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My firm is hiring "Institutional trader"

Except it’s in Chicago. The role would be to process equity & fixed income trade orders generated by our SMA managers, and allocate their step-in/out trades with all the broker dealers that hired those SMA managers.

It’s a big deviation from why I’m studying the CFA curriculum, as the job doesn’t require/care for the CFA, but, trading has always been a dream job of mine and this would probably be a great position to have on my resume for a few years

have any of you ever worked on a desk? What could it turn into? Salary? Isn’t this industry dying?

also, why tf would I ever want to leave Denver for Chicago? 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It be like that sometimes.

this is execution trader position….I have said it a few times on AF that we - hedge fund i worked at - have traders that are execution traders…When they are out on vacation, our back office guys take his role (dir of ops). 

Basically it is an ops job but the word trader throws them off.  Soon to be replaced by computers. meh.

Be yourself. The world worships the original.

infinitybenzo wrote:

this is execution trader position….I have said it a few times on AF that we - hedge fund i worked at - have traders that are execution traders…When they are out on vacation, our back office guys take his role (dir of ops). 

Basically it is an ops job but the word trader throws them off.  Soon to be replaced by computers. meh.

True, if I were to buy anything it is because someone told me to. Sorry if I made it sound like the title implied anything close to what they’re doing at citadel. So, what are job prospects if you spend 2-3 years as an execution trader? 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It be like that sometimes.

Our Head of Trading makes a few million a year, so I guess it could turn into that?

Sweep the Leg wrote:

Our Head of Trading makes a few million a year, so I guess it could turn into that?

Is he hiring? I’ll send you my resume right now. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It be like that sometimes.

More buy side firms nowadays are creating defined trading departments due to some kind of information segregation with research or asset managers. So, it is likely that these positions will persist for a while. While they are subject to risk from automation, regulation, or other industry changes, the same can be said for any function (well, other than compliance I guess).

Regarding relative attractiveness of this job… it really depends on your current job. I don’t know why you would choose one city over another. If you don’t want to move to Chicago, then why even consider this?

“Visit the Water Cooler forum on Analyst Forum. It is the best forum.”
- Everyone

our head of accounting pulls in seven figures. you want this job too CEO10K??

Don’t compare some execution trading job to trading jobs at Citadel..Totally different animal….

Be yourself. The world worships the original.

infinitybenzo wrote:

our head of accounting pulls in seven figures. you want this job too CEO10K??

Don’t compare some execution trading job to trading jobs at Citadel..Totally different animal….

Bro, I make $47.5k base a year. I also work a second restaurant job three nights a week. I’m not crying saying I struggle to make ends meet, but I am in pursuit of more money. So hell yeah I’d take his seven figure job. Now, that being said, no way in hell would I ever become an accountant. 

I also never even tried to hide the fact this was an execution type job, so I don’t get what you’re saying, I’m not making that comparison and never was. Our platform has roughly 2 trillion in assets under management or association, and I know it would be a busy job. 

Now, since the guy is going to call me tomorrow to discuss this, what would be an appropriate salary expectation? Can anyone chime in on trader type salaries in Chicago? I would obviously be willing to relocate for employment, but want to make sure it’s worth my while. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It be like that sometimes.

Sweep the Leg wrote:

Our Head of Trading makes a few million a year, so I guess it could turn into that?

He’s clearly exceptional. I was offered a “Trading Assistant” role at arguably one of the most well known tail hedging risk funds but when I was told the pay was 55-60k a year with basically no bonus potential? yeah no thanks. 

Plus yeah sure it may turn into that….in 25 years. But odds are even then it won’t because someone smarter and more talented will come along.

I’d tell OP that if you know your worth and the opportunity pays at least that then sure go for it (provided you want to go from a way better place in Denver to Chicago, yuck). What I don’t understand is people who have years of experience in a certain area of finance and are willing to take 20-30k pay cuts for something that may or may not work out in 5 years going from one segment to another. I mean isn’t rule number one of fundamental finance TVM? 

Iprofit4sure wrote:

Sweep the Leg wrote:

Our Head of Trading makes a few million a year, so I guess it could turn into that?

He’s clearly exceptional. I was offered a “Trading Assistant” role at arguably one of the most well known tail hedging risk funds but when I was told the pay was 55-60k a year with basically no bonus potential? yeah no thanks. 

Plus yeah sure it may turn into that….in 25 years. But odds are even then it won’t because someone smarter and more talented will come along.

I’d tell OP that if you know your worth and the opportunity pays at least that then sure go for it (provided you want to go from a way better place in Denver to Chicago, yuck). What I don’t understand is people who have years of experience in a certain area of finance and are willing to take 20-30k pay cuts for something that may or may not work out in 5 years going from one segment to another. I mean isn’t rule number one of fundamental finance TVM? 

Number one rule is screw them before they screw you.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It be like that sometimes.

CEO10K-DAY wrote:

Iprofit4sure wrote:

Sweep the Leg wrote:

Our Head of Trading makes a few million a year, so I guess it could turn into that?

He’s clearly exceptional. I was offered a “Trading Assistant” role at arguably one of the most well known tail hedging risk funds but when I was told the pay was 55-60k a year with basically no bonus potential? yeah no thanks. 

Plus yeah sure it may turn into that….in 25 years. But odds are even then it won’t because someone smarter and more talented will come along.

I’d tell OP that if you know your worth and the opportunity pays at least that then sure go for it (provided you want to go from a way better place in Denver to Chicago, yuck). What I don’t understand is people who have years of experience in a certain area of finance and are willing to take 20-30k pay cuts for something that may or may not work out in 5 years going from one segment to another. I mean isn’t rule number one of fundamental finance TVM? 

Number one rule is screw them before they screw you.

Well if that’s true, that sure as hell doesn’t involve taking a 20-30k per year pay cut lol

What are you doing now and what do you want to do? Take money out of the equation for now. Can you continue and advance in the department you’re in (inside or outside of the company) or do you want a complete change? Your base salary is pretty low so i’m sure you’re still able to find something that pays more in the area you’re working in now, why move for 10-20K? If its 40-50K then ok maybe but I doubt it especially because you’re moving laterally and internally.

CEO10K-DAY wrote:

Iprofit4sure wrote:

Sweep the Leg wrote:

Our Head of Trading makes a few million a year, so I guess it could turn into that?

He’s clearly exceptional. I was offered a “Trading Assistant” role at arguably one of the most well known tail hedging risk funds but when I was told the pay was 55-60k a year with basically no bonus potential? yeah no thanks. 

Plus yeah sure it may turn into that….in 25 years. But odds are even then it won’t because someone smarter and more talented will come along.

I’d tell OP that if you know your worth and the opportunity pays at least that then sure go for it (provided you want to go from a way better place in Denver to Chicago, yuck). What I don’t understand is people who have years of experience in a certain area of finance and are willing to take 20-30k pay cuts for something that may or may not work out in 5 years going from one segment to another. I mean isn’t rule number one of fundamental finance TVM? 

Number one rule is screw them before they screw you.

you do that and you’ll be surrounded by enemies and people who wish you to fail and will take a stab at you at every opportunity. You ain’t gonna last long…

Be yourself. The world worships the original.

Iprofit4sure wrote:

Sweep the Leg wrote:

Our Head of Trading makes a few million a year, so I guess it could turn into that?

He’s clearly exceptional.

Not really. I mean, he’s a good dude and really smart but he doesn’t even execute trades any more. It’s more of an executive position with tons of risk oversight and managing a trading desk (though come to think of it, there’s another layer between him and the traders). Plus, if anything goes wrong, it’s his ass on the line.

Sweep the Leg wrote:

Iprofit4sure wrote:

Sweep the Leg wrote:

Our Head of Trading makes a few million a year, so I guess it could turn into that?

He’s clearly exceptional.

Not really. I mean, he’s a good dude and really smart but he doesn’t even execute trades any more. It’s more of an executive position with tons of risk oversight and managing a trading desk (though come to think of it, there’s another layer between him and the traders). Plus, if anything goes wrong, it’s his ass on the line.

Are you NYC based?

Iprofit4sure wrote:

Sweep the Leg wrote:

Iprofit4sure wrote:

Sweep the Leg wrote:

Our Head of Trading makes a few million a year, so I guess it could turn into that?

He’s clearly exceptional.

Not really. I mean, he’s a good dude and really smart but he doesn’t even execute trades any more. It’s more of an executive position with tons of risk oversight and managing a trading desk (though come to think of it, there’s another layer between him and the traders). Plus, if anything goes wrong, it’s his ass on the line.

Are you NYC based?

Nope

DPBass88 wrote:

What are you doing now and what do you want to do? Take money out of the equation for now. Can you continue and advance in the department you’re in (inside or outside of the company) or do you want a complete change? Your base salary is pretty low so i’m sure you’re still able to find something that pays more in the area you’re working in now, why move for 10-20K? If its 40-50K then ok maybe but I doubt it especially because you’re moving laterally and internally.

I’d like to break into my firms due diligence (sma manager due diligence) team. There is very very very little turnover on that squad, but around the time I passed level 2 there actually was some people who moved and a gal over in that department asked for my resume and let me sit down with the director. He told me to keep my eyes peeled in the coming months for positions. 

so in all actuality, the chicago thing, sounds like a crappy idea. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It be like that sometimes.

CEO10K-DAY wrote:

DPBass88 wrote:

What are you doing now and what do you want to do? Take money out of the equation for now. Can you continue and advance in the department you’re in (inside or outside of the company) or do you want a complete change? Your base salary is pretty low so i’m sure you’re still able to find something that pays more in the area you’re working in now, why move for 10-20K? If its 40-50K then ok maybe but I doubt it especially because you’re moving laterally and internally.

I’d like to break into my firms due diligence (sma manager due diligence) team. There is very very very little turnover on that squad, but around the time I passed level 2 there actually was some people who moved and a gal over in that department asked for my resume and let me sit down with the director. He told me to keep my eyes peeled in the coming months for positions. 

so in all actuality, the chicago thing, sounds like a crappy idea. 

There you go, yeah skip the trading role.

Sweep the Leg wrote:

Iprofit4sure wrote:

Sweep the Leg wrote:

Iprofit4sure wrote:

Sweep the Leg wrote:

Our Head of Trading makes a few million a year, so I guess it could turn into that?

He’s clearly exceptional.

Not really. I mean, he’s a good dude and really smart but he doesn’t even execute trades any more. It’s more of an executive position with tons of risk oversight and managing a trading desk (though come to think of it, there’s another layer between him and the traders). Plus, if anything goes wrong, it’s his ass on the line.

Are you NYC based?

Nope

Whereabouts? Surely a major finance hub.

Iprofit4sure wrote:

Sweep the Leg wrote:

Iprofit4sure wrote:

Sweep the Leg wrote:

Iprofit4sure wrote:

Sweep the Leg wrote:

Our Head of Trading makes a few million a year, so I guess it could turn into that?

He’s clearly exceptional.

Not really. I mean, he’s a good dude and really smart but he doesn’t even execute trades any more. It’s more of an executive position with tons of risk oversight and managing a trading desk (though come to think of it, there’s another layer between him and the traders). Plus, if anything goes wrong, it’s his ass on the line.

Are you NYC based?

Nope

Whereabouts? Surely a major finance hub.

That’s an odd assumption to make. I don’t live there, but I guarantee the Head of Trading at Baird in Milwaukee makes a few mil too. If you work at a major financial institution in any city in the US, and you’re the head of all trading, you’re making at least $2mm/yr. It’s one of the most important jobs at any asset manager. 

I’m not talking about some RIA that manages $15B and has a couple dudes trading and their manager pulling down seven figures. I’m talking about firms that trade billions a day.

Sweep the Leg wrote:

Iprofit4sure wrote:

Sweep the Leg wrote:

Iprofit4sure wrote:

Sweep the Leg wrote:

Iprofit4sure wrote:

Sweep the Leg wrote:

Our Head of Trading makes a few million a year, so I guess it could turn into that?

He’s clearly exceptional.

Not really. I mean, he’s a good dude and really smart but he doesn’t even execute trades any more. It’s more of an executive position with tons of risk oversight and managing a trading desk (though come to think of it, there’s another layer between him and the traders). Plus, if anything goes wrong, it’s his ass on the line.

Are you NYC based?

Nope

Whereabouts? Surely a major finance hub.

That’s an odd assumption to make. I don’t live there, but I guarantee the Head of Trading at Baird in Milwaukee makes a few mil too. If you work at a major financial institution in any city in the US, and you’re the head of all trading, you’re making at least $2mm/yr. It’s one of the most important jobs at any asset manager. 

I’m not talking about some RIA that manages $15B and has a couple dudes trading and their manager pulling down seven figures. I’m talking about firms that trade billions a day.

Not really, I’d venture to guess that the overwhelming majority of firms that trade billions per day aren’t located in Milwaukee or any other non-finance hub city for that matter. Anyways, I think the point was that having the expectation of making “a few million” per year as a head of trading one day while working your way up from entry level execution based trading role is pie in the sky. 

Your dream trading job is trading on firms’ behalf or making trades for HF, the job you are looking at is simply a processing job, won’t be worth the move to Chicago.

ws wrote:

Your dream trading job is trading on firms’ behalf or making trades for HF, the job you are looking at is simply a processing job, won’t be worth the move to Chicago.

yup this sums it up real good.

“trading” jobs these days are very different from those of 20 years ago. Now, the research portion is much more robust and structured from fundamentals to quants to stats to maths, etc. The trader nowadays no longer have the discretion or authority anymore.  The trader is now merely a broker whether you’re on buy or sell side…..If you’re on the sell side, sometimes they are referred to as sales….

On the buy side, you’re just executing trades - a glorified ops gig at best.

Of course there are exceptions but in my experience in hedge funds in NYC in the past 8 years……The above is the norm for “traders”

Be yourself. The world worships the original.

I’ve worked in both operational SMA trading as well as Institutional SMA trading on the buy side. I can assure you Institutional trading on the sell or the buy side is NOT a glorified ops position. I guess it depends on the type of assets the firm manages. I barely spoke with our large cap portfolio managers but traders are definitely a critical part of the investment process for say an International ADR or small cap portfolio. At any rate, to answer your question, just before I transitioned from operational SMA trading to Institutional trading, I was offered 70k at another firm by a former boss for another operational trading position while another former boss offered 50k at a smaller firm.

I make much more than that on the Institutional side though but even on the Institutional side, you could expect at approx that much as a junior trader. I made 48k + bonus as a trading assistant when I initially started. With all of this said… my firm has just south of a trillion in AUM so it really depends on the firm and how much value the desk is adding to the investment team(s).

BamaGirl wrote:

I’ve worked in both operational SMA trading as well as Institutional SMA trading on the buy side. I can assure you Institutional trading on the sell or the buy side is NOT a glorified ops position. I guess it depends on the type of assets the firm manages. I barely spoke with our large cap portfolio managers but traders are definitely a critical part of the investment process for say an International ADR or small cap portfolio. At any rate, to answer your question, just before I transitioned from operational SMA trading to Institutional trading, I was offered 70k at another firm by a former boss for another operational trading position while another former boss offered 50k at a smaller firm.

I make much more than that on the Institutional side though but even on the Institutional side, you could expect at approx that much as a junior trader. I made 48k + bonus as a trading assistant when I initially started. With all of this said… my firm has just south of a trillion in AUM so it really depends on the firm and how much value the desk is adding to the investment team(s).

No offense, but idk if your salary would be enough to what I spill in beer a month. Where in the heck are you based? Your base is paltry and that big bonus is taxed at what 40 percent? Still, hard pass.

infinitybenzo wrote:

ws wrote:

Your dream trading job is trading on firms’ behalf or making trades for HF, the job you are looking at is simply a processing job, won’t be worth the move to Chicago.

yup this sums it up real good.

“trading” jobs these days are very different from those of 20 years ago. Now, the research portion is much more robust and structured from fundamentals to quants to stats to maths, etc. The trader nowadays no longer have the discretion or authority anymore.  The trader is now merely a broker whether you’re on buy or sell side…..If you’re on the sell side, sometimes they are referred to as sales….

On the buy side, you’re just executing trades - a glorified ops gig at best.

Of course there are exceptions but in my experience in hedge funds in NYC in the past 8 years……The above is the norm for “traders”

This reminds me a phrase from the book “Wall Street Meat” that I read many years ago, that particular section of the book was describing the trading operation and risk taking behavior of traders are very different now, in one quote “Back in the 80’s, Goldman instruct its traders that if you can’t find the other side of the trade, you are it, that is the liquidity. Now days, if you are the other side of the trade, you are fired!”  Classic!  Good read if you have time.

BamaGirl wrote:

I’ve worked in both operational SMA trading as well as Institutional SMA trading on the buy side. I can assure you Institutional trading on the sell or the buy side is NOT a glorified ops position. I guess it depends on the type of assets the firm manages. I barely spoke with our large cap portfolio managers but traders are definitely a critical part of the investment process for say an International ADR or small cap portfolio. At any rate, to answer your question, just before I transitioned from operational SMA trading to Institutional trading, I was offered 70k at another firm by a former boss for another operational trading position while another former boss offered 50k at a smaller firm.

I make much more than that on the Institutional side though but even on the Institutional side, you could expect at approx that much as a junior trader. I made 48k + bonus as a trading assistant when I initially started. With all of this said… my firm has just south of a trillion in AUM so it really depends on the firm and how much value the desk is adding to the investment team(s).

That is very good insight, again not trivializing your job function, but your group is still taking instruction from the PM, let’s say, the PM wants to establish a 5% position in some small cap stock (which can be thinly traded), and your group’s job will be find a way how to trade (build up the position) quietly, 1000 shares per day or something like that.  That is still very different from the job old-school trading job where firm’s capital is at risk.

BamaGirl wrote:

I’ve worked in both operational SMA trading as well as Institutional SMA trading on the buy side. I can assure you Institutional trading on the sell or the buy side is NOT a glorified ops position. I guess it depends on the type of assets the firm manages. I barely spoke with our large cap portfolio managers but traders are definitely a critical part of the investment process for say an International ADR or small cap portfolio. At any rate, to answer your question, just before I transitioned from operational SMA trading to Institutional trading, I was offered 70k at another firm by a former boss for another operational trading position while another former boss offered 50k at a smaller firm.

I make much more than that on the Institutional side though but even on the Institutional side, you could expect at approx that much as a junior trader. I made 48k + bonus as a trading assistant when I initially started. With all of this said… my firm has just south of a trillion in AUM so it really depends on the firm and how much value the desk is adding to the investment team(s).

you say trading is not a glorified ops job yet the title of the job is Operational Trading Position….mmmm kay makes sense….This is like saying “I’m not a secretary, I am vital to the company…I am assistant to the CEO!!!”

Joke aside and I apologize for poking at you….But at most buyside hedge funds…..

Analysts pitch a position and submits mini presentation to the PM….The PM then reviews the overall report and spreadsheet (Macro view) and decides whether to buy and if so, how much to buy….He then instructs OR sometimes when the fund is almost fully invested, the PM talks to the CFO to review our buying power…..THEN either the PM or someone senior in the back office INSTRUCTS the Trader what to buy, how much to buy, and what price…..

For equity trades, usually the dir of ops just fills it in….for less liquid trades such as corp bonds, the Trader call brokers (traders at brokerage firms aka sales team) to look for the other side….

Trader is merely following directions…has no discretion whatsoever….When the trader is out, usually the back office people fills the void….

Traders have no knowledge in research, coding, market views, stats, write up to investors….They are real estate brokers (Traders in real estate) in finance….

Of course quant funds “traders” are more like coders and their codes, which they created have full discretion to buy and sell….Totally different animal….

Be yourself. The world worships the original.

You guys are basically defining the difference between prop trading and trading clients’ money. There’s way more money in prop trading but “regular” traders at fund companies still make a good living.

The question was what salary range would be expected for an SMA trader. I was attempting to distinguish an operational SMA trader from an SMA trader that sits on an the Institutional desk as those two roles are delineated at my firm. The 50-70 range was for a more operation trading role offered to me 13 years ago while I was still in ops…. I was giving a frame of reference for the OP. The 48 was base and i never disclosed bonus. I said that to counter what another poster said about trading assistants not receiving a bonus. It depend on the company. That isn’t what I currently make…. however, some people do and they are content with that, or it is a solid entry level salary to break into trading. 

@infinitybenzo

Sure…. maybe at some firms. But I can assure you, your assumption about the diminutive role of ALL trading desks on the buy side is #fakenews.  I really loathe going back and forth on social networking sites but to put it into context, our desk has a Trading research team, a dedicated quant team, and TCA team. Not sure the firm would allocate so many resources to a department that just simply carries out instructions and turns the orders over into the good hands of BD’s