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It's a place to work but not excel

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Junior Trader  in  Chicago, IL
Former Employee - Junior Trader in Chicago, IL

I worked at PEAK6 Investments full-time for more than a year

Pros

Diverse investment in different business

Cons

Very conservative in risk taking

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
No opinion of CEO

PEAK6 Investments Response

Aug 1, 2014President

Thanks for your feedback. We appreciate you acknowledging the diversity of our businesses. This has been a focus for us and we are growing here. Risk management is also something we focus on at ... More

Other Reviews for PEAK6 Investments

  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    its a place to learn a trade

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Trader  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Trader in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at PEAK6 Investments full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    There is inherent edge in trading options. While a lot of the space is becoming automated, and there is lots of competition with other firms, firms that have more resources, better technology, and more talented people. Nonetheless, by selling options you are effectively functioning like an insurance business, and are collecting risk premium. However, the issue at hand is what side of the trade you're on when it's not to your advantage to sell volatility. 9 years of making money and then one year you hand it all back.

    Trading is a tough business to get into. It's a place to learn and get your feet wet. There is a handful of talent working for this company, talent you can learn from.

    I think the owners, Matt and Jenny are very capable people, and despite their conservative approach, are savvy enough to maintain profitability. They understand the firm's limitations, the market environment, and have cleverly decided to diversify in the asset management business and have the risk management skills to prevent a blowup of the firm.

    Cons

    The company has a niche that it has occupied in the past, and despite the rhetoric it feeds its employees, it tends to be conservative and isn't willing to make a commitment to innovation. However, the edge in the space is drying up.

    The environment is not only conservative in risk taking, but also quite political.

    This can be seen by the fact that many of the people in positions of influence are acquainted(old friends, college roommates, fraternity brothers, sons/relatives) of the founders or partners.
     Some managers may have a tendency to pick favorites, and so be aware and be careful not to step into any booby traps. Some traders, especially the more driven ones, find the micromanagement to be hell.

    They're looking more for someone how fits the bill and won't put the firm at risk, and so new ideas while funded can be cut quickly if they don't pan out. Also pay is well below other firms, even for top performers, as they provide a cut only after taking into account cost.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    don't be afraid to innovate and spend money doing it
    pay your top employees better to keep talent
    if you take pride in meritocracy, you should make it so and get rid of the politics

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Comically bad micromanagement in some areas

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at PEAK6 Investments full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Nice office. A couple of smart, no b.s. people. Good time off policies.

    Some partners are smart, and a joy to work with. Depends on where you are in the biz.

    Cons

    Staff are not perceived as valuable, more of a commodity. Some executives micromanage inane details and don't empower talent to make even trivial decisions.

    We are talking extreme micro-management. Depends who you work under though.

    This culture drives away many of the best and brightest. Hard to make a counter argument when the cash is rolling in. If you want to be a part of innovative technology, however, I'd suggest seeking an org. that can operate more like a startup, and less like a top-down financial biz.

    These guys have a niche that works for them, and doubt they'll ever change. They've been successful despite valuing furnishings above people. Be prepared to play politics and bite your tounge.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to exit interviews and hold people accountable, regardless of position.

    Do what you are good at.
    Empower and delegate other things.
    Take care of your people.
    Eliminate micro managers. Most really good people won't tolerate it, so it lowers the quality of your staff tremendously.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    PEAK6 Investments Response

    Aug 1, 2014President

    Thanks for your feedback. I'm disappointed to hear you don't feel empowered in your role and feel micromanaged. That’s certainly not aligned with our core values. I’d welcome an opportunity to ... More

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