PEAK6 Investments

  www.peak6.com
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PEAK6 Investments Reviews

Updated Jun 23, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.9 55 reviews

55% Approve of the CEO

(no image)

Matthew Hulsizer

(40 ratings)

41% of employees recommend this company to a friend

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)

55 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    It's a place to work but not excel

    Junior Trader (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsDiverse investment in different business

    ConsVery conservative in risk taking

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

     

    Company Review

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    Pros-fun, great leadership, good compensation

    Cons-often times stuck with nothing to do

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Comically bad micromanagement in some areas

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsNice 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.

    ConsStaff 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 Senior ManagementListen 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Just watch how quickly a fabulous company review shows up after a truthful review is posted.

    Trader (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsSome great parties that have been continuously declining in quality and attendance. Candy drawer.

    ConsA crowded room of yes men who know enough to never question a ridiculous initiative or new business venture. The owners have their trusted lieutenants along with a bloated layer of junior partners and middle managers unsure of where they will be or what they will be doing in 3 years. Just very little vision as far as a plan of attack. Even the gentlemen responding to these posts was the owner's roommate in college and now the President of the company. Its a great job if you can get it.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAt this point there is not much that can be recommended. They have pretty much made their bed which is to say they have a lot of options traders who at best are probably struggling to make money against the likes of Citadel, Goldman, and Wolverine trading in this highly automated and algorithmic environment. Don't get me wrong they have some pretty cutting edge stuff but so does everyone else.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Comp & Benefits
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Awesome company

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsYou get access to some of the best and brightest people. High energy, entrepreneurial firm that is always thinking of how to do things better/differently. Collaborative teams, great space, and outstanding holiday parties (Flo Rida was the entertainment this year!). Benefits are also really good.

    ConsFinancial services requires a lot of security, for good reason. If you haven't worked in a regulated environment the amount of security and restrictions to data might be unexpected.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThere's been some great progress over the 4 years + that I've been with the firm. There's been strong growth across the firm, and good opportunities for movement within the firm. The leadership team has been much more tuned in to employee feedback over this time. That open communication is really appreciated. Please keep it up!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    PEAK6 Investments President responded to this review

    Dec 23, 2013

    We're happy to hear that you're enjoying your time at PEAK6. And, we appreciate you recognizing the progress we've made over the past few years. We'll definitely keep it up!
    • Culture & Values
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    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Too bureaucratic for its own good

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsAnnual band party ( founders hire big time band like goo goo dolls to perform)

    ConsCompany touts "frugality" as a plus...including compensation
    Has become a bureaucratic organization ....large but layers of people who don't always grasp how their roles help the greater picture

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    PEAK6 Investments President responded to this review

    Jan 10, 2014

    Thanks for your feedback. At PEAK6 we do want people to spend the firm’s money like it’s their own. We want everyone to be financially responsible. I am disappointed to hear you feel the firm ... More

     

    a

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Prosoffice space is very beautiful

    Conswould rather not say pls

    PEAK6 Investments President responded to this review

    Dec 5, 2013

    We're glad that you enjoy working with us at PEAK6 and appreciate your feedback. Please feel free to provide any additional feedback you may have (good or bad). We welcome all feedback.
    • Culture & Values
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    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Fun place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsCompetitive salary, good bonuses, great co-workers, good work environment, great company parties

    ConsNew management brought in on media side caused a stressful work environment and implemented several rounds of lay-offs.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    PEAK6 Investments President responded to this review

    Dec 5, 2013

    We're glad that you enjoyed working at PEAK6. The firm has been growing significantly which does bring a good amount of change along with it. We can definitely appreciate that our culture is not ... More
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Most of the best and brightest traders have left the firm. One trick pony

    Talent Recruitment (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsPeak6 is incredibly generous when it comes to providing its employees with unlimited candy, carrots and string cheese. The partner's art collection is one to marvel at when you get situated every morning at your workstation.

    ConsManagement can at times be detached, uninterested and unavailable to the employees. The cultural perplexities require solid game theory skills just to navigate the very political landscape there. The playing field is full of hidden booby traps so tread with caution.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLimit the political promotions and rid yourself of the many worthless mid to lower middle managers. Way too much micromanaging and second guessing going on from these rather useless individuals.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    PEAK6 Investments President responded to this review

    Dec 5, 2013

    Thanks for your feedback. We definitely do encourage an open, transparent culture. And we agree -- a political, bureaucratic culture doesn't support our core values. It sounds like your ... More
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    good to start a trading career in

    Employee (Current Employee)

    Pros- Modern expansive open floor office space w/ glass-wall offices & tall ceilings. Promotes idea sharing.
    - There are some innovative, smart, hard-working people in the firm. General office culture is nice and friendly.
    - Firm tries to uphold a semblance of intra-office social life. There are 3-4 events throughout the year with company anniversary party being the culmination. There are yoga classes, ping-pong and sporadic sports league involvement.
    - In trading the pay tends to be fair (i.e. merit based) even for junior personal. Jr Trader has a chance to make good money under the right circumstances in year 2 on the job.
    - Bonuses are predictable to a reasonable extent in trading (not so much in tech).
    - Competitive base salary in the tech department.

    Cons- Entrepreneurial nature of the top management. This falls under cons because of the number of curtailed initiatives over the years. I can count around 40 of such failed initiatives off the top of my head (so I'd double that number to get a more accurate estimate). The success rate for these initiatives is less than that of a VC firm and half of them have almost nothing to do with core business. Morale suffers from that, as employees often feel that the leadership is diverting resources and attention from the core proven business fruitlessly.
    - Due to aforementioned culture be ready for abrupt change. (could be a pro for some).
    - For all this change, fundamentally, the firm hasn’t changed too much over the past 10 years. (Option House and one or two profitable strategies traded in the Hedge Fund being the sole exceptions). Incremental improvements happened of course, but that is a natural occurrence for tech-based business.
    - Career progression opportunities for middle management are limited. Historically, people who were brought in for a project or initiative haven't stuck around. One often hears of ideological differences, not enough resources, unclear goals and expectations as the reasons for departure. Home grown middle management often gets moved from successful projects and then either leaves or under performs due to resulting disillusionment & lack of motivation. Partnership seems to have reached critical mass - there hasn't been anyone promoted to partner for around 4-5 years.
    - Unmotivated leadership. Some of the partners seem to be calling it in. They are never or rarely seen to be involved. Sometimes are on sabbaticals. Founding partners are very particular and controlling, so with the high number of partners, lack of motivation is not surprising.
    - It’s generally agreed upon view among the employees that disagreeing with a higher management initiatives is a bad idea, and if you want to have the best chances of comparatively good bonus, you have to support the initiatives and show respect. You do have to present a non-emotional demand here and there to make sure your needs are not disregarded and you are not being "walked on".

    Advice to Senior ManagementWith long term goals in mind:
    - Appear more involved. Especially in things that would make you better equipped to make good management decisions in things you are working on.
    - Keep statements like “it’s a privilege for you to trade my money” or “it is what it is” to a minimum.
    - consider publically commending top performers at all-hands meetings instead of the long-tenured employees. Or maybe a grocery store picture plaques type of approach.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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