Thomas Peterffy

Rank 47

Thomas Peterffy

34B

Discount brokerage

Palm Beach, Florida

United States

  • In high school in Hungary, Peterffy sold contraband Juicy Fruit gum to classmates at a 500% markup.
  • After immigrating to America, Peterffy saved up $200,000 working as an engineer to buy a $36,000 seat on the American Stock Exchange, where he traded options.
  • A digital trading pioneer, Thomas Peterffy chairs Interactive Brokers, which markets its specialized trading platform to sophisticated investors.
  • He founded Interactive Brokers in 1993 after originally starting in market-making, and was CEO until December 2019.
  • In March 2017, he announced part of his market-making operation would phase out. It had been under attack by faster competitors.
  • Peterffy arrived in America in 1965 at age 21, the penniless descendant of Hungarian aristocrats who lost nearly everything to the Soviets.
  • He is a major landowner, with more than 560,000 acres, primarily located in his home state of Florida.