Recently several comments and e-mails by fresh university graduates requested for more information on getting a job as a derivative trader in Amsterdam. As the visitors, Google and this site are close friends it would make sense to write a tiny how-to and where-to get a job in Amsterdam trading firms.

Basically there are seven market makers where university graduates could apply. There are definitely more firms around, but most of them are small operations, or you have to bring your own money or they are only recruiting experienced traders. Some new firms are expected as the broken pieces of Van Der Moolen are probably trying to start something new. The firms without an office in Amsterdam aren’t taken into account at all, but they generally aren’t interesting to apply for a job anyway.

As famous trader Frank Zappa already stated, we’re only in it for the money. It’s hard to say where to find the best bonus deals. At some firms junior traders won’t receive much, and elsewhere the fixed salaries are higher. After the crash of VDM there’s no market maker around giving insight in the trader compensation. That’s a pity.

I’ll just make list of the firms. Very subjective, but one has got to start somewhere.

The largest Dutch market maker with a reputation for having the best software and employing the most nerds from all over the world. Their recruitment procedure is though and most applicants fail for the math test. Minor problem is their reputation for manipulating markets and fraud. Legal battles against Tibra and US trade authorities.
Founded : 1986
Location : WTC
International : Yes

The second market maker is IMC, or the International Marketmaker Combination. In past years the company didn’t know where to spend it’s money and expanded into websites, newspapers and even a bank. Amsterdam office reportedly isn’t doing very well after the departure of dozens of traders. The US operations in the Sears tower in Chicago is dwarfing the Amsterdam office.
Founded : 1989
Location : WTC
International : Yes

All Options
Allard Jakobs started All Options after his earlier company Goed Gedaan Options failed in 1998 on a huge failed arbitrage spread. Was subsequently banned form Euronext for years, but returned in 2005. Made the jackpot with the Altana superdividend trade, bought rival Saen Options early 2009. All Options deserve credits for organizing the yearly soccer tournament. Company appears to be struggling with internal clan warfare and too many managers.
Founded: 1998
Location : Centre (Beursplein 5)
International : limited

Traders from Optiver Australia resigned and started their own firm, allegedly taking the source code of Optiver’s trading software with them. Under fire of Optiver’s lawyers ever since in a legal battle. The Australians decided to challenge Optiver on their home market in Amsterdam.
Founded : 2006
Location : Centre (Singel)
International : Australia

Small firm recently evolved into a serious market maker, although still mainly seen as an underdog. Despite the name, it’s an original Dutch firm. Location is even more boring than WTC.
Founded: 1997
Location : Far west (Sloterdijk)
International : no

Flow Traders
Started by former Optiver traders. Not really a market maker but focussing on arbitrage, and according to some press reports quite successful in trading ETF’s. Or just succesful in public relations, that’s another possibility.
Founded : 2004
Location : East
International : Limited

323 Trading
Small market maker which seems to be old-skool kind of operation. Very limited trading, with a very few traders. By far the smallest company on the list, and more like other small firms.
Founded : 2003
Location : Centre (Nwz Voorburgwal)
International : No