From: Patrick A. Walsh
I, Patrick A. Walsh purchased a CBOT full membership in 1998. One of the reasons I bought this membership was the fact that it included an exercise right which gave me " the right" to become a member of The CBOE without purchasing a separate membership. The exercise right was a big part of the allure of buying this full membership.
As plainly as I can state it, I believe The CBOE's attempt to extinguish this right violates basic principles of contractual agreements. I only want what is fair. I can remember explaining to my parents that the reason I bought the full was that it also gave me a CBOE membership if I ever needed or wanted to trade there. I learned in grade school that a deal is a deal, especially when there is a signed contract.
While I can understand that the CBOE members want to benefit from a demutualization as much as possible, like it or not, they are partners with the CBOT on this. When I entered into an agreement to buy the CBOT full, I absolutely knew that I was getting the CBOE as well. I had a friend who asked me to go in with him to buy a CBOE membership about 3 years ago. I replied to him that I already owned one through the CBOT full. Therefore, there was no need for me to buy one.
If one were to rewind the clock about 5 or 6 years( a time when no exchanges were public companies), The CBOT and The CBOE were really viewed as one in the same when speaking of the CBOT full membership. It seems almost unethical that they would try and squeeze out the CBOT from the benefits of a demutualization. Their ploy is akin to a brother or a sister attempting to horde an inheritance for themselves even though the will explicitly states that the estate will be split equally amongst all the children in the family. It is certainly a nice try: but justice will give equal distribution to both the CBOE and the CBOT exercise right holders.
Please uphold not only the spirit but the letter of this agreement and rule against the CBOE's proposed rule change. I will personally challenge via the courts any ruling that does not give equal share distribution in this matter.
Patrick A. Walsh