As investment banks struggle to stay in cash equities trading in the face of placid markets and falling commissions, one firm is cleaning up: Virtu, the electronic market maker which now accounts for around 20% of the shares traded in U.S. equities every day.
Virtu is due to announce its third quarter results tomorrow when the U.S. market opens. When it announced its second quarter results in August, the firm employed 1,157 people globally, down from 1,390 when it acquired KCG at the end of December 2018. Including payroll taxes and excluding severance, the company spent $190m on compensation in the first half of 2019, implying average pay per head of $328k on an annual basis.
Quants and developers thinking of quitting big banks for Virtu might be more interested in the actual salaries paid to their own kind, however. As ever, this is where the H1B visa database, which records how much U.S. companies pay employees hired on H1B visas, comes in helpful.
So far this year, Virtu has hired 12 people in New York City in H1B Visas, and has paid them the salaries shown in the table below. Six operations professionals have also been hired into Virtu's offices in Austin, Texas.
As usual, the H1B database only represents salaries paid to people hired on H1B visas and may not be entirely representative. It also only reflects salaries.
Whether salaries are high enough to lure quants from big banks remains to be seen. However, Virtu's lure isn't necessarily its big pay, but its impressive systems which are generally presumed superior to those at banks.
Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash
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