Raj Fernando runs his firm Chopper Trading differently. He doesn’t want to burn out and fire the bottom 90% of new-hires from the latest class of graduating college seniors. He wants to retain 100%, for the remainder of their lives. That’s an unusual attitude in the 21st century, but it works for Fernando.

When an applicant expresses interest in working for Chopper Trading, they have that person visit the office so they can see the difference for themselves. Fernando says he doesn’t want them to turn down lots of other jobs, move to Chicago and only then realize they don’t enjoy working there. He wants people for whom Chopper Trading fits just as well as they fit Chopper Trading.

Chopper traders such as John Sizemore, who also travels to meet the potential recruits, takes the applicant trading assistants on tours of the office. He points how there are no walls between the desk, because Fernando wants employees to communicate and share information. That keeps the atmosphere open for the entire team. So does the large break room where employees can relax to deal with stress by hanging out and socializing together. They start that screening process right at the beginning of the recruiting process. They don’t wear $200 ties and act like top-level executives and salespeople. They don’t try to impress the candidates they hope to recruit.

Raj Fernando began working in the markets while still attending Beloit College. He volunteered at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. After graduating, he took an entry-level position, then worked himself up. After years with the Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade, he founded Chopper Trading in 2002. He grew Chopper Trading into a major participant in the world’s financial markets. He implemented a sophisticated system of risk management, trading and monitoring security. It had 250 employees.

Fernando came to the United States as a baby, and grew up in Oak Park, Illinois. He participated in a roundtable discussion on trading practices that disrupt markets for the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission. As a philanthropist,  Fernando is on the board of directors of PAWS Chicago. For the Chicago Symphony Orchestra he’s on the board of trustees.

For more information please visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raj_Fernando