Squarepoint Capital Prop Trading Firm Overview

Hi, anyone has some details about Squarepoint? It seems one of the up and coming firms out there but it is really hard to find info - like AUM, reputation, trading vehicles, style (high or mid-freq), structure (deshaw style, millennium style or something else). Where does it line up compared to other quant shops out there - like Citadel, 2s, Cubist? Thanks!

Information about Squarepoint Capital Prop Trading

Our users explained that the firm is a Barclays prop/quant spin-off that is fully automated, no traders. Those joining the firm will do so as a quantitative researcher or technologist.

The firm has three main offices in Singapore, London and NY, about 40-50 people in each. Each researcher implements their own signals and tracks independently and the trading system crosses opposite trades internally.

Reputation of Squarepoint Capital

Our users shared their thoughts about the type of firm and the reputation below.

henryj - Hedge Fund Quant:
they're more like the chicago prop shops rather than "hedge fund", should not care about the aum as it is negligible relative to the number of employees (just do the math). strategy are very short term with very limited capacity.

Not the same breed as cubist / 2sig / deshaw. and management not coming from same background like these 3.

Not to say it's not good firm, it's still a decent place, just different biz model, and don't expect it's the same as working at the above 3 firms.

fugu - Hedge Fund Quant:
You should probably explain what characteristics you attribute to a hedge fund versus a Chicago prop shop. From what I understand Squarepoint is more similar to the former in terms of culture. I have also no clue what you are trying to say about the management - that's all rather opaque. Personally, I think senior management is by far the biggest strength of the company. They have a balanced, long-term approach with a very reasonable attitude to risk.

The claim that 'strategy are very short term with very limited capacity' is wrong.

I agree that the AUM is a meaningless number. In the ultra high frequency space you can make a fortune with just a few million and your constraint is not the money you have but the money the market can absorb.

You can learn more about Squarepoint on the company website.

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Comments (49)

Oct 17, 2016 - 7:56pm

It's the Barclays prop/quant spin-off. From what I understand it's fully automated, no traders, so you'll join as a quantitative researcher or technologist.

Oct 17, 2016 - 8:24pm

Thanks Lebron, yes you are right. it is automated and i'm interviewing for a quant researcher position. From what I know it has three main offices in Singapore, London and NY, about 40-50 people in each. Each researcher implements their own signals and tracks independently and the trading system crosses opposite trades internally. These are the kind of things I figured out so far, but I still don't know their AUM and their reputation on the street. How was the Barclays quant prop doing before the spin off?

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Feb 27, 2017 - 12:51pm

they're more like the chicago prop shops rather than "hedge fund", should not care about the aum as it is negligible relative to the number of employees (just do the math). strategy are very short term with very limited capacity.

not the same breed as cubist / 2sig / deshaw. and management not coming from same background like these 3.

not to say it's not good firm, it's still a decent place, just different biz model, and don't expect it's the same as working at the above 3 firms.

Jun 14, 2017 - 5:44am

You should probably explain what characteristics you attribute to a hedge fund versus a Chicago prop shop. From what I understand Squarepoint is more similar to the former in terms of culture. I have also no clue what you are trying to say about the management - that's all rather opaque. Personally I think senior management is by far the biggest strength of the company. They have a balanced, long-term approach with a very reasonable attitude to risk.

The claim that 'strategy are very short term with very limited capacity' is wrong.

I agree that the AUM is a pretty meaningless number. In the ultra high frequency space you can make a fortune with just a few million and your constraint is not the money you have but the money the market can absorb.

May 15, 2017 - 11:04am

to give you an idea of the success, they charge more perf fees (%tage points) than all hedge funds quoted above. Their strategies are not necessarily that scalable but it is one of the best performing funds out there.

May 10, 2021 - 11:53pm

Squarepoint has a RenTec like model.

They have multiple funds, let's call them A, B, X, Y, Z.

A and B, which are their best funds, exclusively have partner and employee funds.

Employees participate in the A and B funds with limited upside.  Meaning, they can not invest unlimited funds into the A and B funds.

Returns from these investments are returned back, as opposed to re-invested.

They tend not to have non-competes, which is a bad idea in this environment.

When RenTech is asking for 5-year non-competes, and most of the "chicago prop" shops are at 1.5-2 years, it seems to be a mistake to NOT enforce non-competes.

The first time they lose a few key employees, they will regret the no-noncompete arrangement.

  • Analyst 2 in HF - Macro
Jun 7, 2021 - 10:29pm

the turnover is high for non-juniors. a few partners, yes even Frenchman,have left. there's more than 1 frivolous lawsuit against people who left every year. you figure out the rest.

  • 1
  • Analyst 2 in HF - Macro
Jun 7, 2021 - 2:35pm

it already happened and they don't use noncompete, they use lawsuits. more effective and specific.

  • Quant in HF - Other
May 12, 2021 - 3:31pm

tommysharp

Very French chain of command , be aware

Hm, I know their leadership is mostly French and just a simple linkedin search shows that they have even more French quant than the average quant fund. I know someone who is not at all French but seems to be doing very well there, leading a huge team. 

You think it is a bad move to go there if you're not French? Am considering the place right now...

May 24, 2021 - 4:51pm

Worked there a while ago. It is a very French place indeed so think carefully. The odds are stacked against you if you are not "one of them".

Okay I guess if you are junior but if you a bit more experienced there are plenty of other better shops.

They also do not offer formulaic comp/PnL cut - even at a senior level

May 28, 2021 - 4:54pm

I don't understand your point.

If your strategy is simple enough that it can be explained in a 1h phone interview, how can it be innovative?

If you are smart enough and make them feel you are, why wouldn't they just hire you to do the job rather than trying to replicate your ideas?

It's a quant fund, an idea useless if nobody implements it

May 31, 2021 - 1:35pm

I've interviewed with many quant funds. Squarepoint was 5 orders of magnitude more intrusive than any other place. I felt shittier and more used after the interview than a one night stand with an ugly girl. It's just disrespectful to press for details on vendor names, prop datasets, etc. especially after a candidate is visibly uncomfortable. 

I will never speak to them again, fuck that place. 

Jun 4, 2021 - 8:48am

Worked there some time ago - I can attest to this. Unless you are sure about joining them I would tread carefully before interviewing with them.

From experience some roles there were already well staffed and am dead sure they were not going to add more headcount. To me it seemed like a waste of my time to interview but the feedback from higher up was to "just gather information and datasets sources" whilst agreeing that we were "unlikely to hire" (pre-interview) anyway.

To be fair I wasn't instructued to be THAT intrusive but guess some others took it seriously...

FYI they like doing this to data and research vendors too - so not just job interviewees

Jun 7, 2021 - 9:14pm

That story is much ado about nothing.  Likely, Squarepoint did not have the know-how in order to extract alpha from Footnoted.

The reason is that stat arb funds like SQPT need diverse sources of data on all companies, all the time.  Footnotes are more sparse data, and hard to convert into statistical signals.

But the fact that they act like that tells you everything you need to know about how they approach business, in general.

  • Quant in HF - Other
May 16, 2021 - 5:51am

They have been extremely successful over the last few years and experienced rapid growth. Just check publicly available financial statements on the companieshouse website in the UK to see the growth in revenue and number of employees. They are flying a bit below the radar compared to more famous competitors but I would rank them as one of the top quant firms at the moment.

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