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Comments (45)

  • Trader in Other
Aug 21, 2020 - 9:36am

Optiver bonuses are transparent. First years are making 400-600k. Jane street bonuses are less transparent but people generally know what range you're in. All in pay 300-500k for first years. First years meaning first full year at the firm.

This is for this year. Most years are around half this for first years

  • Quant in HF - Other
Aug 21, 2020 - 10:48am

First year at Optiver is 400-600K? Hard to believe. I do know numbers for JS and they are "way" lower generally with a handful of offers in that range just due to a huge sign-on (meaning, there was at least offer from Citadel/JS to compete with). So, a top offer here is like 400K, super-top is maybe 500-600 for an extreme outlier. Average is closer to 300. 

> Most years are around half this for first years

Is this even English?

Aug 23, 2020 - 4:42pm

Can confirm. 2 Friends in Prop Trading. Both different firms but think JS/Citadel/5 Rings/DRW/Optiver. Both say 250-400K is more like it. Apparently, whether you end up on the lower or the higher end of the range depends on how many offers you have. 

But I've heard that 500K is possible on a good year.

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Aug 21, 2020 - 6:35pm

as a prop trader....i want a % of my P&L.  assuming i am not putting up any capital...then 20-40% of P&L is what you should want.....and then whatever that comes to is your pay.

if you want to get paid like an engineer....thats not prop trading

Aug 23, 2020 - 2:58am

Not sure why you're getting MS for this... SB'd. Anyone getting into prop trading should know that pay is a function of performance. 


Aug 23, 2020 - 3:50pm

OP is clearly referring to the top firms which tend to operate under a global PnL pool.

Also getting "paid like an engineer" seems like a pretty good deal especially when junior traders are barely positive value to the desk until a year or two in.

Most Helpful
Nov 5, 2020 - 9:58pm

Some of what you said is correct but there are a lot of inaccuracies here.

  • On a normal year a marble is worth between 1-2k. 
  • This year, the marble is projected to be 4-6k. New grads (starting in summer of 2019) will probably get 50-75 marbles. These guys are most likely getting paid 400-600k this year (based on 150k base + 5k*75).
  • You don't get more marbles every year. Instead, you get more marbles when you are promoted. There's also no 300 marble level. The marble progression is 100 -> 200 -> 400 -> 900 -> partner. Very few people make it past the 400 marble threshold. I also heard that this year the starting marble amount went from 100 to 50 or 75 (essentially creating a level 0). 
  • Compensation variance is determined based on your individual performance. There's a multiplier on your marbles based on how you and your desk did. Note that this is zero sum, so if you get 150 marbles instead of 100, someone else loses 50 marbles.
  • Quant in HF - Other
Nov 6, 2020 - 6:06am

The problem with your post is that it looks like you claim that for many people there is a path to 900K bonus. This is dead wrong.

How many ppl at Citadel Securities earn more than 700-900K per year? Surprisingly little. Many senior Quants and SWEs are capped at 700-900 mark (10+ YOE). 

PMs could earn more, but it is a completely different risk profile, it is more like running a startup with corresponding probability of failure. Path to MD is mostly political and also highly uncertain. 

Nov 6, 2020 - 2:38pm

Yeah-I was wrong. I severely underestimated how much the funnel narrows at that bonus level. Not a bad point to cap out at in one's 20s though, low 7 figs on a decent year with base salary considered. PMs take on their own risk, so it makes sense. Senior trader cap at Optiver is around this bonus unless you make the promos after.

I would say, however, that far more quants/traders at CitSec/JS/Optiver would make it to *this* point in compensation (earning 700-900k in a yearly bonus) than top S&T/IBD/MBB new grads would (at least on a pure percentage basis), but correct me if you think otherwise

Jan 6, 2021 - 2:35pm

Does anyone know what the compensation this year looks like for Akuna Capital's Trader vs Quant Trader job? The data from glass door and WSO seem a bit inconsistent. I ask because I feel confident to apply for the trader position, but only semi-confident for the quant trader position (I'm proficient in python, but not too confident in my knowledge of 'advanced mathematics'). Wondering if the pay difference is substantial, or I should just go to the regular old trader position, and possibly move into quant trading later?? If this is even possible of course. 

Jan 6, 2021 - 2:58pm

There isn't a pay difference (at least both offers can definitely be the same after negotiation) and Akuna's "Trader" role is equivalent to the "Quant Trader" role at Optiver, SIG, and IMC, whereas Akuna's "Quant Trader" role is more research heavy. The difference in the interviews is that they don't test coding for the Trader position - you'd need to be solid at math for both. The Trader role isn't really an easier option if that's what you're thinking.

For the trader role, default offer this year is around 200k TC (might be a bit higher but something like 130 base/40 bonus/30 sign) but they'll negotiate up to over 300 I've heard.

Jan 15, 2021 - 12:51pm

Rep and compensation goes Optiver > IMC > Flow, but Flow is still a very solid firm. They have an established niche that they do well in (ETF arb) and did well this year.

I looked on LinkedIn at their US traders and the most represented schools are (Wharton: 5, Cornell: 4, UChicago/WUSTL/Duke/Stern: 3, MIT/Columbia/Vanderbilt: 2), so clearly they're getting solid talent. I'm sure 3-5 years in you can clear upwards of 500k at Flow, not sure how the exact compensation progression is though.

Jan 16, 2021 - 3:20am

Because Flow Traders is public they are fairly transparent on their pnl and total bonuses. Everything in million euros

2020: through Q3 net trading income (NTI) 800MM, variable compensation ~220MM
2019: NTI 216MM, variable compensation 38MM, no employees getting more than 1MM euros
2018: NTI 383MM, variable compensation 93MM, 29 employees over 1MM
2017: NTI 166MM, variable compensation 25MM, no employees over 1MM
2016: NTI 250MM, variable compensation 58MM, 19 employees over 1MM
2015: NTI 305MM, variable compensation 88MM, 32 employees over 1MM

Number of employees seems to have risen from ~270 to ~530 over this period. Number of traders went from 93 in 2015 to 155 in 2019. Base salaries seem to be fairly low. I don't have any other information about compensation progression but given how volatile the bonus pool is I imagine compensation is similarly variable.

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Feb 8, 2021 - 6:04pm

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