Midwest Region. Ed received his B.A. in Mathematics from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, holds his FINRA Series 24 securities license, and is a member of the Security Traders Association of Chicago.
Michael Hoban – Co-Head of Trading
Mike has been with Spot since 2004 and has over 25 years of proprietary trading industry experience. Mike has held a variety of senior roles at Spot, and is currently Co-Head of Trading. Prior to joining Spot, Mike was a Vice President at TD Options LLC from 2002 to 2004. Before joining TD Options, Mike was a Managing Member of ZH Partners JV, an equity option specialist firm on the CBOE from 1999 to 2001. During this time, he also served on the CBOE’s Financial Planning Committee. From 1994 to 1998, Mike was an equity and index option trader on the CBOE for Stafford Trading and Timber Hill. Mike holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Notre Dame and an M.B.A. in Finance from LaSalle University and also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
Nigel Young – Chief Technology Officer
Nigel has been with Spot since 2007 and has over 20 years of experience in technology and IT roles. He began his tenure at Spot as the Director of IT Infrastructure, and served as the Director of Technology before being promoted to Chief Technology Officer. As Chief Technology Officer, Nigel is responsible for Spot’s software development, quality assurance, architectural standards, and IT support and operations teams. Nigel has led the development of technology that has resulted in making Spot’s systems more innovative and robust. Prior to joining Spot, Nigel has held technology leadership roles at IBM 1996 to 1998, Robert Flemings & Co Merchant Bank 1998 to 2002, Heritage Flemings JP Morgan Chase 2000 to 2002, Citadel Investment Group 2002 to 2004 and most recently lead the IT Infrastructure group at Quantitative Risk Management Inc. Nigel has a B.A. in Business Studies from the University of Salford in Manchester, England.