Prop firms and prop traders in London

Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by endian, Jul 30, 2006.

  1. endian


    Hi all

    First post I think, but I've been "lurking" for some time.

    I've been working in London I banks for the last 7 years, developing trading systems for equities desks. Mostly agency flow, which is why I've never pursued any kind of transfer across (even if one were available, which seems less and less common these days).

    I have started thinking about prop trading and prop firms, and wondered what experience other people have of doing that in London. I've read lots about the US firms (and....CUE Don Bright!) on ET, and it seems a set-up that would work great for me. I don't particularly want to trade from home, especially at the start. I worked from home for a year and found it isolating and depressing.

    As a consultant I currently pull down a decent slug of cash (mid 100s gbp), and I know that a prop job would mean taking a reduction for at least the first couple of years even if I was successful. That's OK, provided the long-term growth is there.

    Are there firms in London that pay basic salaries during "training" and then move up to a % of earnings? If so, how easy/difficult are they to get in to.

    I've been reading books about the stock markets since I was 7 years old, so I think it's probably about time to get my feet wet :)

    Any advice, comments or slaggings gratefully received.
  2. what do you want to trade? equities?

    the only place that i know of in london that still offers a salary is goldenberg hehmeyer (ghco). but they deal mostly in fixed income futures and stock index futures. previous threads concerning them because their percentage is very low (comparably) and they lock you in for 4/5yrs.

    you'd be better off forgoing the salary and taking a bigger cut...i.e. being self-employed....

    sounds like you've probably got some money saved up - if so i would live on that and have the freedom of not being tied to anyone and not having the additional hassles of being you the ability to concentrate entirely on your trading.
  3. Sorry to jump on this thread - but does anyone know where you can prop trade equities in London

    I know there are loads of futures arcades about - but cant seem to find any that trade equities!

    Either backing myself or using firm money.

    Not really fussed! any insight would be great.

  4. endian


    Thanks for the replies Squadron Leader and momoneythansens.

    I was thinking of trading futures, but I've read on ET that that's probably a good way to get my arse handed to me. Does that include index futures? So probably equities is the starting point, although it would be nice to have something to grow in to if I turn out to be any good.

    If I join as a self-employed trader will I get any access to strategies, training, advice, etc.? How much starting capital do you think would be the minimum, how much would make me "comfortable"?

    Obviously long-term income is completely dependent on performance, but roughly-speaking where would a half-decent equities prop trader be after two years: 10k, 50k, 100k, 250k, 1m? Just to give me a broad outline. Not much point in me chucking in a successful consulting gig if the potential's not there for bigger things.

  5. Maverick74


    It is my understanding that the stamp tax makes equity completely impossible in London. But the stamp tax does not apply to futures and index options apparently. Someone correct me if I am wrong. This is why you won't see anyone in London trading straight equities. Rather they trade CFD's. These are similar to our SSF's over here. I would love to have an office in London and I have a trader moving over there next year in which I will be looking to secure space and grow that operation.

    From what I have gathered so far, there are very few firms over there that provide any access to US markets outside of fixed income. Again, this is primarily because of the stamp tax. However if the index futures and options are exempt from that, I think they are a prime market on top of the FX and fixed income markets that are already huge over there.

    There are only a few firms I'm aware that offer salaries over there in the prop firm environment. And I believe they are strictly market making.
  6. Kap


    some advice, don't do it ... stay with what your good at. - moving from being a wel l numerated IT developer into a supposed professional gambler. You don't need a brain to press BUY or SELL, but a whole range of personal, non-logical skills.
  7. endian


    Equiting trading would probably be through CFD, but that's usually pretty transparent these days. It certainly was when I was at **** *****. We definitely hedged the client's position in the market straight away. Oh yes.

    As for trying to tell me not to, what's up? You worried I'm going to narrow the spreads? :D
  8. Kap


    It seems you have made up your mind allready. when ( not if ) your account gets wiped out and you try and get back into the Job Market I'll be interested in your answer to the question what have you been doing for the last year.

    My background FYI - IT Developer Front Office - Quant Developer - Quant trader - Prop Trader structured Products / Equity Exotic derivatives. Maybe I know you :-0
  9. endian


    Had no trouble getting back into the job market the last time I took a year off, but thanks for the heads-up.

    You don't know me.
    #10     Aug 1, 2006