Raj Fernando began his life in Denmark, July 1971. The youngest of three children, he moved to the United States at the age of one. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in economics and history, then later studied at the University College London.
While attending college, Fernando’s career life started with volunteering at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He then held various positions there and at the Chicago Board of Trade from 1991-2001. One year later, Fernando started Chopper Trading.
The trading floor at Chopper Trading tends to look much different at closing then would other traditional trading floors. At Chopper Trading, one would find the 150 employees at play. Yes, CEO Fernando encourages fun: some employees lift weights, while others play table tennis or poker. He figures that the business, by nature, is stressful enough. Fernando wants employees who will get along with each other, thus creating a pleasant atmosphere. While a CEO, Fernando created, utilized, and managed some very practical risk management, communications, trading, monitoring, and source code security systems ever seen in the financial industry.
In Fernando’s hiring tactics, he refuses to hire a bunch of people just to put them through a training program then fire the majority of them afterwards. Raj Fernando states, “We don’t care how much money somebody’s going to make us; if they’re going to make all of us miserable, we don’t want them here.” He wishes for all hires to stay until retirement.
In 2016, one year after selling Chopper Trading, Fernando started a dot com business, Scoutahead. This internet business is designed to improve corporate and professional growth and productivity through secure and advanced communication systems.
Finally, Fernando is well known for his philanthropy and political contributions. He sits on the board of directors for PAWS Chicago, an animal shelter having a no kill policy. He also has made political contributions since 2003 to Democratic candidates.