Why Raj Fernando recruits only “A” players for Chopper Trading

The Fernando file

Raj Fernando, CEO, Chopper Trading

Born: Denmark

When did you come to the states? When I was 1. The story behind it is my dad was a Fulbright scholar from NYU when my mom was studying at Juilliard. For Fulbright scholars, after your term is done, you leave the country for two years and you come back and you get your citizenship. So my older sister was actually born in New York.

Education: Beloit College in Beloit, Wis., with bachelor’s degrees in economics and history

The story behind the company name: Chopper is my eldest dog, a collie mix. He’s from anti-cruelty along with his little sister. A few of us were sitting at Smith & Wollensky [Steakhouse] having a few bottles of wine, trying to come up with a name. After about a half hour, I brought up, ‘How about Chopper Trading?’ and it stuck.

In the community: Fernando is a governing member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He also actively supports the Steppenwolf Theatre, Cedars Sinai Medical Center and the Illinois Holocaust Museum, among other organizations.

What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received? I was Hillary Clinton’s Illini finance chair, and in the course of the campaign, I met a lot of literal billionaires and they all said kind of the same thing: Surround yourself with the best and brightest people you possibly can.

What’s your favorite way to relieve stress? I like playing guitar and a little bit of drums. Exercise is good but lately I haven’t been doing as much as I should. I like going out with friends and people from work.

11 thoughts on “Why Raj Fernando recruits only “A” players for Chopper Trading

  1. Are the straight A really so? Favoritism es still prevalent. Professors who favor the students who parents they know. Professors who immediately blacklist students who do not belong to theirs race. Grades are manipulated in order to sell the children of the privilege one, so that they be recruited by company like Fernando own.

  2. The lengthy interview process is very important. It takes a lot more than a resume and an hour of someone’s time to get to know them.

    1. That’s true Marie. It is also a good sign that they truly care about the people they hire and their employees. You don’t get that often these days.

  3. Interesting approach since these days recent college grads rarely stay at their jobs for more than five years.

    1. Yes, but that could be a result of some companies treating recent college graduates as if they are disposable. It’s refreshing that this company is trying a traditional approach.

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