Winnetka, IL

The richest woman in Winnetka

Ash Jurberg
Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

Recently Forbes released the list of the top 400 self-made women in the United States. This list featured business leaders and entrepreneurs who had made their fortune themselves and not through inheritance.

I have been writing a popular series on some of the amazing women who made this list, and today it is time to turn to Jenny Just.

Just has a net worth of $1.5 billion, placing her at number 19 on the Forbes list. She was the only female from Illinois to make the top 400 and, therefore, the only woman in Winnetka.

Let's take a quick look at her story.

The richest woman in Winnetka

Jenny Just started her finance career in the trading department of O'Connor & Associates and on the floor of the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

In 1997, she co-founded PEAK6 with her colleague Matt Hulsizer. PEAK6 became one of the first firms to develop sophisticated, proprietary technology that efficiently manages risk in the options market. Just managed to raise $1.5 million to launch the business.

Since 1997, Jenny has grown the firm into a multibillion-dollar financial services and technology firm that has made profits every single year — and an average annual return of 58%.

The company has used its profits to launch or acquire 15 companies through her investment firm, Peak6. In addition to PEAK6, Just also owns insurance company National Flood Services and e-sports franchise Evil Geniuses.

"When I think about taking a risk, I usually don’t think about it until after the fact. I usually think about getting through the risk to the other side so then the risk gets downplayed in the journey. It’s just something that has to be done in order to get there.” Jenny Just

Just is also keen to raise the next generation of female entrepreneurs and businesswomen.

In 2020 Just launched Poker Power, a woman-led company that teaches poker to females. She has also created programs to help women advance their careers in trading, fintech, and technology.

The opportunity for the female to step in and take ownership falls a lot on her plate. But as she’s in that process, because it’s a different process than it is for men. Because she doesn’t do it growing up necessarily because she doesn’t naturally, inherently or in the environment process, play, learn in this competitive way, she has to figure out how to build those skills.” Jenny Just

The other billionaire in Winnetka

The richest man living in Winnetka is Patrick Ryan. He is the CEO and founder of Ryan Specialty Group, a wholesale brokerage and specialty insurance firm based in Chicago. Ryan has a net worth of $8.1 billion.

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