Meet the Team
As any experienced options trader can tell you, Investitute’s founding team is comprised of the leaders in the options education space, with a depth of knowledge from decades of successful hands-on trading experience.
Jon “DRJ” Najarian, Co-Founder
Jon ‘DRJ’ Najarian was linebacker for the Chicago Bears before he turned to another kind of contact sport – trading on the Chicago Board Options Exchange.
He became a member of the CBOE, NYSE, CME and CBOT and worked as a floor trader for some 25 years. In 1990 he founded Mercury Trading, a market-making firm at the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), which he sold in 2004 to Citadel, one of the world’s largest hedge funds. In 2005 Jon co-founded optionMONSTER and tradeMONSTER. He partnered with private equity firm General Atlantic Partners in 2014 and they sold the firm to E*Trade for $750 million in September of 2016. Today, he is a professional investor, money manager and media analyst.
Jon has earned a reputation in the industry as an options trading expert and pioneer. He developed and patented trading applications and algorithms used to identify unusual activity in stock, options, and futures markets. optionMONSTER, the options news and education site he co-founded, was described by Securities Industry News as “content king of the options business”. For years, tradeMONSTER was consistently rated “Best for Options Traders” by Barron’s and was the first online broker to deploy streaming, desktop-like trading in a web browser.
In 2016 Jon and Pete co-founded Najarian Advisors, a company advising institutional investors on options strategies. Also, the brothers invest in and work with start-ups via Rebellion Partners, a venture consulting firm they launched in 2015.
Jon can be seen weekly on CNBC, where he is cast member of the “Halftime Report” and the “Fast Money” show. He is also the feature of the “DRJ Report” on CBOE-TV, the exchange’s popular webcast.
Pete Najarian, Co-Founder
Pete Najarian, the “Pit Boss,” was ranked one of the top 100 traders by Trader Monthly magazine and in 2005 co-founded, together with his brother Jon “DRJ” Najarian, the options news and education firm optionMONSTER, and leading online brokerage firm tradeMONSTER. Both were acquired in 2014 by private equity firm General Atlantic Partners and they sold the firm to E*Trade for $750 million in September of 2016.
Following a football career that included several seasons with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings, Najarian took up options trading in 1992 joining his brother Jon at Mercury Trading, a market-making firm at the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). Two years later, he assumed responsibility for Mercury’s risk and arbitrage and later led its entry onto the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
He also led Mercury’s joint venture with M.J. Meehan, the third-largest specialist firm on the NYSE. From 2000 to 2004, Najarian served as president of Mercury, and helped execute its sale to Citadel, one of the world’s largest hedge funds.
Before starting optionMONSTER, he has been a founding member of One Chicago, an electronic exchange committed to becoming the global leader in futures on individual stocks, narrow-based indexes, and ETFs. He is also the Co-Founder of Hedgehog stock, options, and futures trading platform and together with brother Jon, co-developed the Heat Seeker™ and complementary programs identifying unusual buying activity in stocks, options, and futures.
In 2016 Pete and his brother Jon co-founded Najarian Advisors, a company advising institutional investors on options strategies. The brothers also invest in and work with start-ups via Rebellion Partners, a venture consulting firm they launched in 2015.
Pete is one of the “Fast Money Five” on CNBC’s “Fast Money” as well as a cast member of CNBC’s “Halftime Report”. He also contributes to CBOE-TV, the exchange’s popular webcast.
Pete graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in physiology.
Ron Ianieri, Co-Founder
Following a decades-long career as a trader for a number of leading firms during which he helped developed a proprietary trading and strategic risk management program and consulted mutual funds and hedge funds, Ron has become one of industry’s leading educators and mentors.
Ron started on the floor of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, first working on the Foreign Currency Options Floor before moving to the Equity Options Floor for well-known technical and analytical traders Cooper, Neff and Associates. Next serving at TFM Investment Group and Gateway Partners, part of Ron’s responsibilities was hiring and training new trader trainees. It was during this time that he developed his highly respected Option Trader Trainee Course.
Having established a reputation for cutting-edge training, Ron was tapped to serve as partner and Chief Options Strategist for Options University, Ron led that firm to earn a spot on the INC 500 list of fastest-growing companies for two consecutive years, and a position as the market leader in option education. Subsequent to that he founded his own training firm Ion Options, contributed to TycoonU, wrote the acclaimed book Option Theory and Trading, and partnered with Jon Najarian, Pete Najarian, and Dirk Mueller-Ingrand at optionMONSTER where he authored a highly successful newsletter and oversaw all educational content. Today, Ron is a professional investor, leading educator and media analyst.
Ron can be regularly seen on CNBC, CNBC Asia, Fox News, Fox Business News, Bloomberg Asia, and BNN for his market commentary. He is also frequently quoted in many financial publications and websites including CNBC.com, CNN.com, Dow Jones, Market Watch, Barron’s, Wall Street Journal, ABC News, and countless radio talk shows.
Ron graduated from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia with a degree in Finance.
Dirk Mueller-Ingrand, Co-Founder
From building a trading platform and designing a training program on option, futures and other derivatives for hundreds of European bankers on behalf of German bank Vereins- und Westbank AG early in his career, Dirk has come full circle to concentrate on option education.
An executive leader in the fields of Global Banking, Corporate Finance and Technology, Dirk is an active investor and has co-founded and/or served as chief executive and board member of several startup companies across three continents – Europe, Africa and North America.
As FOUNDER/Managing Director of consulting firm LTR Ltd., Dirk conducted corporate research and due diligence in Europe, Africa and the US on behalf of corporate clients including well-known British Industrialist “Tiny” Rowland, and served as an advisor on mining issues to several South African governments and was an expert witness in several merger cases before the court of the European Commission. Working on behalf of the Rowland Family Trust and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Dirk built one of the largest leadership development programs in the SADC region in cooperation with Standard Bank of South Africa.
He then later partnered with Jon and Pete Najarian to co-found their own investor education company optionMONSTER and sister online trading company tradeMONSTER with Dirk serving as co-founder/CEO. Under Dirk’s leadership, both companies achieved renown for the quality of content offered and innovation. optionMONSTER gained a reputation as the leader for option education and tradeMONSTER was the first online broker to deploy streaming, desktop-like trading in a web browser and rated “Best for Options Traders” by Barron’s for numerous years running, prior to both companies being sold to General Atlantic in 2014.
Dirk earned an MA (Dipl.-Kfm) in General Business Administration and Finance with a focus in Banking & Corporate Finance from the University of Hamburg, Germany.