Questions about joining a startup financial service firm?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by WallstYouth, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. Has anyone here ever worked for a startup? I'm just seeking some career advice.

    I have a really cushy job at a top tier IB in New York and recently got an offer to join a startup to help build out and manage a block trading options ECN.

    What are your thoughts about the whole block options trading business? I know OTC trading helps to minimize the risk of information leakage and this has been the biggest draw for investors however BIDS tried to do this and from what I hear its been a big failure.

    I've had brief discussions with their senior management team about their business plan and how they plan to be successful but I just have to really weight my options here.

    With the economy going to shit and recession talks on the horizon I'm a bit reluctant on making a move right now, However at the same time this could be my big break into something very lucrative and highly profitable if things work out or worse case ill be out of a job in 8 months.

    Money, and being apart of something from the very start to success is my biggest motivation right now and the ability to work with a tight nit of extremely smart business/technology folks who have all worked for major ECN's in the past.

    It seems I can either be a small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a small pond.
  2. You can have your cake & pie and eat them both. Look into the possibility of your firm being an investor in the start-up and you being the "go to guy" at your firm while keeping your day job.
  3. You mean Mortimer with 3D Markets, product called Arch Angel? Well, he has been trying to get that thing off the ground ever since he left Piper. I haven't talked to him for at least 6 months, I thought AA should have been launched by now?

    There are different type of startups in financial services. For instance, with a "startup" hedge fund is completely different from a "startup" ECN or B/D. In general, based on my experience, ECNs or B/Ds take longer to get market traction. ISE, BATS, etc, gained a lot of market share quickly because they sold off pieces of the firm to liquidity providers (and in the case of BATS, it was started by a liq provider), either ibanks, or large electronic trading firms (Getco, Citadel comes to mind). ISLD, on the other hand, took 3-4 years, and really with the dot-com bubble and the rapid growth of day-trading firms, took traction in '98-'99.