PEAK6 Investments Reviews

Updated September 11, 2014
Updated September 11, 2014
63 Reviews
2.6
63 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Matthew Hulsizer
43 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Smart people, Learning org, testing of ideas, entrepreneurship (in 10 reviews)

  • Good benefits, decently easy to take time off (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • The result is that good traders leave because of how bad it is to work here (turnover is extremely high) (in 5 reviews)

  • Very cheap company - low salary ranges for similar jobs in other companies and industries (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great place to get your foot in the door if you're looking at a career in trading or tech support for the industry.

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

    I worked at PEAK6 Investments full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - I felt comfortable approaching even the highest-ranking individuals at the firm in many different situations.
    - Food, beverages & snacks galore in the 2nd floor kitchen area. Company parties aren't too shabby either.
    - Beautiful office space.
    - Tech admins do their best to ensure you have the right tech set-up in order to fulfill your duties, as well as go above and beyond what you're tasked with in a given day/week -- if you so choose.

    Cons

    - Very little tech support beyond what is provided for the trading desk. I understand the reasoning for this, but it would have been nice to have a dedicated team of individuals that might have helped streamline some of the trader support / compliance / monitoring tasks that continued to pile on as the firm grew in size during my 2+ years at the firm. I suppose that is the nature of the business, unfortunately, so I don't see that changing at P6 anytime soon,

    - Little to no chance for mobility within the firm as a non-trader unless you have made the political connections neccessary to put yourself in such a position. To be frank, if you get a job here and realize your manager(s) is (are) not going to advocate for you to the extent that you might deem fair, especially given the effort expended for them, you are most likely S.O.L. That's not to say movement upward through the firm can't be done -- it's just that I don't know anyone who has pulled it off. It is very hard to stay motivated when you come to realize this is the case and you feel your career is stalling at the ripe ages of 23 - 26.

    - This is directed at the partnership -- particularly CapMan partners and DHs -- if you task someone with a drill-down project looking at return volatility, market trends, option liquidity, division profitability, et al, it would be greatly appreciated if the process were iterative, with an open dialogue kept between the requestor and requestee. I know that partners and DHs are unbelievable busy, but guidance and collaboration (in terms of ideas) is critical to really nailiing down some of the initiatives that are being looked at.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    All in all, I truly loved my time at Peak6.

    - Was it frustrating? Yes.

    - Did I love waking up at 5:30 AM to make to the office on time to complete reports and watch the market open? Not so much.

    - Was I working with some incredibly smart people that I look up to this very day? ABSOLUTELY.

    I hope for nothing but the best for P6 in the future. Please let some of my "negative" comments marinate. I'm sure there is room for improvement in those areas, and I wouldn't be surprised if some current higher-ups didn't at least partially agree with those sentiments.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great place

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

    I have been working at PEAK6 Investments

    Pros

    Lots of good snacks, smart people

    Cons

    Company has multiple unrelated business, direction and strategy of the firm lacks focus.

  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Do your home work closely before signing on the line. I mean REALLY do your homework.

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

    I worked at PEAK6 Investments full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The funny thing is that I can't disagree with the free drinks and snacks but isn't that truly a sad overall commentary about the company? Don't be fooled by the flashy new website with all the "smiling" faces. This place is a shell of what it once was.

    Cons

    It's really one of the most bizarre working environments I have come across. Again, despite the seemingly "upbeat vibe" the management tries to put out it's really just a smokescreen for a cold, and cutthroat reality that faces you. Would you believe they have cameras installed virtually everywhere on the premises watching and monitoring your presence. I just can't make this stuff up I assure you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The thing you have to realize is that the management is very rich and do not want or "appreciate" your advice. In fact doing that will prove to be dangerous to your career longevity there.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    All about the Appearances

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at PEAK6 Investments

    Pros

    - Free soda and snacks
    - Great company parties

    Cons

    - IT Managers were completely clueless. I didn't get the impression they had a great grasp on how the business worked. Even worse what the competition is doing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Politics rule over Meritocracy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at PEAK6 Investments

    Pros

    Candy Drawer. Fridge of snacks/pop. A few extremely smart traders who are completely open to sharing thoughts and strategies.

    Cons

    Meritocracy is not rewarded and they fear taking on risk in even moderate proportions. The company is ruled by how you are perceived in many cases, and middle management is a huge mess. The traders are great, the management are not; in many instances you have to suck up to get anywhere.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    You are smart enough to stay away.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at PEAK6 Investments

    Pros

    There are free sodas for everyone and candy. Those are way cheaper than providing their employees with decent lunches or healthy drinks. There ARE better drink options in the storage room but those are reserved for the partners.
    The pay is well BELOW financial industry standard. That's a pro because mo money mo problems.

    Cons

    If you like being told what your opinion is and what to do and are willing to be a scapegoat when things go wrong. This is the perfect place for you.
    If you believe the lies that quality MUST suffer in order to get out software in quantity then this is the place for you.
    If you want to work for less than industry standard in an environment where you are micromanaged.
    Yes they have that too!
    If you like to have your good ideas stolen and not being given credit for them, you are just in luck.

    IT partners and their lackies run the show here. If you like kissing butt then this is the perfect place for you. Just don't voice your own opinion unless you first make sure it's the opinion of one of the partners or their lackies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is no advice to give to management. If you read the reviews you will see that this has always been their culture.
    The laughable thing is that an HR manager told me during my exit interview that the retention rate for developers was great.
    3 of the last 4 hires have LEFT (not fired. Just left). So 25% is great. Well that makes sense if you drink the PEAK6 koolaid I suppose.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    You Don't Want to work there

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at PEAK6 Investments

    Pros

    Most of the people that work at PEAK6 is friendly and willing to help in most cases.

    Cons

    If you are not part of the in group you will have no chance to advance and will be used as an escape goat when something does go wrong.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to re-evaluate who is running the ship.

  9.  

    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

  10. 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
  11. 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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