Prime Minister Viktor Orbán presents Grand Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit to Thomas Péterffy
03. 06. 2017.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán presented the Grand Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit to President and CEO of Interactive Brokers Group Thomas Péterffy in a ceremony in the Parliament Building on Friday.

“Thomas Péterffy, who left Hungary in the 1960s and entered the world of the stock exchange in the United States as a computer consultant, has shown the world that Wall Street not only has wolves, but also pioneers, who view innovation as more important than speculation”, the Prime Minister said.

Mr. Orbán highlighted: “Thomas Péterffy chose the free world instead of the socialist-communist system that led nowhere and was consuming its own future, and the highest level of free life, from which he had to climb the steep ladder to his first successes through persistent effort. It is thanks to his innovations that the stock change began using computerised trading”.

“While Thomas Péterffy became one of the richest men in the world, he never lost his love of and feeling of responsibility for Hungary, as well as never losing his caution with respect to socialism”, the Prime Minister said.

“When listening to your words nobody can have any doubt that socialism is a system that never disappears, but which always tries to steal its way back into our lives wearing a new mask to make the rich poor and turn the poor into paupers”, said the Prime Minister, according to whom the successes of Thomas Péterffy also acted as a compass during socialism and in the chaotic period following the regime change.

After receiving the award, Thomas Péterffy said he felt it was a special occasion to be able to receive the award in Budapest’s Parliament Building in view of the fact that his great-great-grandfather Tamás Péchy became a Member of Parliament in 1868 and was later Speaker of the House for twelve sears.

Photo: Zoltán Máthé/MTI

He recalled that although many people think he left for America with nothing, that isn’t true, because he set out with the blessing of his ancestors and with the intention of realising their dreams, and has always felt the power of his heritage, which pushed him towards a special level of performance.

“This nation had to endure one of the most hideous experiments in world history, the needless suffering that went with socialism”, he said, adding that he knows and feels that the “national kolkhoz“ cannot be achieved in any form. Mr. Péterffy said it was important for the people to know their history, character, capabilities, traditions and advantages, which are the building blocks of the life and future of every individual.

“Just as in America, individual freedom and the opportunity to achieve success is also protected by the constitution here in Hungary, for which we must thank God, and we must do everything possible to ensure that this remains the case in both countries”, he declared.

The state order was bestowed on the American-based businessman by President of the Republic János Áder for his value-orientated participation in public life, as also expressed by his active and selfless support of the Museum to Commemorate the Victims of Communism to be founded in Washington, and in recognition of his merits and exemplary career, which have furthered the reputation of Hungary.