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Optiver Reviews

Updated February 9, 2018
132 reviews

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3.9
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Jan Boomaars
1 Rating

132 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good work life balance with 25 vacations a year (in 25 reviews)

  • Awesome office, free breakfast and lunch, massages, and awesome events organised for employees (including interns) (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • Not many exit opportunities, discriminating between dutch and non dutch and firing rate is very high (in 4 reviews)

  • The company is all about "face time" at the office, so be prepared for long hours (at least 12 a day) (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "awesome employer"

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

    Pros

    pretty good worklife balance

    Cons

    no need to mention cons


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work"

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

    I have been working at Optiver full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Lots of Intelligent folks
    Interesting problems to solve
    Good work life balance with 25 vacations a year
    Casual dressing
    Good Food
    Fast growth

    Cons

    Compensation can be more fair

    Advice to Management

    Allocation of profit pool can improve
    Encourage people who are doing good work
    Discourage people who are not doing any work

  3. Helpful (2)

    "One of the best"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Trader in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Trader in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Optiver full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Junior level (<5 years) compensation is extremely competitive.
    The best (or at least top 3) on most products that we trade.
    Smart people with not that much ego.
    Pretty transparent bonus structure encourages people to help each other, promoting a friendly culture compared to other silo-ed firms (etc. Jump)

    Cons

    Not that much upside for the best guys - some talented traders are moving to other competitors to get paid more.
    In contrast, there are also some people who can't get paid not even half of what they get paid at Optiver if they leave, hence lowering the morale.
    Not much incentive for shareholders to take risk (e.g. exploring new products -
    cryptos, equity options, swaps and swaptions, etc)
    The best traders don't always make the best managers (see what happened at Intel vs IBM), but there is no choice because managers get paid more.
    Reviews are getting little obscure as traders get more specialized, and its hard to compare apples and oranges.

    Advice to Management

    Fix the cons.

    Used to have a BPTW survey and I don't know why we stopped doing that. I think it was a great tool to gather what employees think.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Business Operations"

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

    I worked at Optiver full-time

    Pros

    Flat Structure
    Great Office
    Good Food and Company Trips
    Great Compensation
    Great Teambuilding Events
    Fun Smart People
    Opportunity to learn and develop new skills in a great environment

    Cons

    Team leads and managers have inconsistent skills as managers--sometimes making it hard to evaluate your performance. Also, because of that fact, people stop trusting their managers.

    Advice to Management

    Take time to formally train managers on how to be good managers and make good management a criteria for determining bonus awards.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "By far the best place I have worked in my 15+ year career"

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

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

    Pros

    I have worked at two large and successful companies and one smaller government position since graduating college. Working at these other companies really lets me appreciate working at Optiver and all the benefits therein.

    Compensation - salary, bonus, health insurance, 25 vacation days on top of all the market holidays, and the dollar for dollar 401k match make the compensation is top tier.

    Culture - incredibly strong culture. Almost everyone working here checks their ego at the door and the best ideas win. The focus is on long term growth and doing the right things not only for Optiver but for the market.

    Executives /leadership - The people steering the ship at Optiver not only have great vision and insight they know their employees and hang out and have a beer on Fridays after work.

    Outlook - Amazing outlook and growth. Optiver Chicago is the best at pricing options on the SP500 complex globally. Seeing the current trend of money moving into passive index funds Optiver is poised to keep growing even in a low volatility market.

    Work/life balance - The after hour and weekend work here is very limited and much less than when I worked at other large companies. You are treated like a person here and if you have a family emergency people will go out of their way to cover for you.

    Perks - Coffee barista, catered breakfast and lunch, huge variety of snacks and drinks, ping pong table, pool table, weekly massage, beer and wine available after work. All free.

    Cons

    Optiver is flat organization. Overall I think being flat is better but it could feel like growth is limited.

    You have to work at a high level each and everyday. Once again I feel like this is a benefit. If you are not performing over a sustained period you will eventually get cut but this makes Optiver stronger as there is no dead weight.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Amazing place to work"

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

    I have been working at Optiver full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    People, technology, pay, work/life balance, great office

    Cons

    Always slightly understaffed which makes it hard to grow as fast as we would like.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work


  7. Helpful (9)

    "Rewarding place to work"

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

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

    Pros

    - Intelligent and humble coworkers
    - Great pay
    - Engineers are promoted and paid based on merit. There is transparency regarding levels (junior, senior status, etc.) and your guess is likely correct about where others are.
    - With everything in technology and trading constantly changing, there is much room for growth and taking on new responsibilities, even immediately after starting
    - Everything is solid including culture in general, 401k, massages, breakfast, lunch, snacks, five weeks of vacation shortly after starting (which everyone actually takes), and yearly company trip
    - Useless meetings are cut short or cut out; there is little opportunity for being bored
    - Team leads aren’t simply middle managers; they've excelled at the role they are leading
    - Expectations are extremely consistent: focus on clean, simple solutions, own the stack, grasp the feedback loop of development

    Cons

    - Making significant changes that affect trading can be stressful, though this is largely mitigated by frequent releases and having a plan if your solution is broken

    Advice to Management

    - An important and positive part of our culture is the blame-free environment where we collectively learn from our mistakes. Continue to encourage this.

  8. Helpful (5)

    "Accounts payable Specialist"

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

    I worked at Optiver full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Free breakfast and lunch. Free massages and awesome view looking at Millenium Park. Other than this, I have nothing good to say about my time at Optiver

    Cons

    Stressful and you are not able to take work home if something needs to get done. A billion procedures and no guidance. Expectations are unrealistic and they expect you to memorize all the procedures the 1st day on the job.

    Advice to Management

    Learn how to be patient with certain individuals who learn at a different pace. Be reasonable with what is expected.


  9. Helpful (7)

    "Meh"

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

    I have been working at Optiver full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Used to be awesome, now it’s just another company, still has somewhat of a startup culture with a blame free environment but I️ feel that eroding quickly

    Cons

    Now it’s just another corporation where management has no vision because they’re happily collecting dividends from shares(which only they have permission to buy mind you).

    Now, we’re consistently getting out-pioneered by pretty much all the top trading firms like drw and jump who have more exciting things going on like crypto trading.

    Part of this boils down to management generally being apathetic to any expansion effort. If I️ were a young grad again id prob go to our competitors to have a more exciting career.

    TLDR: great once upon a time, now meh

    Advice to Management

    you’re doing exactly what’s best for you so kudos on that I️ guess


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Operations in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - IT Operations in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The benefits and perks at Optiver are really stellar. It is a very good place to work. The work is fast paced and exciting. There is an opportunity to work with cutting-edge technologies. Most of the people are a pleasure to work with. The job can be stressful at times, but the work life balance saves it. 25 vacation days is well ahead of other companies outside of the trading industry.

    Cons

    Salaries seem to lag behind competing firms, especially in IT operations. Optiver seems to be losing excellent rising engineers because salaries are not keeping pace with other firms out there.


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