Raj Fernando is an entrepreneur who founded the company Chopper Trading in the year 2002. He has lived and worked in the city of Chicago for many years. Beginning in 1996, he worked at the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) and one year later he became a member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He continued with his position at the CBOT for 7 years and in the position of cash bond trader.
Chopper Trading, Raj Fernando’s company, is a dynamic fast paced work environment. He has 150 employees in his spacious office. They work as hard as possible when the market is open but continue to bond with each other through games like tennis, poker, or going to sporting events when they are off the job. Raj wants his employees to be as happy as possible because he knows how stressful their jobs can be. Some other companies will bring in as many new hires as possible then grind them through a training program that 90% of them will quit. Out of 30 hires, only 3 might remain after a few months due to stress. Raj’s philosophy is different. He thinks of employment at Chopper trading as a marriage where both parties have to be happy. He does not want any of his valued employees to leave because they are prized by him. As a result of this attitude, he has an incredibly low turnover rate compared to the rest of the industry.
Fernando also cares deeply about his community and his country. He has been involved in many philanthropic efforts over the years. Raj chose to become a part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s governing board, and also takes part in the leadership of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Caring deeply about Chicago, Raj supported Barack Obama when he ran for president in 2008. Raj devoted considerable amounts of his personal time to raising funds for Obama’s campaign. In addition, Raj has helped the Clinton Foundation with its work. At one point in time Raj Fernando even worked on a committee that advised Hillary Clinton on international security issues.