Optiver Reviews | Glassdoor

Optiver Reviews

Updated December 6, 2017
121 reviews

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3.9
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Optiver CEO Paul Hilgers
Paul Hilgers
34 Ratings

121 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The job can be stressful at times, but the work life balance saves it (in 21 reviews)

  • You'll be surrounded by smart people that know their stuff (in 8 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)

    "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


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Business OPerations Groups"

    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

    I worked at Optiver full-time

    Pros

    Smart People
    Great Compensation and Bonuses
    Great Health Care Benefits
    Great 401K Match
    Great Office space and fun company trips
    Ethical approach to business

    Cons

    Flat Organization is good but has limited upward mobility in the company
    Inconsistent management at times

    Advice to Management

    Make sure people feel valued and appreciated.

  3. Helpful (5)

    "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.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "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.


  5. 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


  6. 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.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Putting people around the problem"

    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

    - People figure out how to own and solve problems, aren't told how to solve them from top down
    - Great people (traders and engineers) to work with, respectful environment even when chaotic, smart people who leave egos at the door
    - High pay, benefits
    - Work/life balance, even in senior roles
    - Promotions/bonuses based on merit, not longevity or connections
    - As an engineer, you have the resources to build really well-engineered systems

    Cons

    - Very competitive industry, a solution that worked last year needs to be improved constantly to work next year, never done solving a problem, moving target
    - Hard to measure improvements to systems in constantly changing market
    - Sometimes decide to throw away code you worked hard on, can be tough

    Advice to Management

    Continue to bring in top talent: smart people who are also good people to work with

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Awesome company! Successful, Ethical, Fun"

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Optiver full-time

    Pros

    Optiver Chicago is an amazing office with great people. The executive team is young, principled and accessible without tendencies to micro-manage or impose questionable policies. The overall culture of the Chicago office in particular is very nice, very diverse, and extremely active. There is always a cool outing or volunteering activity going on. People are proud to be here and there tends to be a good mix of old and new employees. There is turnover but it seems to be less than other places ive either worked at or heard of, seems natural. The office is growing which is exciting and the management and support teams do a good job of scaling without discomfort. Overall I really think this is a good place to work and if you work hard and can keep up with an all star team its a great place to be.

    Cons

    I honestly don't have many material cons to add. Extended hours on the Barista? Longer massages?

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work while continuing to adapt to the growing teams. So far maintaining the culture seems to be going well but just needs to continue.


  9. 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.


  10. 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


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