Raj Fernando’s Chopper Trading Employs Top Players

When markets open, the trading floor is usually busy. However, when they close, Chopper Trading becomes a different room. The company’s 150 employees lift weights and wind down by playing poker and table tennis at the 3,000-square-foot space. After work, the employees spend their time together by going out or using the company’s season tickets to attend Blackhawks, Sox, Cubs and Bulls games.

The CEO of Chopper Trading, Raj Fernando, asserts that the nature of the company’s business is stressful. To this end, he ensures that the working atmosphere is favorable in order to counter the effects of stress and enable employees to get along. Fernando’s hiring process is distinct from that of his competitors. Most of his competitors enroll 30 potential candidates in their training program, only to hire 3 employees and reject the 27. Raj’s hiring process is lengthy and more engrossing. His objective is to recruit employees that will someday retire from the company. When founding Chopper Trading in 2002, he came up with one rule for recruiting employees. Raj said that he would not focus on the money that one would help the company make. He continued to contend that if an employee makes everyone miserable, he or she would be rejected.
Raj enrolled at Beloit College where he pursued a degree in economics and history. He is also an alumnus of the University College London. Between 1991 and 2001, he worked for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange by starting as a volunteer. Raj worked his way up the corporate ladder at the company and later, at the Chicago Board of Trade. Under his leadership at the Chopper Trading, the company recruited more than 250 employees and started trading on the CME, Cantor Fitzgerald-espeed, LSE, Eurex, ICAP-Broketek and ICE.

At the US Commodity Trading Futures Commission (CFTC), Raj was the greatest supporter of its mission, which included enhancing and fostering competitive, financially sound, transparent and open markets. Over the years, he has addressed different audiences on various forums. In 2015, DRW Trading Group purchased Chopper Trading. DRW is a trading firm based in Chicago. This year, Fernando established a start-up internet company, Scoutahead. This corporation was designed to augment professional and corporate growth and productivity in the form of advanced and secure communication systems.

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