FOUNDER, CEO & CHAIRMAN, INTERACTIVE BROKERS, PALM BEACH
Peterffy, a Hungarian immigrant who fled communist rule in Hungary in 1965 with almost no money, is a billionaire who owns a 500,000-plus-acre tract of timberland that sprawls across five counties in North Florida. The land is held by a Peterffy-owned company, Four Rivers Land & Timber, and is believed to be the largest contiguous piece of undeveloped property in private hands east of the Mississippi River. It includes more than half of all the land in Taylor County. Its previous owner had negotiated and received approval for a large-scale development plan with locked-in entitlements. He also owns 32,000 acres of pasture land in southern Highlands County.
Peterffy, possibly the wealthiest person in Florida and one of the 50 wealthiest people in the U.S., founded Interactive Brokers, an electronic broker and market maker. A self-taught computer programmer, he is among the first people to trade stocks electronically. He bought a seat on the New York Stock Exchange in 1997 and founded Interactive 16 years later.
Peterffy left Connecticut for Florida in 2015 — reportedly because of high income taxes in Connecticut. He lives in Palm Beach in an oceanfront estate on “Billionaire’s Row.” Reclusive, he has been a donor to Republican candidates and causes.