Chopper Trading and Intramural Soccer

At Chopper Trading, we create an environment for our teams to work well together inside and outside of the office.  To that point, we have designated an Intramural Captain to organize all of our intramural sports. Our team is registered through a local event organizer, Chicago Sport and Social. The league is primarily men and women looking for a fun and competitive outlet to participate in, outside of work.

Most of our games are held in Lincoln Park or other downtown Chicago locations. Our longest running and favorite team sport at Chopper is soccer. We recently closed out our fourth spring soccer season with a strong team of 16 employees who led the firm to a successful season with a winning 6-3 record! If you are looking for a way to stay active and be social after work, I encourage you to look into some of the sports and activities that our wonderful city has to offer. And if you’re feeling especially confident, form a soccer team and challenge Chopper out on the soccer field!

Video: Summer in Chicago

Check out our below video that showcases the beauty, culture and excitement that we have here in Chicago and at our firm. We wanted to visually capture the essence and character of this city in which we live and work. Chopper has been based in Chicago since we were founded and there isn’t another city in the world that we would want to call our home! We encourage you to take a few minutes, and watch our video to see The Windy City in action and our unique offices in the historic Chicago Board of Trade.

American Security Project Board Member Raj Fernando Participates in Board Meeting

Last week I participated in the American Security Project’s (ASP) board meeting. ASP is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy and research organization dedicated to raising the public’s awareness and understanding of critical national security issues. ASP also analyzes current threats and topics to help develop a bipartisan national security strategy to ensure our country’s safety.

As an organization, we look to our staff of fellows, our board members, as well as external experts, for fresh ideas and perspectives to help us develop our vision for security in the 21st century. By engaging directly, in open dialogue, with the public, we are able to inform citizens of the dangers and opportunities of the 21st century, the spectrum of available responses, and the benefits and drawbacks of each course of action.

ASP’s mission is something that I believe in strongly, which is why I am proud to be an active member of the board of directors for the American Security Project. As a cohesive organization I feel that, through our educational discussions, we are building a stronger, collaborative, more informed community working towards a safer America.

In addition to the ASP, Raj Fernando is a member of several organizations and associations.  Connect with Raj Fernando on LinkedIn to learn more about his organizations.

Raj Fernando Proud Contributor of Steppenwolf Gala

As an ardent supporter of both local Chicago charities and the performing arts, I am proud to contribute to The Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s mission to engage audiences and provide stimulating performances.

Steppenwolf recently held its annual gala bringing together civic and business leaders from the Chicago community for a memorable celebration of the theater. The event is critical to providing the organization with the resources that its actors, directors and playwrights need to continue their work. I, alongside Chopper Trading employees, have enjoyed many of Steppenwolf’s marvelous performances over the years.

This annual Gala provides us with a chance to give back, and the 2013 event was a great success – Steppenwolf was able to raise more than $1 million from event ticket sales and the live auction.  Auction items included opening-night tickets to the upcoming Broadway production of “Of Mice and Men,” starring James Franco, as well as dinner with Joan Allen, Rick Bayless, Laurie Metcalf and Bruce Norris, and a chance to join William Petersen at an upcoming Chicago Cubs baseball game.

Kudos to Steppenwolf for hosting another exciting and successful event!

Chopper Trading and Big Brothers Big Sisters

For the third consecutive year, Chopper Trading has partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago to provide one-on-one mentors for children ages six through 18. The mission of BBBS is, through a network of mentor volunteers, to provide high impact mentoring that enables lifelong success. The relationships that are created between the mentors (“Bigs”) and the children (“Littles”) are tremendous and truly help inspire the children to realize that they each possess unlimited potential, and a bright and positive future.

This month, Chopper accompanied a dozen children from Suder Elementary School, to the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) Special Recreation Facility. The Chopper ”Bigs” and their “Littles” participated in UIC’s Team Challenge Program, which included activities focused on teamwork, cooperation and building trust amongst the members of the group. Like all of our previous outings with BBBS, this was a memorable day for all of us at Chopper and we hope that our time with the children has instilled in them the confidence to unlock their potential.

These relationships, built on trust and friendship, significantly impact the lives of these children. In fact, Public/Private Ventures – an independent Philadelphia-based national research organization – conducted a study of nearly one thousand boys and girls from eight Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies across the country. The researchers found that after 18 months of spending time with their “Bigs”, the ”Littles”, compared to those children not in the program, were:

  • 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs
  • 27% less likely to begin using alcohol
  • 52% less likely to skip school
  • 37% less likely to skip a class
  • 33% less likely to hit someone

They also found that the “Littles” were more confident about their performance in school and got along better with their families.


Raj Fernando Explains Recruiting Process at Chopper Trading

Each year, Chopper Trading travels to select schools to meet potential recruitment candidates and provide the opportunity to apply for a position with a dynamic, hard-working and intelligent team of professionals. The list includes some of the most well respected technical schools in the country, where Chopper competes with the likes of Google, Apple and Facebook, in addition to other trading firms, for the schools’ top graduates. Most recently, we visited Stanford University, where we spent the day getting to know the school’s bright, upcoming graduates and describing work and life at Chopper.

In addition to informative discussions and presentations, we often hold brainteaser competitions to give the students a taste of the level of thinking required at Chopper. The winner of these competitions always walks away with some kind of a prize, such as an iPad!

At Chopper, we offer an exciting, fast-paced environment for qualified graduates to launch and grow their careers. If you are interested in hearing more about working at Chopper, please ‘Like’ us on Facebook or visit  the Chopper Trading website for more information.

Learn more about Chopper Trading CEO Raj Fernando on CrunchBase.

Futures Industry Association Annual Meeting 2013

Earlier this month, the Futures Industry Association (FIA) hosted its annual meeting in Boca Raton, Fla., enabling senior derivatives professionals, legislators, regulators and reporters to gather and generate a thoughtful and impactful conversation that creates positive influences for our industry. The discussions for the last three years have been centered on financial reform and Washington’s increased interest in financial markets.

The FIA is the trade organization for the futures, options and OTC cleared derivatives markets. Chopper is a member of the FIA Principal Traders Group (FIA PTG), which is affiliated with the FIA, and presents a forum for firms trading their own capital to identify and discuss issues confronting their community.

We look forward to attending select FIA upcoming events.

Raj Fernando Invited to Chicago History Fair’s 35th Anniversary Dinner

I was recently invited by a longtime colleague and good friend, to attend the Chicago History Fair’s 35th Anniversary Dinner. This event was hosted by the Chicago Metro History Education Center (CMHEC), which works to improve history education in middle and high school classrooms in Chicago and its suburbs. CMHEC offers programs throughout the year for teachers and students that support project-based, inquiry methods of learning history. The organization’s signature program, Chicago Metro History Fair, is an annual competition in which local students present their own historical research projects on topics relevant to Chicago.

It was inspiring to attend such an event and observe the dedication and passion for learning and discovery that the students demonstrated in their work towards becoming a student historian. The skills required for success in the History Fair, I believe, transcend the classroom and will prepare the students for achievement in whichever endeavors they choose to pursue in their lives.

I am a firm believer in providing equal access to a quality education and supporting your local community. For these reasons, I was happy to have been invited to this event and presented with the chance to support a cause that I believe in so strongly.


Chess at Chopper Trading

At Chopper, we balance our serious commitment to our work with an equal but lighthearted focus on activities off of the trading floor. One of those activities is the Chopper Trading Chess Team, which is currently halfway into the season, and making a final push to qualify for the playoffs.

The team competes in the Chicago Industrial Chess League as a member of the East division. Chopper’s division is comprised of 10 teams mostly from local companies in the financial and healthcare industries, as well as Loyola and Northwestern Universities. The Industrial Chess League’s regular season runs from October through early April, at which point the qualifying teams enter the playoffs. Chopper currently ranks in third place, behind Northwestern (first) and Blue Cross Blue Shield (second).

The team was founded by two Chopper employees, who, lucky for us, brought their competitive chess experience and knowledge to the firm from their college chess teams. The founders have talked to the team about how they see a strong relationship between trading and chess, as both require preparation, discipline, objective reasoning, passion, and drive.  I couldn’t agree more, and they certainly make a good case, as the team’s eight-person roster includes five of our active traders.

Regardless of the activity: trading, chess, soccer, etc., the team at Chopper believes in pursuing success through hard work, strong ethics and a collaborative environment.


Careers at Chopper Trading

Chopper Trading is a technology based proprietary trading firm that is at the forefront of a fast-paced, intense and challenging industry. In order to compete against the best and the brightest, all of us at Chopper need to be even better! Our firm is composed of intelligent, forward-thinking, responsible individuals that are committed to furthering the success and growth that Chopper is experiencing.

Chopper operates as a true team-oriented culture, where each member is looked upon to contribute and their opinions and views are respected. I am truly dedicated to being as accessible as possible to all of my teammates, and ensuring that open lines of communication are constantly maintained. Our work is demanding, however, we keep things balanced by encouraging everyone on the team to enjoy where they work. The halls of our offices regularly echo with laughter and excitement from chess matches and intramural activities.

Our firm offers an industry-leading package of benefits that is matched only by our commitment to social responsibility. Chopper regularly sponsors and volunteers at local charities such as The Boys and Girls Club of Chicago, PAWS and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Having an awareness of your local community, in addition to being able to positively contribute to it is a principle that we strive to emulate, here at Chopper.

We encourage anyone that is interested in hearing more about potential opportunities at Chopper, to please visit our Careers page to see what openings are currently available. Also, like us on Facebook as we are regularly updating our profile with the dates of our Campus Visits.

Come check us out!