Founder, namesake and CEO of DRW, Don Wilson continues to lead and set strategic direction for the firm as part of the Executive Committee.
A pioneer in modernizing and democratizing derivatives trading, Donald R. Wilson, Jr. founded his eponymous firm, DRW, based on his belief that robust modeling was an untapped tool to identify opportunities in the global financial markets. In the three decades since, Don has championed numerous innovations in the market while advocating for policies that advance fairness and transparency in free markets around the world.
Under Don’s leadership, DRW has grown into a diversified trading firm that continues to be on the leading edge of market evolution. Don was an early proponent of cryptoassets. DRW launched Cumberland in 2014, which has become one of the world’s leading crypto liquidity providers, and Don also co-founded Digital Asset Holdings in the same year. More recently, Don partnered with the University of Chicago to develop Climate Vault, a markets-based solution to reducing carbon emissions. Leveraging this approach, DRW has committed to becoming a carbon neutral trading firm as of 2020.
Don also has guided the firm’s expansion into real estate investing and venture capital, believing DRW’s expertise in risk management and technology allows it to add unique value to projects. The firm has infused life back into a number of under-utilized properties, including Chicago’s Esquire Theater, Northwest Tower (now the Robey Hotel) and the historic Three Arts Club. Through DRWVC, it also is an active investor in a number of financial technology start-ups, including Eris Innovations and Digital Asset Holdings, both of which use intellectual property co-created by Don.
Over the last three decades, DRW has grown to almost 1,200 employees and has offices in Amsterdam, Austin, Greenwich, Houston, London, Montreal, New York, Singapore and Tel Aviv.
Don holds an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Chicago, where he is now a trustee. He also sits on the board of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation. An avid sailor, Don won the M32 world championship in 2019.