You may know Thomas Peterffy as a Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Interactive Brokers Group, Inc., but what is unknown to the world is the fact that he was a refugee who migrated from place to place in search of a better future.
Thomas was Born in 1944 in Hungary, in a hospital basement during a Russian air raid. The harsh Soviet rule in Hungary made many people leave the place and move in search of a better life. Thomas and his father Perenc Peterffy were among them.
His father who was living with his second wife found it hard to accommodate his son. He gave Thomas a 100 dollars and asked to him to make his living. There began his journey from being penniless to being one of the world’s wealthiest person.
The young immigrant Thomas was not so good at speaking English, left his engineering studies and emigrated to the United States as a refugee in 1965. He moved to the New York City and earned a bachelor’s degree from Clark University.
He began his career as an architectural draftsman in the US. It was in this firm, he programmed a newly purchased computer, which ultimately shaped his future. Eventually, he left this career as a designer of software and bought a seat on the American Stock Exchange to trade equity options. He consistently replaced manual processes with more efficient automated ones.
He made a major change by introducing handheld computers onto the trading floors in early 1980’s. He founded his first company T.P. & Co in 1978 and his second venture was Timber Hill Inc., in 1982. In 2001, he named Timer Hill Group to Interactive Brokers Group LLC. The company’s headquarters is now located in Greenwich, now logs in over one million trades per day.
According to Forbes reports, the net worth of Thomas Peterffy estimates around $16 billion and this makes him stand as the 32nd richest man in the US. And he is fondly known as “The Father Of High-Speed Trading.”
During the 2016 Presidential Elections, Thomas Peterffy donated $100,000 to the campaign of Republican nominee Donald Trump. He said: “This election will determine the course of this country for a long time into the future.”