People

Jeff Yass

Jeff Yass

Formal First Name
Jeffrey (Jeff)
Dates
1956 - present

Jeffrey Yass is the Founder and Managing Director of Susquehanna International Group, one of the largest and most successful trading firms on Wall Street. He is responsible for directing overall risk management at the firm. His primary trading rule is also the mantra of every professional poker player: "There is no surer way to win than to bet against someone who is dumber or less experienced than you." His exceptional skill for defeating odds and finding an edge set him apart.

Professional Experience


Academic History

EARLY LIFE

  • Yass was born in the Bronx and raised in Bayside, Queens. 
  • Having an accountant as a father, he was exposed to arbitrage trading at an early age. 
  • He spent his early years studying stocks and esoteric securities warranties at Datatab, his father’s publicly traded financial information company.


EDUCATION

  • Yass attended public schools in Queens for his early education.
  • He studied mathematics and economics in Binghamton University in an effort to sharpen his mastery at trading and gambling.
  • He discovered his passion about the financial markets while at the SUNY Binghamton, so he began to study the options contracts that would eventually make him rich.
  • During his senior thesis, he examined whether options, which had started trading at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange in 1973, added value to society.
  • He went on to become a professional gambler alongside his university roommate, Arthur Dantchik.
  • He pursued graduate studies in economics at New York University but did not graduate.


EARLY CAREER
  • Yass met Millennium founder Israel Englander and was offered an empty seat on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange for $30,000 and a 50/50 revenue share.
  • Alongside some partners, Yass founded the International Group in 1987, a company that has grown to become a giant in options trading and financial markets.
  • Yass bootstrapped Susquehanna in part with startup capital plucked from racetrack pots and poker tables in the 1970s and early 1980s.
  • He applied his gambling insights to options markets during the 1980s bull market.