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Business Leader of the Week: Meet Jeff Yass, co-founder and MD of Susquehanna Group

IFM_Jeff Yass

The well-known international quantitative trading company Susquehanna International Group, or SIG was established in 1987. SIG, which has its headquarters in Pennsylvania, has developed itself as one of the biggest privately-held financial companies in the world.

SIG began as a Philadelphia Stock Exchange options trading company and has since grown to include trading in equities, fixed income, futures, commodities, and derivatives, among other financial services.

The business stands out for its quantitative trading tactics, which use cutting-edge technology and in-house developed algorithms to execute trades across a variety of asset classes.

SIG’s unique approach to trading, which combines exacting quantitative analysis with state-of-the-art technological infrastructure, is credited with its success. Because of this, SIG has been able to successfully negotiate intricate market dynamics and hold a competitive advantage in the quickly changing financial landscape.

SIG has expanded its range of business endeavours beyond trading, encompassing market-making, proprietary trading, investment management, and venture capital investments. The company has made a name for itself as a leader in market-making, supplying liquidity to international exchanges and enhancing market efficiency. SIG also oversees many hedge funds and investment vehicles for high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors.

SIG prioritises research and development, making significant investments in human capital and technology to spur innovation in quantitative models and trading strategies. The company’s culture encourages intellectual curiosity, teamwork, and creativity, which draws top talent from a variety of fields, including finance, engineering, computer science, and mathematics.

SIG is steadfast in its adherence to its fundamental principles of honesty, quality, and ongoing development despite its growth and international presence. The company follows strict risk management procedures to protect capital and preserve stability in erratic market circumstances. Furthermore, SIG actively participates in charitable endeavours, funding projects related to community development, healthcare, and education.

Susquehanna International Group is a leader in quantitative trading, utilising knowledge and technology to prosper in the fast-paced financial industry. Rich in innovation, dedicated to quality, and possessing a wide range of skills, SIG is still influencing the direction of the world’s financial markets.

The brain behind this successful venture is 67-year-old Jeff Yass, who is the Co-founder and MD of the company.

    Who Is Jeff Yass?

  • Jeff Yass grew up in a middle-class Jewish family in Queens, New York, United States
  • In 1951, he graduated with a BS from LIU Brooklyn, and worked as an accountant, rising to chairman of Datatab Inc
  • Jeff Yass and five fellow students became friends and later co-founded Susquehanna International Group in 1989
  • In 2002, he became a member of the board of directors of the libertarian Cato Institute
  • In 2015, Jeff Yass donated $2.3 million to a Super PAC supporting Rand Paul’s presidential candidacy
  • He has contributed to education reform, including the Yass Prize for Sustainable, Transformational, Outstanding, and Permissionless (STOP) education, launched during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Jeff Yass has supported Save the Children, “Spirit of Golf Foundation”, People’s Emergency Centre Families First building, and the Franklin Institute’s Franklin Family Funfest Committee
  • He appeared as one of 76 Revolutionary Minds in Philadelphia magazine in 2001
  • Jeff Yass is the richest man in Pennsylvania and is one of the ten largest political donors in the United States
  • According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Jeff Yass is a major supporter of Israeli right-wing think tanks

SIG To Help Clients Buy & Sell Cryptocurrencies

In 2023, SIG announced that it would begin offering cryptocurrency trading to its clients.

Susquehanna’s Bitcoin trading desk currently employs about a dozen people, but it has also been covertly facilitating over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency trades for more than two years. With the intention of eventually growing this service, the company will now start providing cryptocurrency to a select 500 of its clients.

“We believe that this technology and this asset class are going to change some facet of financial services, and we think it is going to exist forever,” Bart Smith, head of Susquehanna’s digital asset group said, the New York Times reported.

According to Smith, Susquehanna sees Bitcoin mainly as a store of value for the time being, but it thinks it or another cryptocurrency could eventually become the “native currency” of the internet.

Susquehanna will assist its customers in purchasing and selling real cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, ether, and bitcoin cash, in addition to bitcoin futures.

The company will be permitted to assist its clients in trading cryptocurrencies that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has classified as securities because it is registered with the SEC as a broker-dealer.

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