What if you could be earning a Goldman Sachs-style package while working for a data-focused high speed trading firm-come-systematic hedge fund founded by a former Tudor hedge fund manager which ‘loves games’, throws Christmas parties on space shuttles, and has ‘fiestas’ to mark significant occasions in the lives of its employees? Maybe you wouldn’t feel so chill.
Sadly for Goldman (and all other banking employees), this alternative exists. It is called ‘Two Sigma’ and is the high frequency trading firm founded in 2001 by David Siegel (Tudor) and John Overdeck (DE Shaw).
Historically, Tudor was always known for the exuberance of its offices in the UK (swimming pool, private bar, 25 acre estate). Within the confines of Manhattan, Siegel seems to have gone several steps further.
The company’s website outlines just how epic it is to work there. People are described as dudes as well as geeks. There’s ping pong, Connect 6, Shuffleboard ‘and everything in between’. There are those fiestas. There are three onsite gyms. And there’s a music studio with a drum kit, turntables, microphones and various other instruments: “Want to come and just jam? Far out,” says the website.
As a privately owned company, Two Sigma doesn’t release its results publicly. In the UK, however (where it only employs six people and we guess things might not be so fun), it paid an average of £252k ($379k) a head for the year to 31st December 2013 – the last for which figures are available.
On the whole, Two Sigma’s employees seem to like this stuff. – Over on Glassdoor, 92% approve of the CEO and 78% would recommend to a friend. Not everyone’s drinking the Kool Aid, however. “It’s extremely cliquey,” says one disgruntled former employee, who goes on to complain about the “non-stop internal ‘Everything is Awesome!’ theme.”