Consolidated Trading Reviews | Glassdoor

Consolidated Trading Reviews

Updated March 1, 2017
25 reviews

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3.3
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Colby Lamberson
10 Ratings

25 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    "Options Trader"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Options Trader in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Options Trader in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Consolidated Trading full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I came to Consolidated right out of college. The firm recruits from the top schools in the nation. The training that I received was priceless, and now I am running my own desk within the firm in a relatively short amount of time given the industry. The amount of freedom traders are given is incredible, and this is perhaps one of the best opportunities any college graduate could be given. The firm has a good culture, free happy hours once a week and other good events.

    Cons

    I've read the reviews and have noticed a lot seem to be negative. These are written by people who had the opportunity to make millions, but failed, and for the most part are blaming the firm. There is certainly a push the bird out of the nest belief here after training is complete. Some fly, others fall.


  2. "No respect for employees"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Trader in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Trader in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Consolidated Trading full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    No risk manager, no one knows what they are doing or how to evaluate risk so they will let you have on whatever you want

    Cons

    Constantly changing the bonus structure, insurance, etc. forcing employees to sign non competes while withholding money. Incredibly high turnover, letting go of long term employees wth no cause or notice

    Advice to Management

    Get a risk manager and treat your employees like humans

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Clerk"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great group of smart guys who want to help the young guys learn

    Cons

    The hours in the morning can be very early


  4. "Trader"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Equity Index Option Trader/Risk Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Equity Index Option Trader/Risk Manager in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Consolidated Trading (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good pay, fun work events

    Cons

    lots of firings, no vacation time, ton of turnover, horrible tech vs competitors

    Advice to Management

    mandate a week vacation time or something


  5. "Do not work here if you have other choices"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Trader
    Former Employee - Trader
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Free food and snacks. Good company location.

    Cons

    This company does not care about new hires and the turn over rate is extremely high. If you are a college grad, please do not work here unless you have no choice. You are often forced to do work you are not supposed to do. The company also does not use any technology.


  6. "good place to learn"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Senior management gives new hires plenty of chance to get hands on experience.

    Cons

    Tech department does not help traders much.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Good company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Little hierarchy, friendly, casual, lots of opportunity to take risk and grow, good benefits

    Cons

    Technology can be slightly outdated. Expectation may not be clear all the time.

  8. "Chief Operating Officer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operations Officer in Arlington Heights, IL
    Current Employee - Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operations Officer in Arlington Heights, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Consolidated Trading (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great staff to work with

    Cons

    The management style was not always consistent

    Advice to Management

    Set the coarse and stick to it


  9. Helpful (1)

    "College Graduates Should Think Twice Before Accepting a Job Here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Big upside and a lot of freedom for talented traders.

    Cons

    For the majority of people who would consider a job at this firm, their interests would better be served going elsewhere. There are very talented young traders who make a lot of money, but more who don't. For an incoming group of college graduates to the firm, probably 50% will still have a job by the end of the first year and 25% will by the end of the second year. This is by design and unfortunately is not unique to this firm. What is even more troubling is that exit opportunities are very weak, unlike a job in investment banking where it is common for analysts to go on to work for a private equity firm or hedge fund. Options market making is only becoming more driven by technology and algorithms, and firms like Citadel and Jump Trading are so far ahead of Consolidated that it would almost be an insult to Jump to call Consolidated a competitor. The idea that Consolidated would want to protect its "trade secrets" is laughable. There is nothing that Consolidated is doing that the top firms would find valuable. If you are young cannot code, it's unlikely you will have much of a future in this industry. Learn to code or do something else. Some of the traders are good coders, but this is completely due to their own background and education and has nothing to do with the (lack of) strategic vision in senior management.

    The day to day work is kind of like being in the military without the patriotism or solidarity among your unit. Almost everyone you will work with will be men. There is a culture of hazing and intimidation. Yelling and profanity are accepted as in nearly no other professional environment. The environment is very Darwinian, winner take all, dog eat dog. The nature of market making can be very adversarial like a war where whether one will survive the day in combat is uncertain. The firm is run like a military unit where the bosses give orders and the rest are expected to fall in line. Discipline is valued above all other traits and subservience is preferable to creativity and innovation. However, there are no Saving Private Ryan moments. If you are a casualty, nobody is coming back for you. You will be fired. You are not fighting for freedom or independence; you are trying to make money.

    The day to day work can get very repetitive and monotonous. The job of the clerk at the beginning is like one of a secretary, mostly manual checks of positions and reconciling with brokers and counterparties. It is far more important not to make mistakes than it is to contribute anything positive. Almost all of this can be done by a computer, but the firm has not invested the technology resources to make it happen. Being a market maker is very different than being a "real" investor. The business is getting the implied volatility surface (often using an unsophisticated off-the-shelf algorithm), moving it by hand (other firms have software do this), buying options that are cheaper than fair value, and selling options that are more expensive than fair value. There used to be thousands of equity traders on the floor of the NYSE; now it's mostly a TV studio and the trades are executed by computers. The future of this business belongs to those who spend their time building smarter models and faster and more scalable technology, not those who spend their time clicking orders and writing text in a chat room. Many of the senior management started at a time when a truck driver could become a futures or options trader in the pit and their thinking hasn't progressed much. With increasing liquidity and competition, spreads will continue to tighten to even more razor thin levels, especially in big products like SPX. It would be in the interest of the firm to look into less liquid products like more obscure single name options where the spread is larger. There seems to be no interest in liquidity taking strategies or in trying to predict any kind of economic outcomes or asset price changes as one would do at a hedge fund.

    Bottom line for college students interviewing at this firm: If you can't code, do something other than trading. If you can code and want to get a job at a trading firm, go to a better trading firm. If you are interested in investing and not market making, go to a bank or a hedge fund. If you think it's acceptable to make less money than your friends at Goldman Sachs for less job security and far worse career options doing something miles from the cutting edge at a firm most people have never heard of while being subject to a disrespectful and threatening environment, take a job here. Granted there are a lot of successful and talented young traders here, but they would probably be successful anywhere.


  10. "Good"

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

    I have been working at Consolidated Trading (More than a year)

    Pros

    flexible, entrepreneurial, helpful people

    Cons

    Tech. its improving everyday though


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