PEAK6 Investments

www.peak6.com

PEAK6 Investments Reviews

Updated January 27, 2015
Updated January 27, 2015
72 Reviews
2.7
72 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Matthew Hulsizer
48 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • There are plenty of smart people and not too many jerks (in 12 reviews)

  • Good benefits, decently easy to take time off (in 8 reviews)


Cons
  • discretionary bonus) to their extreme benefit (in 3 reviews)

  • Career progression opportunities for middle management are limited (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Good balance between small and huge. Financial culture without the edge

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

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

    Pros

    Working in a few different areas/roles, there were plenty of opportunities to find something you liked. It's ok to stumble a little.. the organization helps find a role that fits you and them if you have potential. Sometimes the culture and rumors make it sound like that's not the case.

    It's a no non-sense and fact oriented culture, which for me was a plus. Don't expect to BS your way to success. Less cutthroat than typical financial/trading stereotypes, however. It's no startup, but you can have an impact.

    Cons

    There's a feeling that it's constantly in transition. They want to keep everyone adapting and changing.. sometimes that doesn't land for most. It's probably the root of most of the reviews here mentioning lack of focus.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Things are trending positive. Keep making those changes and opportunities for top performers.

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Do NOT care about their employees.

    • 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

    Good technology, a few great people, beautiful office and a fully-stocked kitchen.

    Cons

    Upper management who are clueless and do not care about their employees. The office politics were absolutely ridiculous and there was some kind of restructuring every single year.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Care about the people who make the money and don't be so greedy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Lots of room to learn and grow

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

    I worked at PEAK6 Investments (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Nice perks, smart people, amazing office

    Cons

    Some things coming from the top aren't planned or thought out very well

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
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  5.  

    Overall awful place to work

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

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

    Pros

    Decent benefits package including 401K matching (discretionary), health care, life insurance, etc.

    Cons

    1. Compensation is far below standards in prop trading. It is also very opaque so it is very difficult to know exactly all of the variables that affect your compensation.
    2. Enormous paradox in how they operate. They claim to be constantly evolving and looking to develop new strategies/ideas but in reality, this couldn't be further from the truth. They have been doing the same strategy for 20 years and any idea that radically strays away from that is shut down.
    3. They treat employees like garbage. People are often fired without warning and there is no severance package to soften the blow. They take you into a room for a meeting and you are not allowed to go back to the desk afterwards, not even to grab your things. You are led outside while someone from HR collects your belongings and brings it out to you.
    4. Nonexistent career opportunities. No transparent path for going up the ranks. Senior management is essentially a group of friends that knew each other from college or previous firms.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Maintain some kind of focus and treat your employees better.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    It's just a pay check.

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

    I worked at PEAK6 Investments full-time

    Pros

    If you are a trader and If you want to be well-versed in options trading, then this is the place for you. Peak6 is a very disciplined options trading firm. There are a few very smart technology people that you could learn from. They have bags tournaments, playground builds, and poker nights, all of which are cool company perks. They give you candy, chips and soda too if you get excited about that kind of thing.

    Cons

    There is a lack of growth for employees. No upward mobility. There is a conflict between the old trading firm culture and the new corporate culture that PEAK6 is trying to embrace. The old culture is hard to break. If you are not a trader, then this is not the place for you unless you plan on being there for a good amount of time.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great culture and people

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at PEAK6 Investments full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits, compensated well, great corporate culture, fun parties, lots of opportunities to get involved in the community or with other business divisions

    Cons

    strict hierarchy, productivity sometimes seemed less important than face time in the office or accessibility after hours, executives were inaccessible

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to be more transparent and accessible to your employees

    Recommends
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Terrible place to work

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

    I worked at PEAK6 Investments full-time

    Pros

    Management takes an interest in helping you excel

    Cons

    You're paid a discretionary bonus.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue what you're doing

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    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 (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
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    There are better options.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at PEAK6 Investments full-time

    Pros

    There are plenty of smart people and not too many jerks. Benefits are decent.

    Cons

    Too much management but too few real decision makers. Incoherent business and human resources strategy. Their best employees seem to be the ones that leave. It doesn't seem like management wants to reward the best performers.

    Doesn't Recommend
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    some smart people, but poor middle management, lack of risk taking

    • 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 (more than a year)

    Pros

    its a place to learn about options.
    They used to only specialize in equity options as prop traders, which was very unstable. Now they have a more diversified business, as they have an asset management as well as brokerage business on top of prop trading.
    there are some hardworking talented employees. they've gotten good results, and as a result the partners have done well for themselves.
    nice offices, oh yeah and free candy/ cheese sticks

    Cons

    The interests some of the managers and the company not well aligned. While there are some nice people and people who add value, there are also managers with mediocre skills, yet quietly have very large egos and feel entitled to their position because they are related to or old friends with the partners/people in power. They can run havoc, do what want, and not worry about their role in the company. Oddly enough, during cuts it's often the people who crossed these managers that are let go.

    Partners don't want to put any more money on unproven businesses. They'll say the right things to encourage you to take risks, but if it doesn't pan out, it's your head on the line. Given the career risk of a prop trader, the percentage payout is fairly low. There is very little upside unless you stay here long enough, and get enough luck( at least 5 years) to manage a large book.

    partners take the upside potential, the traders eat the downside.

    What they do is basically sell volatility, and traders who want to try new ideas and expand to new asset classes won't be given the necessary vote of confidence to succeed.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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