In the securities trading business, the "eat what you kill" mentality rules, with a few star performers becoming millionaires while many others fail. But Loop-based proprietary trading firm Spot Trading LLC is built to share risk and reward more evenly among employees. Its "all-for-one" mentality pushes teams to collaborate rather than hoard insights and strategies.
Executives believe this minimizes loss and gives the firm an advantage over rivals that have increasingly swapped people with computers to make trading decisions. That ethos landed the firm at No. The firm also scored highest among surveyed companies for its benefits package. Compensation reflects the culture.
Instead of valuing performance based on individual accounts, every employee earns a salary and is eligible for an annual bonus based on the firm's overall results. Where other prop shops are notoriously secret, management is transparent with employees about where the business stands and where it's going. It has been that way since Robert Merrilees founded the private partnership in with a team of five to trade options electronically.
Over time, they added other securities and investment activities. Today, Spot employs about people, including 10 partners. In April, Merrilees became chairman and named Brodsky, who joined the firm in as chief financial officer, his successor. Taking up the 28th floor of One Financial Place, S. Teams work out problems on whiteboard-painted walls and can decompress with panoramic views of the lake.
Among the benefits that workers tout, the company pays percent of health and life insurance premiums. Employees get other freebies, including financial advice, catered meals daily and a steady stream of outings and events. A newer perk is the work-from-home policy. Jason Lui is a software developer who went through Spot's yearlong training program when he joined the firm in He credits his manager with championing his development.
Kate MacArthur, Special to the Tribune.More...