We re-established an investment in CME Group, Inc. (CME
) during the period. CME is the largest and most diversified derivatives marketplace in the U.S. Its exchanges support trading across a variety of asset classes, including interest rates, equity indexes, energy, agricultural commodities, foreign exchange and metals. We believe CME has the opportunity to significantly accelerate its growth rates due to the eventual normalization of interest rates and the attendant interest rate volatility. CME's interest rate trading volumes (ADV) have been depressed as a result of the Fed's zero interest rate policy and low interest rate volatility. For example, interest rate ADV was 4.8 million in 2012compared to 7.1 million in 2007, before the financial crisis. However, given the Fed's recent policy statements (discussed above), market participants are starting to anticipate an end to quantitative easing (QE). On May 30, CME experienced record volume for interest rate derivatives with ADV of 19.4 million. With the globalization of CME's business, a host of new products, and the regulatory requirement for interest rate swaps to be cleared on an exchange, we believe CME's interest rate volumes can surpass their prior peak, significantly driving earnings growth for the company.
From Baron Funds second quarter 2013 commentary