What Was the FINEX (Financial Instruments Exchange)?

FINEX (the Financial Instruments Exchange) was the financial instruments and currency products division of the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT). It listed and traded a variety of currency (forex) derivatives such as futures and options on futures.

FINEX was established in 1985 due to the rapid emergence of the financial derivatives sector. It is now a subsidiary of the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) after the ICE purchased the NYBOT in 2006. The last in-person FINEX trading session took place on Thursday, June 28, for Friday, June 29, 2007.

Key Takeaways

  • FINEX, or the Financial Instruments Exchange, was a division of the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT) dealing in currencies and other financial products.
  • FINEX has since been subsumed as part of the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) when it acquired the NYBOT in 2006.
  • FINEX and the rest of NYBOT previously specialized in physical commodities and open-outcry floor trading, but has become all-electronic since incorporation into the ICE.

Understanding the FINEX

In 1994, Financial Instruments Exchange became the first exchange division to operate trading floors on two continents by adding a trading facility in Dublin, Ireland. FINEX was initially the financial division of the New York Cotton Exchange (NYCE) until the NYBOT became the parent company of the NYCE in 1998. The New York Cotton Exchange (also called the  Coffee, Sugar, and Cocoa Exchange (CSCE)) was a commodities exchange founded in 1870 by a group of 100 cotton brokers and merchants at 1 Hanover Square in New York City. 

FINEX, along with the NYBOT, is now owned by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), where the FINEX moniker has largely disappeared and has been subsumed by other ICE divisions.

Since 2003, ICE's headquarters and trading facilities have been located in the New York Mercantile Exchange Building in the financial district.

Cryptocurrency exchanges Bitfinex and DigiFinex today use the FINEX moniker.

The Intercontinental Exchange

The Intercontinental Exchange, known as the ICE, began in 2000 as an electronic platform for trading energy futures and options. It owns stock, commodities, futures, and options exchanges in the United States, Europe, Canada, and Singapore. ICE bought the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 2013 for $11 billion. The ICE now holds on to and controls the remnants of the NYBOT and its FINEX division.

ICE's other holdings include NYSE ARCA, NYSE National, NYSE AMEX Options, NYSE ARCA Options, and NYSE Chicago. ICE also operates five central clearinghouses: ICE Clear U.S., ICE Clear Europe, ICE Clear Singapore, ICE Clear Credit, and ICE Clear Netherlands.

ICE became a publicly traded company on November 16, 2005, under the ticker symbol ICE, and was added to the Russell 1000 Index on June 30, 2006.

Today, the ICE is the third-largest exchange group in the world, behind Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) and the CME Group Inc., which owns the Chicago Board of Trade and the New York Mercantile Exchange.