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07/05/2009

Liffe (London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange) Trader Statue by Stephen Melton


This photo shows a modern sculpture by Stephen Melton stands in Walbrook almost opposite Cannon Street Station, just a couple of hundred yards from the main Liffe building. It shows a “Yuppie” trader conducting business on a cell phone. The plaque at his feet gives the information: “LIFFE Trader. Unveiled by Christine Mackenzie Cohen, Chairman of the trees, gardens and open spaces sub committee 1st October 1997”. It was intended as a celebration of the City's most colourful characters, but already it is taking on the air of a memorial. "Here lies the Unknown Trader - we will remember him."
The London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange (LIFFE) is a futures exchange based in London. LIFFE is now part of NYSE Euronext following its takeover by Euronext in January 2002 and Euronext's merger with New york Stock Exchange in April 2007.
LIFFE accredited traders, particularly those engaged in the open outcry trading pits, could and did earn high salaries at the price of a demanding and stressful job. Floor support personnel (Runners, Midoffice and exchange staff), in contrast, usually earned a lot less. LIFFE floor staff were easily identified by their distinctive and brightly coloured blazers (yellow jackets for Runners) and badges with three-letter IDs called 'Mnemonics'.

2 comments:

Frank said...

The size of the mobile phone is so 90's !

Retarius said...

Ditto to Frank's comment. What I also notice is that, apart from the mobile phone and the laminated badges, the figure's costume could be from any time in the past hundred years. It's interesting how costume has stabilised, compared to the wild variations which occurred in the thousand years prior to the nineteenth century.