Informal ranking of Chicago prop firms

Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by infiniwang, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. I'm trying to get a clearer picture of some firms in Chicago. I just don't understand the landscape in Chicago, and Google proves to be useless. I found some employee home pages, but they're college kids who blog more about their escapades in Africa or World of Warcraft than anything about the prop-scape.

    Anyone care to rank the following firms in terms of best places to work for and best places to make money?

    Transmarket, Gelber, Jump, DRW, Getco, Sun, Spot, Optiver, Chicago Trading Co., ...

    1) Best place to work for
    2) Market share in equities, fixed income, futures, energy, etc. (estimates/guesses, don't expect people to dump the real numbers)
    3) Profitability for an employee (again, guesses)
    4) Easiest place to get angry and burn out (this is BY FAR the most important metric for me, as I am a happy person now and never wish to be burned out again)
    5) Management

    Feel free to add your own firms, but please tell me of all the rumors you know either through private messages or here in this thread.
  2. Tower Hill Trading is by far the best.

    We might not have the best rates but I am sure those rates you hear about don't really exist.
  3. Not many good trading firms here in Chicago but plenty of great traders. Six of us trade out of a nice office on State. Have been here for 3 years. Make you own way and tell the prop firms to "take a hike".
  4. Any others you guys know about besides the ones listed??
  5. I am sorry, but I couldn't resist. As a former academic myself (handful of journal publications to my name, and most not related to finance), I am curious to what your actual academic background is. What's your area of mathematical research?

    Your posts has been remarkably lacking in any intellectual depth and analytical abilities. Instead, you just want to "jump" to some easy conclusion, without any rigorous kind of "background research", and formulating a methodology. In fact, since you are still a student, doing a SCI search on the firm names you mentioned, would be an excellent way to get an idea of what kind of problems they are abstracting out.

    Your inability to abstract and have an analytical discussion (when if you are getting your phd, is something that is drilled into you, for 10+ yrs), makes me wonder if you have had any real academic background at all (especially mathematics! one of the most rigorous sciences). I apologize if this seems insulting in advance. You also mentioned you are asian, and the asian graduate students I have met / talked to, tend to "overly analytical", and even more reluctant to "jump to some unproven conclusions without stating their assumptions".

    This is all I will say on this matter, just an intellectual curiosity (you know what that is like), that's all.
  6. DRW is suppose to be really good but getting in takes passing several math tests, and then getting interviewed.
  7. i interviewed at DRW and the 1st and 2nd round people asked the same logic questions- being sneaky i surely didn't point that out and answered them flawlessly the 2nd time; whereas i had stumbled the first. the next day they called me back and scolded me for not revealing that fact and that was that. you'd think they'd appreciate someone using an edge, wouldn't you?
  8. 1. Depends... Because... From the OP's previous posts, he seems like an academic dude... most likely, more knowledgeable than most in ET... So most of the Chicago props would not be able to keep up with his requirements further on leading him leading the firm.


    - If you have a good background like strong IT or Quant. skills... I'd hit the hedge funds like Citadel.

    - An average dude should prolly hit guys like CTC (owned by BoA) or Optiver (I've heard that going to EUR for training was kewl... they take good care of you... no I don't mean the drugs... just nice people...) doing Options MM.

    - If you don't have any skills or knowledge, expecting a firm to train you... you're pretty much have no chance. The prop. culture in Chicago is pretty much like, "OK... here's your computer, start making money." And they're usually outright E-mini props. who gives you very little advantages over retail...

    - If you have a track record or a reasonable idea to pitch, I would hit Gelber. The firm give you a small office space and some capital and let's you do your thing. They treat you like an internal startup hedge fund. There's quite a few HF start up that made their start with Gelber's seed account. Also, they're still trying to keep their operations strong within the IR cash/futures so if you like dealing with yields and IR products... it might be good to consider.

    I was deep in the business in Chicago until 3 years ago... and I visit the city every once in a while (not to mention, I'll be there in a few weeks before the weather gets all crappy...) so I have some idea that much hasn't changed...

    In another words, the ranking solely depends on the trader and their situation. Seriously... you're in a great city to start your career if you have what it takes. It was not easy, working night jobs and struggling for a while, but it's where I got started, and where I gained access to real life examples to mimic.

    2. Seriously... I'd try hitting a hedgie or IB prop, from your background. I've read you're getting interviews... No chance of getting your foot in the door yet?

    Good luck.

    PS. I'm interested in reading your response to rufus. I agree with him but I'm not going to make any assumptions.

  9. The thread is titled 'informal', not 'deep dissertations to the satisfaction of overlord rufus_4000'. That having been said, this is the internet and I have the freedom to be a dumbass, with or without a PhD.
  10. jim c

    jim c

    CTC is not owned by BoA.
    #10     Aug 5, 2009