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Panzer
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Netherlands or Switzerland for a prospective Quant/Trader?

July 7th, 2018, 4:12 pm

Hello everyone! I'm searching for info about the job market in those 2 countries. I'm interested in HFT, prop trading/market making and commodity trading.

Any thoughts or advice?
 
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LocalVolatility
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Re: Netherlands or Switzerland for a prospective Quant/Trader?

July 9th, 2018, 9:58 am

Your question is quite broad / open-ended. I am not as familiar with Switzerland but in the Netherlands there are number of big electronic trading firms/market makers, e.g. Flow Traders, IMC, Optiver and Tower Research, as well as a few smaller shops, e.g. 323 Trading, All Options. There is also a special tax ruling for expats: https://www.iamsterdam.com/en/living/take-care-of-official-matters/highly-skilled-migrants/thirty-percent-ruling.
 
Panzer
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Re: Netherlands or Switzerland for a prospective Quant/Trader?

July 9th, 2018, 9:02 pm

Thank you for the reply!!!
Some supplemental questions:

1. Are there any HFs in Netherlands or the country specialises in prop trading/market making and HFT?
2. The country is very open to english only speakers. I have heard that you dont really have to know excellent dutch to find a work in Netherlands. Is that true?
3. What about the skills required for a quant role? Programming, Statistics, Big Data, or all the previous? As for the unis (i consider doing a MSc when i finish with my BSc), should i focus on the ones that are located in Randstand (and especially in Amsterdam and Rotterdam) or it doesnt matter?

Sorry for all those questions. They are the last ones...
 
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LocalVolatility
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Re: Netherlands or Switzerland for a prospective Quant/Trader?

July 10th, 2018, 7:09 am

1. There are a few hedge funds and proprietary non-market makers in the Netherlands as well. The globally significant players tend to be in the market making space however.

2. I can only speak for Amsterdam. There is no need to speak any Dutch in daily life, though it is certainly an advantage to pick up some basics. No matter where you go - e.g. supermarket, ... people will at least understand English. One contributing factor is that the movies aren't dubbed.

3. This really depends on the type of role and the company. Except for some smaller places that explicitly try to recruit locally, studying in the Netherlands is not an advantage in the application process.
 
Panzer
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Re: Netherlands or Switzerland for a prospective Quant/Trader?

July 10th, 2018, 9:27 am

One last question: The center of operations is Amsterdam, Rotterdam or somewhere else?
Thank you in advance!!!
 
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LocalVolatility
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Re: Netherlands or Switzerland for a prospective Quant/Trader?

July 10th, 2018, 9:34 am

A quick Google search on the names that I listed above would have revealed that they are all in Amsterdam.
 
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mbunea
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Re: Netherlands or Switzerland for a prospective Quant/Trader?

August 5th, 2018, 4:40 pm

If you're not "connected" so that you can get a job by talking to someone and they short-circuiting the system to take you in, then like all of us losers, you're left with cold-calling in your attempt to get a job. That means recruiters, corporate HR, low-level hiring managers, "the system". And your chances of making a pass are in the 10% if you're truly exceptional, like the kind of guy for whom a $500,000 per year would be a bargain. (I bet you aren't though, so your chances are like for the rest of us, the really good guys, in the 1% range).

At 10% chances you have to ensure around 50 interviews to really rule out you're not just unlucky that you keep failing those interviews.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binomial_distribution : if the probability of successfully getting a job is p = 10%, the probability of getting exactly 0 successes (thus the probability of getting rejected) in N trials is (1 - p)^N = 0.9^N. 

For a single interview, the probability of failing the interview is 0.9^1 = 90%, quite obvious since the probability of passing it is 10%.
Most stupid people would reason simply: if my chances of pass are 10%, then all I need is to go to 10 interviews and I'm gonna get the job.
But 0.9^10 = 0.35 so with just 10 interviews, the unlucky ones will fail one third of the times. Dunno about you but I'm the unlucky type.
Therefore to really consider I'm participating in a deterministic game and not just gambling, I need my chances of failure to be below 1%.
One percent could still be unlucky but if I'm *that* unlucky, I consider it fair. Will acquire some rabbit foot or something else next time.
Or better, what I'm doing right now, give up applying to "the system" altogether and just trade / work by myself.
If you get that job, it's gonna be some crappy career wrecking mind-destroying bullshit anyways.

For 1% chances of rejection, I need to find out how many interviews I need to attend.
So the equation is 0.01 = 0.9^N, therefore N = Ln(0.01) / Ln(0.9) =~ 44.

The entire fucking Netherlands doesn't have 50 finance companies who do quant / trading stuff. Not to mention the fact that a 10% chance of success of a really good candidate would need to meet with an equally capable counterpart, which is not the case with Flow Traders, Optiver and All Options (remember, I've told you in the beginning your contact with these companies in the lack of insider contacts are with recruiters, corporate HR, low-ranking hiring managers ... not just not the brightest bunch but quite the opposite of it)... dunno about the others but eliminating three of the contenders has already halved your "about 5 companies in total" choices.

Anyways, good luck with Netherlands!
 
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LocalVolatility
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Re: Netherlands or Switzerland for a prospective Quant/Trader?

August 5th, 2018, 6:21 pm

Yes, the unconditional probability of landing a graduate position at either of these companies is quite low. However, working for one of the ones mentioned in my initial post, I want to debunk the claim that there is any advantage in being "connected" or "circuiting the system". The vast majority of our recent hires submitted their initial applications directly online with no contacts on the inside.

Also, the terms "corporate HR" or "low level managers" is sth. that seems more applicable to investment banks as opposed to proprietary trading companies which usually have much less hierarchy.
 
Panzer
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Re: Netherlands or Switzerland for a prospective Quant/Trader?

August 9th, 2018, 4:11 pm

Thanks for the replies!!! I know that its going to be really tοugh to secure even a MO/BO role. However i dont thing that those "connections" will get me the job (even if i had any). They might put me straight in the second phase of interviews or something like that, but thats all.

Do you have any info about Luxembourg or Switzerland? UK is ofc my best bet but i just would like to know how other EU countries are doing.
 
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mbunea
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Re: Netherlands or Switzerland for a prospective Quant/Trader?

August 12th, 2018, 1:38 pm

" However i don't think that those 'connections' will get me the job".

Well then YOU DON'T HAVE CONNECTIONS! Geez.
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