Thomas Peterffy

  Male      Hungarian      Entrepreneur

About Author

Thomas Peterffy (born 1944) is a Hungarian-born American entrepreneur. He is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Interactive Brokers Group and played a key role in founding the Boston Options Exchange. Peterffy worked as an architectural draftsman after immigrating to the United States and later became a computer programmer. In 1977, Peterffy purchased a seat on the American Stock Exchange and played an important role in developing the electronic trading of securities. He is the largest shareholder of his company, Interactive Brokers.

Thomas Peterffy was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1944, in a hospital basement during a Russian air raid. He immigrated to the United States as a refugee in 1965 to escape communism. Peterffy left his engineering studies when he emigrated. When he first moved to New York City, he did not speak English. He eventually earned a bachelor's degree from Clark University.

Peterffy began his career in the United States as an architectural draftsman working on highway projects for an engineering firm. It was at this firm that he volunteered to program a newly-purchased computer, ultimately shaping the course of his future. Of his background in programming Peterffy said, "I think the way a CEO runs his company is a reflection of his background. Business is a collection of processes, and my job is to automate those processes so that they can be done with the greatest amount of efficiency."..

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