If you're a quant trader or financial services technologist nowadays, you will probably have heard of Jane Street. You may also want to work there. Many try. Few succeed: the company says only a "small percentage" of applicants are accepted for interview and that its notoriously difficult interview questions get harder with each round.
For those not in the know, Jane Street is about as hot as things get in the world of quant trading. In 2016, the New York Times described it as a "secretive E.T.F. trading firm that, after years of minting money in the shadows of Wall Street, is now pitching itself to some of the largest institutional investors in the world."
Jane Street describes itself a little differently as, "a quantitative trading firm and liquidity provider with a unique focus on technology and collaborative problem solving." Its business includes an institutional client offering where it matches buyers and sellers and proprietary trading, where it makes money on its own account. The company trades more than $21bn in equities, bonds, and ETFs worldwide on an average day and has offices in New York, London, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.
Because Jane Street isn't a public company, no one officially knows exactly how much it pays people globally. Unofficially, however, we know that it pays a lot. As we reported earlier this month, pay for U.S. trading interns at Jane Street is $14.5k a month, plus an extra $500 a week work from home stipend (making $16.5k as a monthly total). Last year, Jane Street's graduate hires straight from college were said to be paid a $200k annual base salary, plus a $100k sign-on bonus, plus a $100k-$150k guaranteed performance bonus.
In London, we can also gain an insight into Jane Street's pay and financial health from the accounts it files with Companies House in the UK. Matters are complicated by the fact that Jane Street has multiple entities in the UK (Jane Street Financial Ltd, Jane Street Europe Ltd, Jane Street International Trading Ltd), all of are subject to internal transfers between themselves and the U.S. parent company, but the most 'complete' accounts - for Jane Financial in 2019, are fairly illuminating.
They suggest that Jane Street Financial Ltd employed 256 people in the UK in 2020, up from 195 in 2019. 184 were in the back office, working on things like technology, 69 were in the front office and working for example as quant traders or client facing salespeople, three were in management. In 2019, Jane Street spent $114m compensating them.
This translates to a fairly healthy level of average pay - $447k per head. In the same year, the highest paid director at Jane Street Financial earned $3.7m.
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