Comments (6)

Chunk12, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Tier lists are a fool's errand. Too dependent on role, preference between comp/wlb, and which assets did well the previous year. For big companies everything is desk dependent. 

Ie tower and jump don't usually do well in tier lists but both have groups with performance that looks good in comparison to Rentech.

Interviewing and judging from your own experience & networking is the way to go. You can progress in your career at most reputable places.

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  • Works at Akuna Capital LLC

Honestly, at a certain point, it doesn't matter what firm you end up at. If you're wanting to go to the most "prestigious" firm think to yourself what is the benefit of that. Every firm will make sure you get paid if you're good at what you do to prevent them from losing talent whether that means early promotions, larger bonuses for star traders, etc. (Look at Brevan and how they rebuilt their fund by just giving money to Star traders and letting them run). 

The benefit of having one of the more "prestigious" firms on your resume is the exit opportunities because everyone knows you're at one of the bigger well-known names in the space. The only reason I wouldn't frown upon someone wanting to go to the most well-known and largest structured shops is that they want to do their own thing or run their own book 5+ years down the line and when they start raising capital from investors they get to say that learned from and survived 5+ years of CitSec/Jane Street/HRT. If your reason for going to one of these firms is to have a flashy name on the resume and to make your entire personality about your job I'd argue to take a step back and take a more holistic view of the firm you choose.

I also want to be clear that going to one of the bigger more cutthroat shops like CitSec might be a good fit, but a majority of people don't realize what they're walking into and sacrificing by taking that nice-looking 500K new grad offer. Definitely had a few times when I'm at dinner or want to grab drinks with friends when they have to decline because they're working awful hours, and definitely have heard a few complaints about co-workers being too competitive, judgemental, and cocky as well, and come on when you're new in the space you want to be sitting by smart people who are humble enough to help you learn without making your life a stressful hell. 

That being said, this is my perception of a "Tier" list that aggregates reputation, compensation, work-life balance, and traders who end up in entrepreneurial ventures (There's a reason Optiver puts out so many spinoffs - I.e. Eclipse, Akuna, Maven, Wintermute).

S: CitSec, Jane, HRT, Jump

T1: Optiver, DRW, SIG, IMC

T2: Akuna, CTC, Maven Securities, Flow Traders

T2.5: Belvedere, Transmarket, Gelber, Valkyrie, Wolverine, Peak6

Disclaimer: I have a few friends in the industry and not a single person has made fun of me for working at Akuna lol. You'll realize that the best traders are the most humble and friendly because it never hurts to have friends in the space when trying to figure out if your comp was good for your P/L or if you want to go run off and start your own thing with some DRW/Optiver guys (DRW put a lot of guys into crypto start-ups for sure.). I also had a few opportunities to move shops because I trade a niche product that is in high demand and our desk is pretty good, but I'm not really looking to hop because I love my team, my product, my pay, and I also like the new talent we're bringing in.

The only people who like to brag about their shop are new graduates who have no life and the only thing they care about is to be able to brag to friends that they make more money and their role is the hardest to land. 

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