Donald L. Horwitz Independent Consultant 312.613.9007 vCard

Donald L. Horwitz served as general counsel, secretary and chief compliance/regulatory officer at three Chicago-based exchanges (Intellectual Property Exchange International, North American Derivatives Exchange and Onechicago, LLC), and as an adjunct professor of futures and derivatives law and regulation at Chicago-Kent College of Law.

During his thirty-plus years in the industry, Mr. Horwitz focused on assisting futures commission merchants (FCMs), broker-dealers, derivatives exchanges and their central counterparty clearinghouses (CCPs). He served as general counsel and/or chief compliance officer to three FCMs (through mergers and acquisitions), president of a broker-dealer and several developing exchanges. He provided comprehensive legal, regulatory and strategic advice to those organizations’ chief executive officers and boards of directors. He was also called upon regularly to manage and resolve discrete and sensitive situations. Currently he is advising a designated contract market and several CPO’s and CTA’s with market regulation and compliance. He is also working with member NFA firms on their compliance with the NFA’s Information Systems Security Policies


  • Mr. Horwitz began his legal career in private practice in Detroit. He subsequently joined the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) New York Regional Office as a trial attorney focusing on investment fund and investment advisor litigation and major corporate reorganizations.
  • He joined legal the department at Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith and rose to general counsel and corporate secretary of the futures (commodities) subsidiary. He was actively involved in the so-called Hunt Silver Crisis and in a seminal futures Supreme Court decision, Curran v. Merrill Lynch. Additionally he led the effort to spin-off the FCM from the broker-dealer to provide financial protection to the broker-dealer. Following Merrill Lynch, he was in private practice at Kaye Scholer.
  • Horwitz served as general counsel and secretary for the Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) in Chicago. At the OCC Mr. Horwitz created the rules and regulations of the central counterparty (CCP) clearinghouse for all listed options after the 1987 crash, including cross-margining between security and futures options; the litigation regarding index participations (IPs); and the strategy and rules for cross currency exchange rates traded options where positions follow the daylight.
  • He returned to the FCM business OCC when he joined Sakura Dellsher, Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of the Sakura Bank as general counsel, head of compliance and corporate secretary. He was active in the firm’s expansion strategy that included the acquisition of a 35-person energy futures and spot trading firm in New York and the opening of an office in London. He also led the wind-down and asset sale of the business to ABN-Amro Incorporated.
  • As head of compliance at BrokerTec Futures Exchange and BrokerTec Clearing Company, he was actively involved in the launch; development of rules and procedures; and responsible for trading surveillance.
  • He rejoined ABM Amro as general counsel for the firm’s gobal futures businesswhere he was responsible for the legal matters of the world-wide futures business. During his tenure Mr. Horwitz created and negotiated the first joint venture between a U.S.-based FCM and a Chinese brokerage firm. Ultimately he led the legal team in the sale and transition of the global futures business to UBS Securities, LLC
  • Mr. Horwitz served as general counsel, managing director and chief regulatory officer for One Chicago LLC, the single stock futures exchange, and the only exchange to be jointly regulated by the both the SEC and the CFTC. Among his accomplishments was the completion of the legal and regulatory issues involved in the CFTC’s approval of its proprietary surveillance system.

Career Highlights

  • General Counsel & Chief Regulatory Officer & Secretary – North American Derivatives Exchange, Inc.
  • General Counsel, Managing Director, Chief Compliance Officer & Secretary – IPXI Holdings, Inc.
  • Founder and Managing Director – Donald Horowitz Consulting, LLC
  • Managing Director, General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer – OneChicago, LLC
  • Executive Director – Senior Attorney, Exchange Traded Derivatives – UBS, AG
  • General Counsel, Global Futures Division – ABN Amro Bank
  • Head of Compliance – BrokerTec Futures Exchange & Clearing Company/Eurex U.S.
  • General Counsel & Head of Compliance – Sakura Delisher, Inc. (President of Sakura Securities, Inc.)
  • Senior Attorney – Kaye Scholer LLP
  • Trail Attorney – Securities and Exchange Commission, New York Regional Office

Education, Accolades and Industry Commitments

  • B.A., University of Michigan
  • JD, Wayne State University Law School
  • FINRA Series 3, 7, 24 & 63
  • Admitted practice: Illinois, New York, & Michigan
  • American Bar Association, Derivatives and Futures Committee
  • New York City Bar Association; Chicago Bar Association
  • Futures Industries Association, President Law & Compliance Division
  • National Futures Association
  • Chicago Mercantile Exchange
  • Chicago-Kent College of Law Adjunct Professor
  • Editor and member of Board of Editors of the Futures & Derivatives Law Report (FDLR)
  • Contributing Editor, John Lothian Newsletters, MarketsReformWiki
  • Frequent speaker at industry-related conferences

Articles, Blogs and Presentations

Digital Asset Regulatory Challenges – Bill Reilly and Don Horwitz, NSCP Currents Magazine, July, 2018

Digital Assets – Are You Ready? – Blog post, June 12, 2018

Digital Assets and State Regulatory Challenges – Blog post, June 7, 2018

Cryptocurrencies and the Regulatory Challenges Around Them – Blog Post, May 29, 2018

You Can’t Regulate Bitcoins with Virtual Money – Reprinted with permission from Futures and Derivatives Law Report, Volume 38, Issue 4, K2018 Thomson Reuters.

The SECS 2017 Priorities: What They Are and What Compliance Professionals Need to Know– NSCP Currents, February, 2017.

“New SEC Derivatives Proposal May Cause Collateral Damage” – reprinted with permission from Fund Operations, March, 2016.

“Regulation AT” – What You Need to Know About the CFTC’s Proposed Rules for Algorithmic Trading – Blog Post, December 2, 2015

NFA Notice to Members Provides Guidance for Information Security Supervisory Procedures – Blog Post, September 16, 2015

Teaching Rulemaking in the Line of Fire – Donald L. Horwitz, Esq. – Reprinted with permission from Futures and Derivatives Law Report, Vol. 35, Issue 6

Client Advisory: NFA Interpretive Notice on Information Systems Security Programs – Donald L. Horwitz, Esq. – Reprinted with permission from the John Lothian News website.