Group One Trading Reviews

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3.2
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Benjamin Londergan
5 Ratings

17 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    The Best Job I've Ever Had!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Systems Administrator
    Current Employee - Systems Administrator

    I have been working at Group One Trading full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I am approaching my ten year anniversary at Group One Trading. This small privately held company has given me the best job I've ever had of the 16 jobs I've held in my life. The experience you will have at Group One depends directly on your own ability to produce useful results for the company, and the department you work in. This is not a place that wastes time in endless meetings, or where schmoozing and politics are the main way to get ahead. This company is for people who are self-motivated high achievers and measure their results in dollars, not hours worked. There are many departments at Group One, and your impression of the company will depend on the type of position you have. (Each department will have its own pluses and minuses.) As someone in the Computer / IT area of the company, our day can start earlier than everyone else, and end later, depending on how the systems are behaving. Management knows this, and- unlike other companies- doesn't make you work an 8 hour shift followed by having to do late night maintenance, and then get up early and start all over again. They treat you like a human, not a machine. Most other positions at this company do not have an out of market hour requirement, and their hours are correspondingly shorter. The company is fast paced, professional, and the focus is on the business and what is needed to get the job done. Their compensation and benefits are competitive with industry standards. As can be expected in a trading company, Traders take on the most risk, and can earn the most compensation. If you've had other jobs to compare this to, you will be shocked at how little overhead there is in activities that are time wasters. The amount of management used is the amount needed to ensure the company is working efficiently and no more. No one will be breathing down your neck as long as you are producing results. These working conditions generally mean that co-workers are enthusiastic about their jobs, and most employees feel fortunate to be employed here. Employees are lively, colorful, and fun to be around. We all work as a team. When it comes to reviewing any company, we can only speak from our own personal experience. For me, I have found the company to be kind, generous, caring, and fun to work for. It's been the best, most productive time of my life. I truly feel indebted for the opportunity. I have been treated with the utmost respect, rewarded for my efforts, and shown kindness by the company at every turn. I feel obligated to defend it against some of the harsh reviews that seem to unfairly portray the company in an overly negative light. Most of those reviews are by former employees, and most people aren't very positive when things don't work out their way. Working for a trading company is volatile, exciting, and like driving a high performance sports car. You won't know how great it is until you are behind the wheel. You can only appreciate it superficially from the outside. You have to try it to fully understand it.

    Cons

    This is not the kiddie bowling alley. If you keep throwing gutter balls, there aren't rubber bumpers and do-overs. Your mistakes can easily cost the firm huge sums of money, and you could lose your job, or prevent your career from advancing further. This is perfectly fair, and perfectly scary at the same time. Trader Trainees have it the worst, and you will see that in the other reviews. Put yourself in the firm's position- Are you going to give your money to someone else to trade for you if you aren't fully confident in their abilities? As such, it is the duty of the company to only select the best when it comes to advancing trainees, and that unfortunately means that not everyone is selected to advance. No process is perfect, and rejection always feels personal. It's the company's obligation to shake out candidates early in the process to minimize potential losses. There must be confidence and trust on both sides of the table. If you are looking for a large corporation where you can disappear into the shadows and be anonymous, this isn't it. As with any trading company, market volatility, which is out of your control, can have a big effect on your paycheck. If you're a hand wringer, this may not be your best choice.


  2. Fun and challenging, but senior management was a bit sketchy

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Options Trader in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Options Trader in New York, NY

    I worked at Group One Trading full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Fun group of guys who know how to have fun at work while still giving it their all. Nice change from a corporate environment.

    Cons

    Very competitive and somewhat territorial.

    Advice to Management

    Management isn't very transparent with their decisions, and they don't communicate enough with their employees.


  3. Helpful (3)

    Group One Failed to Adapt to Current Times

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

    I worked at Group One Trading full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    They take the time to train you

    Cons

    Its actually not profitable to be a equity options market maker anymore. Bid ask has shrunk to nothing and this firm uses a delta neutral strategy. They actually hit you with a 200k pnl bill after you start for training costs before you can start making a percentage of your pnl. I was fortunetly let go and retooled as a credit trader. I don't really see a future for companies like as the market has become very efficient and order driven.

    Advice to Management

    Pack it up, you've had a very good run Ben.


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  5. Great work environment; progressive and challenging firm; no frills office.

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

    I have been working at Group One Trading full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Highly motivated, intelligent and collaborative colleagues. From my past experience, most trading and development environments are stocked with smart folks that have giant egos but somehow Group One managed to avoid employing this type of employee. Developers and traders are all very high achievers, many are been with the firm for more than 5-10 years and a handful of the 2-5 year traders are very successful. The dress code is quite casual, there are regular poker games and ping pong games after the market closes. Most employees have been with the Group One for many years, so the environment is fairly stable.

    Cons

    There were some lean times a few years back but things have seemed to stabilize and quite a few new employees have been hired and some former employees have rejoined the firm. The firms results are volatile but I suspect that is largely due to macroeconomic and industry trends. Our office is a bit of a dump and could use a little renovation, but the location is great.

    Advice to Management

    We like the communication of firm results – keep it up. Please try to diversify and reduce the volatility of the revenue stream. And a new office would be nice.


  6. Helpful (2)

    Hard Work Not Recognized

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Ops Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Ops Associate in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Group One Trading

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    -Opportunity to make a lot of money at a young age -very relaxed environment. It's a fun place to work most days -Senior Management for the most part is very friendly and approachable -I was rejected as a full-time trainee (I was hired on as an intern after I graduated) but I was hired as a full-time ops person with the idea that I could try to be a trainee again in a year or so.

    Cons

    -New employees are treated like pledges in a fraternity by even the lowest people on the totem pole (HR, compliance, etc.). I understand having to earn my stripes and impress the traders and my managers, but when, from day one, I have more responsibility than people who have been there for years, I'm not okay with them treating me like garbage. -Way to Much emphasis placed on "do what I say, not as I do" managers are lazy and shirk responsibility. -The best and brightest come here from the best schools in the country (Stanford, Northwestern, Kelley School of Business, MIT) and are relegated to perform menial tasks in the ops department while learning almost nothing about trading. It's no wonder that only 10% to 20% of trainees make it to become traders. -I worked incredibly hard as an intern to become a full-time trainee (they routinely hire college grads and interns with the idea that they can become "permanent" employees in a few months) but was rejected as a full time trainee. I understand that I may not have the intelligence or background as most trainees (I went to a well known public school with an awesome business school but was unable to get in) but I want it more than the other guys and did better in ops than they did. This makes me not want to do quality work since apparently it has no impact on the ability to become a trader.

    Advice to Management

    -I appreciate that you gave me a chance to reapply as a trainee while keeping me at the company, but I don't understand why trainees are basically full-time ops people. Day to day, I do the exact same thing as trainees except they do mock trading for an hour every afternoon. If only 1 or 2 out of 10 top graduates from the best schools can make it to actually begin trading, there is something wrong with the program. Hire ops people to be ops people and trainee traders to learn about trading.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Better than nothing

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

    I have been working at Group One Trading

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    -good name in options trading -friendly, laid-back employees for the most part -fun work environment (people tell jokes to reduce stress) -senior management doesn't act any differently than other employees

    Cons

    -management on the ops side rules by fear and places too much emphasis in appearing constructive and calm where conversations can be recorded (email, instant message, etc.) and not enough on verbal conversations where excessive yelling is commonplace -training program has a 10-20% retention rate, which is extraordinarily low for an established prop firm and speaks to the quality of the teaching -Look for strange qualities in their clerks, including laziness (management would rather tell someone to do something than that person taking the initiative), getting frazzled for making mistakes and when things are hectic (I got yelled at multiple times for being too calm), not asking questions (the trainees who asked the most questions got yelled at the most) -company trades very specific product in a very specific way, this lack of diversification will ultimately be there downfall and a reason why the company has reduced its headcount by over 50% in the last couple years

    Advice to Management

    Overall I feel that there is too much emphasis on WHAT is being said instead of what management actually EXPECTS. If you want new employees to "show up, don't ask questions, only do tasks that you know how to do, and generally be as invisible as possible" that's fine, but don't tell new employees to "be over-communicative, take the initiative, ask as many questions as possible." This leads to resentment and frustration for all parties involved. If you have a belief about something, have the courage to speak freely regardless of who can hear/see your conversation.


  8. Overall a good firm and good corporate culture, but there are some deficiencies in management on the trading side.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I worked at Group One Trading

    No opinion of CEO
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good work/life balance, quality work environment, hard workers are appropriately recognized, small firm without the bureaucracy of a bigger company, some great Operations managers.

    Cons

    Upper management has had a lack of foresight in the past, and failed to properly position the firm for imminent changes in the options industry.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees more -- there are people with great ideas that could help the firm avoid repeating past mistakes.


  9. G1 Chicago

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

    I worked at Group One Trading

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    awesome work environment... pretty laid back, good hours, fun coworkers (miss those guys) dress code I wore polos and sneakers every day (some days casual jean days at CBOE) pretty flat company structure, not a lot of the bs like other places technology was pretty impressive, comp seems in line with other firms trading was starting to come back, the days of 100k day trading good access to products

    Cons

    feel like firm goals did not line up with my goals too many employees for the size of our trading staff communication

    Advice to Management

    just talk to your traders more frequently started to work on communication issues but still have work to do there


  10. Helpful (2)

    Beware

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

    I have been working at Group One Trading

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Group One has a casual dress, nice, fun co workers (non management). Interesting industry, beer on tap and a ping pong table.

    Cons

    Company is losing money and can not seem to fix the problem. Senior management rules by keeping support staff scared for their jobs at all times. New employees are treated like pledges in a fraternity. Turnover rate is insane for this type of company, even when it was profitable. Trader count is half what it once was with 5 traders leaving in May 2010. There was a major lay-off of support staff in April 2010. Trader compensation formula recently changed so traders receive much smaller percentage then before. Employee morale is so low it is hard to believe anyone shows up in the mornings.

    Advice to Management

    Show some loyalty to your employees and they will show some to you. Get a real strategy to return to profitability that took more then 5 minutes to develop. You have ruined what used to be an enjoyable and profitable place to work.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Review

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Equity Derivatives Trader in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Equity Derivatives Trader in New York, NY

    I worked at Group One Trading

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    -Good Work Hours -Relaxed Dress Code

    Cons

    -Firm is struggling to adapt in the new economic climate -Weak Management

    Advice to Management

    Management needs to think more about the top-down decisions it makes in regard to firm strategy before placing all the blame on junior staff.



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