Rigged: The True Story of a Wall Street Novice who Changed the World of Oil Forever is a New York Times Best Selling book by author Ben Mezrich. The book recounts the story of David Russo, a protagonist character based on the life of John D’Agostino. Summit Entertainment acquired the screen rights to Rigged and the book has been optioned for movie production.
Mezrich maintains that the book is non-fiction despite the narrative style of writing. Rigged is published as a biography and described by John D’Agostino as 90% accurate.
David Russo, fresh from Harvard Business School, secures a job in Wall Street as the dot-com bubble had just depressed the market. A chance meeting led to an opportunity at New York Mercantile Exchange—the world’s largest energy exchange. At the Merc, he finds his working-class background helps him compete in the aggressive atmosphere. Russo quickly rises to become the Head of Strategy where he helps in the transition to electronic trading. In the aftermath of 9-11, Russo joined with colleagues to establish the Dubai Mercantile Exchange, a partnership between NYMEX and the government of Dubai. Through this venture, Russo helped accelerate the development of capital markets in the region.
John Joseph D’Agostino is an American entrepreneur, and globally recognized leader in exchanges, asset management and market structure. John is currently managing director at Alkeon Capital Management, a multi-billion New York-based investment manager with offices in New York, Boston and Hong Kong. As head of strategy for the New York Mercantile Exchange, he was responsible for originating the Dubai Mercantile Exchange, the first Middle East commodity derivatives exchange. John was featured in ‘The Startup of You” by Reid Hoffman in 2012. He is the founder of Dagger LLC, a strategic consulting and advisory services. John has keynoted over 30 global events on such topics as Negotiation, Markets, Hedge Funds and other business and global economic/political issues and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Television, Barron’s, Fox, CNBC and many other financial and non-financial media.
John grew up in a working-class family in Brooklyn, New York. He earned a scholarship to attend Regis High School and subsequently Williams College, Oxford University, and Harvard Business School.
After graduating from Harvard Business School, John joined the New York Mercantile Exchange where he helped transition floor to electronic trading. He quickly became the exchange’s youngest Head of Strategy and led the effort to create the Dubai Mercantile Exchange in partnership with the Dubai Government. John’s work laid the foundations for accelerating the development of capital markets in the region.
In 2007, John’s story was the focus of the New York Times Bestseller, “Rigged, the True Story of an Ivy League Kid who Changed the World of Oil,” by Ben Mezrich. Rigged has been optioned for movie production by Summit Entertainment.
Due to exposure through his work and the novel based on his life, John has taken a public role through lectures and media appearances to promote the unique message that global finance can be a conduit for improved geo-political stability and cooperation. He has written case studies used by Harvard University and has been a guest lecturer for INSEAD University. In 2012, John was a speaker at the Australian Davos Forum in Hayman Island, Australia. He also guest lectured for the United States Navy on the topic of “financial exchange expansion as an indicator of shifting political power” and advised the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing on its successful $1.3 billion acquisition of the London Metal Exchange.