Written by: RAC Maghreb
Omar Amanat learned the ins and outs of business at the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School of Business. By age 29, he became E*Trade’s largest shareholder after selling his company, Tradescape, for $280 million. He has since established himself as a pioneer and innovator in numerous fields:
Mr. Amanat is responsible for several groundbreaking developments in the electronic brokerage industry. Tradescape was the first company to provide investors a direct connection to all Electronic Communications Networks or alternative stock exchanges. Before founding Tradescape, Mr. Amanat worked with Philip Berber, founder of CyberTrade, to develop a trading platform that was bought in 2000 by Charles Schwab for $488 million. For these contributions and more, Omar Amanat was named one of Wall Street’s “Top Ten Most Influential Technologists” by Fortune Magazine.
Mr. Amanat began his entrepreneurial career at Datek Online, which was sold for $1.3 billion to Ameritrade. Then, as founder and CEO, he built the Tradescape Corporation into an industry leader that processed over 10% of NASDAQs daily trading volume. In 2002, Mr. Amanat sold Tradescape to E*Trade, a financial services company, for $280 million. Prior to selling, Red Herring Magazine listed Tradescape among the top 50 private companies in the U.S.
Mr. Amanat has engaged in extensive philanthropic activities as both a businessman and public speaker, including his work as a board member of the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. He has served as Vice Chairman of the Board of the Acumen Fund, a global venture capital fund for the poor that has been described as one of the five charities changing the face of global philanthropy. Mr. Amanat is currently serving on the Board of Directors of Human Rights Watch and Malaria No More. He is also a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Film and Television Financier
Following the crash of the World Trade Center and subsequent effects of 9/11, Omar Amanat became committed to exploring the ways in which film and television can create social change and global understanding. He has extended his financial and philanthropic expertise to found several production and distribution companies, including one that recently raised $205 million to finance over 20 feature films in the next 5 years. He also serves as a board member of a new $1 billion Hollywood production studio. However, Mr. Amanat is most proud of his contributions to Bridges TV, the first American TV station dedicated to building connections between Muslim and non-Muslim cultures.