Dennis A. Tito

Chairman and Chief Executive, Wilshire Associates

Dennis A. Tito is a founder, chairman, and chief executive of Wilshire Associates. A native New Yorker, Tito became the world’s first paying space traveler in 2001, when he flew with a Russian crew aboard a Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station. He started his career as a rocket scientist and worked for five years for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the 1960s. There, he applied computing technologies to help plot the trajectories for the Mariner spacecraft mission to Mars. After helping to found Wilshire Associates in 1972, Tito created the Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index, the broadest measure of the U.S. securities markets. He is credited with helping to develop the field of quantitative investment analysis, using mathematical tools to calculate market risks.

Enjoy most: Having a successful, stable, profitable business.

Toughest challenge: Attracting leadership talent and developing a successful management team.

Proudest moment: Achieving a 40-year goal of orbiting the earth in a space craft.

Best advice: Maintain a balance between growth and profitability and if possible, minimize downside risk.

Most excited: The 50th anniversary of the founding of Wilshire Associates on Feb. 9, 2022.

Fun fact: I’m a licensed jet pilot.

Bucket list: Achieve No. 1 ranking in the world for cross-country soaring.

Beverage: Bombay Sapphire martini.

Car you drive: Ferrari F12 Berlinetta.

Hobby/passion: Gliding, sailing, and running.

Favorite destination: Bali.