On Tuesday, March 6, Austin Mendez successfully pitched CME Group (NYSE: CME) to be added into the SMIF portfolio. CME Group, the largest derivatives exchange by trade volume, operates within an industry with very high barriers to entry. Austin is confident that CME has positioned itself to see strong growth in the coming years. Through its strategic partnerships with exchanges across the globe, CME is poised for consistent trade volume growth as the economies and derivatives markets in developing countries continue to expand. The exchange has seen various successes in releasing new products, targeting these developing markets, and has plans to continue this initiative in 2018. In addition to the exchange increasing its global presence, Austin’s investment thesis encompassed expanding new and existing product lines, the reemergence of market volatility, and a strong commitment to shareholders. Securities exchanges was a subsector of financials that the portfolio did not hold. Investing in CME Group would expand the breadth of the portfolio’s financial sector holdings and add a security with less correlation to XLF and the large banks already in the portfolio. The class unanimously approved Austin’s motion to purchase 40 shares of CME Group, to be funded through the sale of 230 shares of XLF.