Raj Fernando is a political fundraiser and donor, American businessman, and philanthropist. He is the youngest of his two siblings and moved from Denmark with his family to the United States when he was one years old. He attended college at Beloit where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in history and economics.
Raj Fernando began his career as a volunteer at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange while he was attending college. From 1991 to 2001 he worked his way up into different positions there and at the Chicago Board of Trade, and then in 2002, he started Chopper Trading.
Under his careful guidance, Chopper Trading grew to over 250 employees and traded on the CME, LSE, ICE, Nasdaq, Eurex, ICAP-Broketek, and Cantor Fitzgerald-espeed.
He supported the work of the US Commodity Trading Futures Commission, or CFTC, and helped foster open, competitive, transparent, and financially sound markets.
Fernando was a featured panelist on the Commission’s discussion of disruptive trading practices in 2010 and in 2013 he spoke to an international audience of shareholders and media at the annual industry forum of the Rosenblatt Exchange Leader Conference. In 2015, Fernando sold Chopper Trading to another Chicago-based trading company known as the DRW Trading Group. Then in 2016, he launched and became CEO and Chairman of Scoutahead, an Internet startup company designed to help improve professional and corporate productivity and growth through advanced and secure communication systems.
Fernando is a strong supporter of many philanthropic efforts in Chicago and throughout the United States. He serves on the board of directors for PAWS Chicago, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago and is on the board of trustees of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Fernando is also a member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, on the board of rectors for the American Security Project, and serves on the Foreign Policy Leadership Committee at the Brookings Institution. He was appointed to the International Security Advisory Board in 2011, which advised Hilary Clinton, who was Secretary of State at the time, but stepped down due to excessive volatility in the international markets at that time.