Raj Fernando, successful trader and entrepreneur, founded Chopper Trading in 2002. He revealed his unusual hiring strategies to Smart Business. At the end, they focused on his personal information.
Raj Fernando was born in Denmark, and came to the United States when he was still a baby. His father was a Fulbright Scholar from New York University and his mother went to Julliard. However, after his father completed his scholarship, under its terms, he had to leave the United States for two years. Then he returned and became a citizen, bringing Fernando along with him.
Fernando began volunteering for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange while still attending Beloit College as an undergraduate. After graduating, he took an entry-level position and worked his way up. In 2002 he founded his own firm. “Chopper” doesn’t refer to what he does to other traders, but was named for his dog.
He says he got the best financial advice of his career while serving as Hillary Clinton’s Illinois Finance Chair. During the course of the campaign he meet a number of billionaires, and they all told him to surround himself with the best people he could.
To relax, he enjoys playing the guitar and drums. He knows he should exercise, but doesn’t do as much as he knows he should. He does go out with people from work.
Foreign policy interests him, so is on the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Foreign Policy Leadership Committee and the American Security Project. He brings to the table his extensive experience at safeguarding computer communications across national lines. Stephen A. Cheney, a Retired Brigadier General and Chief Executive Officer of the American Security Project said Fernando’s cyber-security expertise was a national asset.
Fernando also participated in 2010, for the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission he participated in a discussion on trading practices that are disruptive to the financial markets.
In keeping with his affection for his pet dogs, one of Fernando’s favorite charities is PAWS Chicago. That’s a no-kill animal shelter where he serves on the board of directors. He’s donated to The Clinton Foundation, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Illinois Holocaust Museum and The Steppenwolf Theatre.