Difference between revisions of "Thomas H. Dittmer"

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Tom Dittmer is a retired commdodities brokerage executive.  He retired as chairman of [[Refco| Refco Group]] in 1999, a firm he cofounded.  
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Tom Dittmer is a retired commodities brokerage executive who co-founded REFCO in 1969 with his step-father [[Ray E. Friedman]], for whom the company was named.  He retired as chairman of [[Refco| Refco Group]] in 1999.
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Dittmer was a former U.S. Army honor guard at the Whitehouse, serving during the Johnson Administration. He was part of the U.S. Army's prestigious 3rd Infantry Old Guard and he served as a White House social aide.<ref>{{cite web |url=https://www.nytimes.com/1988/03/27/magazine/suddenly-it-s-chicago.html|name=SUDDENLY, IT'S CHICAGO|org=Chicago Tribune|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref><ref>{{cite web |url=https://beta.myvintro.com/reviewers/view/5f22d0e0-0b2b-434a-9502-86721124dc4b|name=Thomas Dittmer|org=Vintro|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref>
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His connections to the Whitehouse would help Dittmer win a pardon for his step-father, [[Ray E. Friedman]], who was convicted in the 1950s of fraud in selling chickens to the U.S. Army.
  
 
== Biography ==
 
== Biography ==
Under his leadership, [[Refco]] was one of the first U.S. futures firms to build an international presence. Dittmer took an early interest in bringing foreign customers to U.S. markets; when the [[Chicago Board of Trade]] launched night trading sessions in 1987 to capture Japanese demand for Treasury futures, he personally directed floor operations to make sure that the trading got off to a good start. In 2006, he was inducted into the [[Futures Industry Association]] [[Futures Hall of Fame]].<ref>{{cite web|name="Thomas H. Dittmer”|url=http://www.futuresindustry.org/thomas-h.-dittmer.asp|org= www.futuresindustry.org|date=Nov. 30, 2007}}</ref>
 
  
Refco was one of the most fined firms in the history of the futures industry and in 1979, REFCO was fined by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange a then record $250,000 fine and Dittmer received a six-month trading suspension.<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.trendfollowing.com/whitepaper/SSRN-id1145930.pdf|name=https://www.trendfollowing.com/whitepaper/SSRN-id1145930.pdf|org=Trendfollwoing.com|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref>
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Dittmer was raised in Sioux City, Iowa.
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<ref>{{cite web|name="WEDDINGS; Sandy Hill, Thomas Dittmer ”|url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B06EED91231F936A25757C0A9679C8B63 |org=www.nytimes.com|date=Nov. 30, 2007}}</ref> Dittmer was raised by just his mother. During his primary and high school years he overcame poverty, illness, dyslexia and a stutter.
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Dittmer went on to graduate from the University of Iowa. Dittmer later in life would write a thin biography titled "Talkin’ Big–How an Iowa Farm Boy Beat the Odds to Found and Lead One of the World’s Largest Brokerage Firms."<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.classicchicagomagazine.com/the-dittmers-big-talkin-from-frances-tom/|name=Big Talkin’ from Frances and Tom Dittmer|org=ClassicChicagoMagazine.com|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref>
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In his book "Escape to the Futures," Leo Melamed wrote that Dittmer would sell watches on the floor of the IMM to help make "extra cash."<ref>{{cite web|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=R3eMEZxHLBEC&pg=PA189&lpg=PA189&dq=Thomas+Dittmer++Whitehouse+guard&source=bl&ots=pEHdsBYPGV&sig=ACfU3U2PT4o_euBMmWBw66-T04h5iOwInQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjs2OmMw6rqAhWUZM0KHc43DDEQ6AEwD3oECAsQAQ#v=onepage&q=Thomas%20Dittmer%20%20Whitehouse%20guard&f=false|name=Leo Melamed:Escape to the Futures|org=Google Books}}E</ref><ref>{{cite web |url=https://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/19940409/ISSUE01/100012458/refco-s-reluctant-day-in-the-sun-whitewater-shines-light-on-secretive-firm-ceo|name=REFCO'S RELUCTANT DAY IN THE SUN WHITEWATER SHINES LIGHT ON SECRETIVE FIRM, CEO|org=Crain's Chicago Business|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref>
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==REFCO==
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Under his leadership, [[Refco]] was one of the first U.S. futures firms to build an international presence. Dittmer took an early interest in bringing foreign customers to U.S. markets; when the [[Chicago Board of Trade]] launched night trading sessions in 1987 to capture Japanese demand for Treasury futures, he personally directed floor operations to make sure that the trading got off to a good start. In 2006, he was inducted into the [[Futures Industry Association]] [[Futures Hall of Fame]].<ref>{{cite web|name="Thomas H. Dittmer” |url=http://www.futuresindustry.org/thomas-h.-dittmer.asp|org= www.futuresindustry.org|date=Nov. 30, 2007}}</ref>
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Refco was one of the most fined firms in the history of the futures industry and in 1979, REFCO was fined by the [[Chicago Mercantile Exchange]] a then record $250,000 fine and Dittmer received a six-month trading suspension.<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.trendfollowing.com/whitepaper/SSRN-id1145930.pdf|name=The Due Diligence Defense and the Refco IPO |org=Trendfollwoing.com|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref>
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In 1999, the year Dittmer retired from REFCO, the firm paid a $8 million fine to the CFTC for accusations it helped manipulate customer accounts. In 1999, REFCO also suffered from customer defaults and Dittmer supposedly made a deal with Edwin L. Cox, a Texas businessman who was convicted of bank fraud and pardoned by U.S. President George H. W. Bush, to help restore the business. According to a lawsuit filed and lost by Cox, Dittmer offered Cox 50% of REFCO should the company rebound.<ref>{{cite web|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=Z7qTGiF8FCgC&pg=PA578&lpg=PA578&dq=Ray+E.+Friedman+pardon&source=bl&ots=lFfbtin0Hf&sig=ACfU3U1UWnhSwzW0FEdeM-c_nRgjdEntkA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjKraTlyKrqAhVVAZ0JHd2FAIIQ6AEwAHoECAwQAQ#v=onepage&q=Ray%20E.%20Friedman%20pardon&f=false|name=A Financial History of Modern U.S. Corporate Scandals: From Enron to Reform|org=Google Books|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref>
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As part of his exit from REFCO, the trade publication Securities Week reported in December of 1999 that Dittmer's separation agreement included a lucrative provision that he would receive a payout should REFCO ever went public or was bought.
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The dispute occurred when a majority stack in REFCO was sold in 2004 and Dittmer received $85 million. Cox claimed he was owned half, sued and lost.<ref>{{cite web |url=https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB113046518635682157|name=Refco Had 'Life Threatening' Troubles In 1990s as Customers Suffered Losses|org=Wall Street Journal|date=June 30, 2020}}</ref>
  
 
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Dittmer promoted [[Phil Bennett]] from CFO to CEO of Refco and brought in [[Dennis Klenja]], who had been the head of the enforcement division of the CFTC. The moves were seen by some on Wall Street as an attempt to clean up its image.  
Dittmer was raised in Sioux City, Iowa, and graduated from the University of Iowa.
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<ref>{{cite web|name="WEDDINGS; Sandy Hill, Thomas Dittmer ”|url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B06EED91231F936A25757C0A9679C8B63 |org=www.nytimes.com|date=Nov. 30, 2007}}</ref>
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== Other Affiliations ==
 
== Other Affiliations ==

Revision as of 17:46, 30 June 2020

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Tom Dittmer is a retired commodities brokerage executive who co-founded REFCO in 1969 with his step-father Ray E. Friedman, for whom the company was named. He retired as chairman of Refco Group in 1999.

Dittmer was a former U.S. Army honor guard at the Whitehouse, serving during the Johnson Administration. He was part of the U.S. Army's prestigious 3rd Infantry Old Guard and he served as a White House social aide.[1][2]

His connections to the Whitehouse would help Dittmer win a pardon for his step-father, Ray E. Friedman, who was convicted in the 1950s of fraud in selling chickens to the U.S. Army.

Biography

Dittmer was raised in Sioux City, Iowa. [3] Dittmer was raised by just his mother. During his primary and high school years he overcame poverty, illness, dyslexia and a stutter.

Dittmer went on to graduate from the University of Iowa. Dittmer later in life would write a thin biography titled "Talkin’ Big–How an Iowa Farm Boy Beat the Odds to Found and Lead One of the World’s Largest Brokerage Firms."[4]

In his book "Escape to the Futures," Leo Melamed wrote that Dittmer would sell watches on the floor of the IMM to help make "extra cash."[5][6]

REFCO

Under his leadership, Refco was one of the first U.S. futures firms to build an international presence. Dittmer took an early interest in bringing foreign customers to U.S. markets; when the Chicago Board of Trade launched night trading sessions in 1987 to capture Japanese demand for Treasury futures, he personally directed floor operations to make sure that the trading got off to a good start. In 2006, he was inducted into the Futures Industry Association Futures Hall of Fame.[7]

Refco was one of the most fined firms in the history of the futures industry and in 1979, REFCO was fined by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange a then record $250,000 fine and Dittmer received a six-month trading suspension.[8]

In 1999, the year Dittmer retired from REFCO, the firm paid a $8 million fine to the CFTC for accusations it helped manipulate customer accounts. In 1999, REFCO also suffered from customer defaults and Dittmer supposedly made a deal with Edwin L. Cox, a Texas businessman who was convicted of bank fraud and pardoned by U.S. President George H. W. Bush, to help restore the business. According to a lawsuit filed and lost by Cox, Dittmer offered Cox 50% of REFCO should the company rebound.[9]

As part of his exit from REFCO, the trade publication Securities Week reported in December of 1999 that Dittmer's separation agreement included a lucrative provision that he would receive a payout should REFCO ever went public or was bought.

The dispute occurred when a majority stack in REFCO was sold in 2004 and Dittmer received $85 million. Cox claimed he was owned half, sued and lost.[10]

Dittmer promoted Phil Bennett from CFO to CEO of Refco and brought in Dennis Klenja, who had been the head of the enforcement division of the CFTC. The moves were seen by some on Wall Street as an attempt to clean up its image.

Other Affiliations

Dittmer is a benefactor of the arts and education, a trustee of the Art Institute of Chicago and Providence-St. Mel’s High School on Chicago’s west side.

Education

University of Iowa graduate

References

  1. SUDDENLY, IT'S CHICAGO. Chicago Tribune.
  2. Thomas Dittmer. Vintro.
  3. "WEDDINGS; Sandy Hill, Thomas Dittmer ”. www.nytimes.com.
  4. Big Talkin’ from Frances and Tom Dittmer. ClassicChicagoMagazine.com.
  5. Leo Melamed:Escape to the Futures. Google Books.E
  6. REFCO'S RELUCTANT DAY IN THE SUN WHITEWATER SHINES LIGHT ON SECRETIVE FIRM, CEO. Crain's Chicago Business.
  7. "Thomas H. Dittmer”. www.futuresindustry.org.
  8. The Due Diligence Defense and the Refco IPO. Trendfollwoing.com.
  9. A Financial History of Modern U.S. Corporate Scandals: From Enron to Reform. Google Books.
  10. Refco Had 'Life Threatening' Troubles In 1990s as Customers Suffered Losses. Wall Street Journal.