Optiver Reviews | Glassdoor

Optiver Reviews

Updated August 12, 2017
107 reviews

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4.0
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Optiver CEO Paul Hilgers
Paul Hilgers
26 Ratings

107 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Very competitive in terms of compensation and great work/life balance (in 17 reviews)

  • Good 401k matching, free breakfast and lunch, massages, not much hierarchy (in 4 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. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to work, highly recommend."

    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 (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits, great team atmosphere, room for growth. They strive to make a fun work environment so it often doesn't feel like work.

    Cons

    Typical office politics can often get in the way of getting work done or people giving their best. Easy to check out in that setting.

    Advice to Management

    Be open to listening to all employees.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Getting outpaced by other firms"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good 401k matching, free breakfast and lunch, massages, not much hierarchy. You are expected to show initiative and suggest ideas.

    Cons

    The best traders are not coming to optiver anymore and instead going to citadel/SIG/Jane street. This is evident from the lack of programming skills in even the most recently hired traders.

    Lag technologically compared to firms like Jane street who choose to develop in house tools as opposed to using third party software which is a pain.

    Advice to Management

    Can't really figure out what management does so nothing to say here

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Review"

    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 collaborative culture, managers were understanding and willing to help

    Cons

    Sometimes felt like there was lack of mentorship


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Interesting work. Fantastic work environment. Great people"

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

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

    Pros

    Teamwork. Company ethics. Work with people from diverse backgrounds from all over the world. Inter-office communications. Great perks. Accessibility of management.

    Cons

    Sometimes they will keep poor performing people around a little too long before firing them. Also it can take an excessive amount of work to get everyone required to sign off on a new idea.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work. Don't change much. Maintaining this will be difficult as the company grows. Foster more respect between teams in different departments.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Trader"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Optiver full-time

    Pros

    Hands on experience from day one, with flat structure and casual environment. You get to work with a lot of smart people.

    Cons

    You are subject to ups and downs of the derivatives industry, which is a shared risk exposure you get when you work in the industry.

    Advice to Management

    Give more responsibilities and power to successful traders. People that are in roles where you have to take risk should be rewarded better than those exposed to less risk.


  6. Helpful (12)

    "Advice from a Trader"

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

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

    Pros

    Relative to the industry, Optiver compensates its traders well for the first few years. Although salary is on the low side, with traders earning 85k USD regardless of seniority, bonuses can be high. When the company is doing well, a rookie can expect a bonus that is at least the same as annual salary, and the next promotion level can expect a bonus that is four times the rookie's. Rookies are generally promoted after 2 years.

    The work environment is comfortable. Casual dress means some traders wear shorts and flip-flops year-round. Lunch is catered daily, and snacks are provided in the kitchen.

    Cons

    Optiver has done a good job in recent years with its on-campus marketing (e.g., "We improve the market", "Brilliantly different", "Collaboration and transparency", etc.). However, there is an inconsistency between the company message and the reality for many of its employees. Optiver is no longer a small, tight-knit shop; it is a corporation. If given a choice between sticking to principles and maximizing shareholder value, Optiver will choose the latter. Employees have seen this time and again, with team members forced to leave under questionable, often politically-motivated circumstances.

    Optiver is a great short-term play. It's a good place to start your trading career. My advice is to learn as much as you can, but always be prepared to leave and join another company for the long-term. Regardless of your abilities, Optiver is always prepared to let you go.

    Advice to Management

    The truth about management at Optiver is that outside the company they would have a difficult time finding a role as relatively task-free and well-compensated, as they lack current hard skills. Many of them know this on some degree and as such often act out of self-interest rather than principle. My advice is to stop and do what is right rather than convenient.


  7. Helpful (13)

    "Good Compensation, Terrible Work Environment"

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

    Pros

    The compensation is above average.

    Cons

    The company is all about "face time" at the office, so be prepared for long hours (at least 12 a day). Definitely fosters an environment where people will stab you in the back or cut the legs out from under you to further their own careers. They talk a big game about teamwork, but it's one of the least conducive team environments in which I've ever worked.

  8. Helpful (7)

    "Watch your back."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Optiver full-time

    Pros

    Super friendly people with lots of perks to keep workers happy. Work hard and they usually will recognize your efforts and reward you accordingly.

    Cons

    Don't be lulled into a level of complacency where you are unable to recognize the wolves in sheep's clothing among the general population. Always treat everyone professionally with genuine respect, but be fully aware that any of them can and will stab you in the back when you're not looking. You will inevitably step on people's toes in order to get the job done. Just be mindful of whose toes you end up stepping on, and learn to correct those missteps very quickly before it costs you.

    Advice to Management

    Better lines of communication between upper management and the lowly worker would have been nice.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Research"

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

    Pros

    Outstanding firm with outstanding talented professionals

    Cons

    None to speak of just excellent all around.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Trader"

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

    I worked at Optiver (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Entrepreneurial environment, smart colleagues, great work/life balance, intellectually stimulating, great place to learn a discplined trading mentality

    Cons

    As with any trading company, culture is a bit secretive. If you go in understanding this, you will respect boundaries and be fine.

    Advice to Management

    Overall, management did a good job. I don't really have a negative thing to say about them as I agreed with most, if not all of their decisions during my time there.


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