PEAK6 Investments Reviews | Glassdoor

PEAK6 Investments Reviews

Updated August 31, 2017
131 reviews

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2.9
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PEAK6 Investments Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Hulsizer
Matthew Hulsizer
83 Ratings

131 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The office space is impressive and can attract people to the company on its own (in 21 reviews)

  • Lots of good snacks, smart people (in 15 reviews)

Cons
  • work life balance is tough specially in technology area (in 8 reviews)

  • Upper management tends to be more ruthless than not (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (3)

    "A Good Place to Innovate"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at PEAK6 Investments full-time

    Pros

    A very successful and adaptable firm that's made it through thick and thin in the markets and grown quite a bit. Some extremely talented people. Technologists and analysts are respected and regarded as partners. Can feel really innovative and fast-paced. Some really interesting things to work on. Good support so you can focus on the things you want to do. Committed to education.

    Cons

    As is common in the industry, middle managers are often selected for talents and skills other than management and so they've got things to learn. Commitment to diversity and civic engagement are weak.

    PEAK6 Investments Response

    Mar 30, 2017 – COO

    Thanks for your feedback. It’s especially great to hear feedback on areas within our culture since those are areas in which we’ve been actively investing a great deal of time and resources. So it’s... More


  2. "Analyst"

    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 PEAK6 Investments full-time

    Pros

    PEAK6 is a good place to work with a lot of talented individuals. They offer a lot of small office perks. Pretty dynamic work place with some bureaucracy, but not that bad relative to some bigger firms. They reward those who add value accordingly - especially traders. You feel like your actions can make an impact on the bottom line.

    Cons

    They don't do a job investing and developing in employees. In their defense, they were trying to turn that around when I left. However, it has been a long time coming and they have attempted some similar programs in the past so who knows if it will stick.

    Although you have good bonus potential, the base salaries are not very competitive making you reliant on a bonus that may or may not come. If you are willing to accept that risk I would not let the lower salary dissuade you.

  3. Helpful (6)

    "Do NOT work here if you want a career"

    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 PEAK6 Investments full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great office space
    Free snacks
    First few months of training
    Good Benefits
    Yearly party

    Cons

    - If you are good at your role, there is 0 room for growth
    Peak6 seem to view employees as cogs in their own machine. If a cog is functioning properly, the cog stays put. It doesn't matter if the cog wants to grow/develop itself further. Allowing employees to progress in their careers might lessen turnover.

    - 95% of Middle Management
    The role of a trader is to be better/faster/smarter than everyone else around them. Much of the qualities necessary to become a good trader are the ones that doom you to being a subpar manager. Doing 360 degree reviews would allow for feedback on manager performance from those being manged.

    Advice to Management

    1) Allow employees to progress in their careers
    2) Start doing 360 degree feedback


  4. "PEAK6"

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

    I have been working at PEAK6 Investments full-time

    Pros

    Great culture, easy to get along with most people.

    Cons

    Pay is below average.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to work on recognition


  5. Helpful (4)

    "No raises/advancement opportunity. CMO driving business/creative ideas into the ground."

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at PEAK6 Investments full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Seeing the building in my rearview mirror.

    Cons

    Poor management in marketing, micromanaged, lots of attitude/poor treatment by CMO control freak, long hours without proper compensation, poor office conditions in creative department. No work/life balance. Expected to be "ON" 24/7, Extremely stressful and highly critical environment.

    Advice to Management

    Provide reviews for employees to at least have a small chance to voice their concerns/opinions and offer raises/advancement options from within. Take a hard look at what your CMO is doing and how treating employees. CEO's seem great otherwise...They just have no grasp on what is going on.

    PEAK6 Investments Response

    Aug 21, 2017 – President

    Thank you for taking the time to write a review. We read and respond to each piece of feedback on Glassdoor to try and understand how we can do better and continually improve. Our marketing team... More


  6. Helpful (6)

    "They try"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at PEAK6 Investments full-time

    Pros

    All that has been said about this firm in previous reviews is true. But to be honest, they're really trying to make the workplace better for their employees.
    1) Lots to learn
    2) They value everyone's opinion
    3) Managers are helpful and supportive
    4) People get to work on different Peak6 initiatives.

    Cons

    1) Low pay. For both people on the technology and trading side of things. They say that they compete with Google and Facebook for talent, but lets not kid ourselves, there's just no comparison. Even though prop shops generally pay a higher compensation, they grossly underpay their engineers.
    Almost all other prop shops pay SIGNIFICANTLY higher compensations. Don't think of people as a cost but as an investment!
    2) No work life balance.

    Advice to Management

    Even though I enjoy working at Peak6, the low pay keeps reminding me that I might be more valued someplace else.


  7. Helpful (10)

    "Egos at the top, talent everywhere"

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

    I worked at PEAK6 Investments full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I worked at Peak6 for more than 5 years. A lot of the people there were great. They really hire talent. From department to department, there were people who really knew their job.

    Cons

    After a while, it seemed like decisions weren't as well thought out. Direction of the firm and side projects didn't go as well as the core business.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the employees more in regards to how to grow the business.

  8. Helpful (10)

    "Penny-wise and pound foolish."

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

    I worked at PEAK6 Investments full-time

    Pros

    There are bagels on Fridays, some company outings, massages, dinner/drinks, and other activities outside of work.

    Cons

    Glassdoor is quite accurate; particularly the statements on listening to and valuing employees.

    While the perks mentioned above are nice, where the rubber meets the road is how people are valued, and the subtext is quite clear: they are contractors in a cost-center, and management really cares about reducing cost above all else.

    This manifests in a few ways that hurt innovation and employee initiative, namely an over-focus on Jira ticket management, and only top-down waterfall-designed projects get the green light. There's a real chance that you won't have any real input on the projects until it's time to implement them ticket by ticket... unless you get shuttled to a project elsewhere in the firm (or wider family of non-finance Peak6-owned firms) that needs a better ticket-closing rate.

    If you're after a place to be creative, innovate, and work on interesting things, consider working elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    Software is not merely a crank that gets turned and a product pops out; if you want to attract and keep the best people, realize that they're not interchangeable cogs. Hire the best, trust them, and get out of their way.


  9. Helpful (9)

    "Needs to Improve"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at PEAK6 Investments full-time

    Pros

    Small firm culture means that you get to work on some pretty cool projects and jump into things you wouldn’t have the chance to at other places. Office space is awesome. Free food, great parties & events. You get the chance to work with some really smart people.

    Cons

    The negative comments in other reviews are basically all true. Feedback/direction from leadership is all over the place, and it’s usually conflicting. Put this along with micromanagement at both the management and leadership levels and it can be very frustrating to get things done. There is a lack of respect for employees, and the general message is that anyone/everyone is replaceable. But probably the worst part is that this feedback has been given to managers/leadership for years now, and nothing ever changes and bad managers are not held accountable.

    Advice to Management

    Start listening to your employees. It always seems that there are new initiatives to help this and help that, but the follow-through on anything managers/leadership says will change never happens.

    PEAK6 Investments Response

    Mar 30, 2017 – COO

    Thanks for sharing your feedback. I’m glad to hear you find that you have opportunity at PEAK6. As a small, entrepreneurial firm, we want our culture to be one where every employee has an opportunity... More


  10. Helpful (12)

    "Negative themes are a problem"

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

    I worked at PEAK6 Investments full-time

    Pros

    Free snacks, cool, extravagant parties. Smallish firm, so a lot of opportunity to learn and do a bunch of stuff.

    Cons

    The themes of the tons of other negative glassdoor reviews are all true, but I think it can be boiled down to this: PEAK6 does not care about their employees, despite making a big deal over how much they do. Read back to reviews from early 2016 - you'll see a bunch of glowingly ones in the middle of tons of negative. The reason is that PEAK6 felt concerned about their employer brand image, and instead of paying attention to the poor reviews and finding ways to address the concerns (low pay, poor management/leadership, limited career progression, lack of transparency) - they asked all current employees to please write reviews - "positive or negative" - but positioned in the context of needing to improve the GD image. This is representative of everything that is wrong with PEAK6 - until upper management starts listening and taking real, meaningful action, nothing will change. Actions speak louder than words, and employees will invariably lose faith in this broken system.

    Advice to Management

    Place higher value on listening skills and treat your employees with more respect and recognition (titles, compensation, day-to-day treatment). Very few managers at PEAK6 are good listeners, and it leaves your employees feeling undervalued. I think your choice is to either do that, or to resign to the fact that, like it or not, you are an employer that views employees are totally and completely replaceable, and therefore not worthy of attention.

    PEAK6 Investments Response

    Mar 30, 2017 – COO

    Thanks for providing feedback on your experience working at PEAK6. I’m disappointed to hear about your time here and that you felt employees aren’t valued. We want every employee to be heard and... More


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