Richard Sandor, Now Part of the French Legion of Honor, on Chicago Tonight

Interview: Richard Sandor
Josclynn Brandon
Chicago Tonight
October 29, 2013

Sandor is a Lecturer in Law at the Law School. A press release from his company, Environmental Financial Products LLC, provides more details on his award:

CHICAGO, Oct. 28, 2013 - Dr. Richard Sandor, renowned financial innovator and entrepreneur, on Friday accepted his award as Chevalier dans l´ordre de la Légion d´Honneur (Knight in the French National Order of the Legion of Honor) from François Delattre, France’s Ambassador to the United States, in a ceremony in Dr. Sandor’s home. The award, conferred upon Dr. Sandor by decree of the President of France, is the highest decoration granted by the French government.

First announced in July, the award acknowledges Dr. Sandor’s accomplishments in the field of environmental finance and carbon trading as well as his personal commitment and contribution to the promotion of French-American friendship. In bestowing the award, the French government focused on Dr. Sandor’s pioneer work in the design and implementation of innovative and flexible market-based mechanisms to address environmental problems, particularly to mitigate climate and environmental risks and to generate added value from a sustainable use of ecosystems.

As he presented the award, Ambassador Delattre said: “A man of great vision, you are driven by three main passions: innovation, environment and culture. France, which is at the forefront of the battle in favor of sustainable development, would like to recognize your accomplishments in the field of environmental finance and carbon trading.”

Dr. Sandor said: “I am extraordinarily honored to accept this award from the distinguished Ambassador on behalf of the French Republic. My interest in France goes back to early childhood, inspiring what has become a life-long interest in the country and its culture. I had the privilege of later working in France in environmental finance. To be recognized for the impact these innovations had on French-American relations is truly humbling.”

The Legion of Honor was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to reward extraordinary accomplishments and outstanding services rendered to France.

Dr. Sandor is chairman and chief executive officer of Environmental Financial Products LLC, which specializes in inventing, designing, and developing new financial markets. EFP was established in 1998 and was the predecessor company and incubator to the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), the European Climate Exchange (ECX) and the Chicago Climate Futures Exchange (CCFE). He is also a  Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School, where he teaches a course on “The Law and Economics of Natural Resource Markets."       

The City of Chicago has honored Dr. Sandor for his contribution to the creation of financial futures and his universal recognition as the “father of financial futures.” In October 2007, he was honored as one of TIME Magazine’s “Heroes of the Environment” for his work as the “Father of Carbon Trading.” He is also the author of “Good Derivatives: A Story of Financial and Environmental Innovation.” The book, now in its second printing, has just been published in Chinese by People's Oriental Press.

Dr. Sandor is also a visiting fellow with the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford; a distinguished professor of environmental finance at Guanghua School of Management at Peking University, and a member of Guanghua's International Advisory Council. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Milken Institute.

Dr. Sandor received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the City University of New York, Brooklyn College, and earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota in 1967. In 2004, he was the recipient of an honorary degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) of Zurich, Switzerland for his pioneering work in the design and implementation of innovative and flexible market-based mechanisms to address environmental concerns.

Richard L. Sandor