August 20, 2007

Phil Gocke ’73 Plays Key Role in Options Industry

He helps lead educational nonprofit and runs own firm

Phil Gocke ’73 made many connections in the 20 years he ran a trading company. One in particular — a former partner — offered him a unique opportunity.

“He moved to Chicago and became the vice chairman of the Options Clearing Corporation (OCC),” Gocke says. “He wanted to get involved in institutional marketing, and he called me and asked if I was interested in participating. I was.”

To help in this pursuit, the OCC — along with the six U.S. options exchanges — formed the nonprofit Options Industry Council (OIC), which educates the investing public and brokers about the benefits and risks of exchange-traded options.

Gocke joined the OIC in 2005 and is the organization’s managing director, institutional. His primary responsibility is to develop and implement an institutional marketing strategy.

Gocke remains president of Brite Sky LLC, the personal options trading firm he founded and runs from his Philadelphia-area home. He says his education and experience at Lafayette helped set the course for his career.

“I’m a big advocate of Lafayette,” says Gocke, an economics graduate who earned an MBA from New York University. “In hindsight, the broad liberal arts education I received was the best preparation I could have had as I entered the real world.”

Prior to his work with the OIC and Brite Sky, Gocke was a managing director and CEO of Van Der Moolen Options U.S.A. LLC, where his responsibilities for the Dutch parent — Van der Moolen N.V. — included all trading, marketing, compliance, and financial disclosure for the options specialist and market-making activities on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, International Securities Exchange, and Eurex/Deutsche Borse in Frankfurt, Germany.

He also has served as managing director of Tague Van Der Moolen LLC (TVDM) and held a similar position with Tague Securities Corporation/BancAmerica Options, Inc. until it was acquired by TVDM in 1999.

Gocke has been approved as a registered options principal, foreign currency options representative, and commodity futures representative, and he serves on or chaired a number of Philadelphia Stock Exchange and ISE management committees.

He also has developed a workshop on options, and has given numerous lectures at educational institutions and professional organizations around the world. Before moving to Philadelphia, he was a vice president and chief adviser for Bank of America’s Financial Market Advisory Group and a senior foreign exchange trader for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

“My first position at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was a fabulous learning time,” Gocke notes. “The position came directly from a senior officer and alumnus of Lafayette who regularly recruited at his alma mater.”

The Lafayette connection resurfaced later in his career.

“Dr. Bernie Katz, economics professor, was my mentor [at Lafayette],” he explains. “I had the honor of hiring Bernie to be a part-time economist in the dealing room of Bank of America. Bernie would give us instant analysis of economic statistics when they were released. In later years, this function became common in dealing rooms in New York City.”

These days, Gocke’s ties with the College come mainly from regular contact with his Phi Delta Theta fraternity brothers.

“Unfortunately, Phi Delt is no longer active on campus, but it continues to be our cord to the past,” he says.

And Gocke has one more key bond with his alma mater—his son, Timothy Gocke ’05.

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