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I'm in the running for a job with a medium size trading firm, but the role is a "many hats" type position that doesn't really fit into any job title I've seen before. I would be doing some trading, some idea generation, some coding of algorithmic trading engines, post-trade analysis, possibly have some irregular hours, and just in general be part of a smaller team so being ready to take on some ad-hoc tasks that might fall outside of those.

My only hint at a possible salary range comes from my recruiter. I originally responded to him about a job that was a potentially 150k USD salary, but mentioned "I would consider a 70k salary with an 80k expected bonus (with variance around the bonus) to be essentially identical. He said well if that's the case actually I have this other job that could have that kind of salary structure...

I just don't know what to really ask for when we get to salary negotiations, what equity % or profit sharing is appropriate or expected. Also I'm not sure how incentives would align with my recruiter so I'm not sure if I go to him for advice, are they typically paid a fraction of bonuses or are they incentivized just to negotiate for a higher base salary with no regard for equity/bonusing?

Ideally I would like to fight for way more equity/profit sharing over salary. I'm fine if I make 30k in the first year if I can be exposed to a lot of upside and make a lot more in the long run, or get a good piece if the firm has a windfall (which is likely in the space they're trading in).

How should I approach the coming negotiation?

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  • "How should I approach the coming negotiation?" Was the job actually offered to you yet? Commented Aug 27, 2021 at 17:47
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    Does this answer your question? How can I determine a reasonable salary to ask for?
    – gnat
    Commented Aug 27, 2021 at 18:04
  • @StephanBranczyk No, but there's a chance that compensation may be discussed in my next round. Commented Aug 27, 2021 at 18:52
  • @Gnat No, that is more of a guide on common-titled roles, basically how to compare it to other jobs and look up that job's pay. Not really applicable here Commented Aug 27, 2021 at 18:58
  • If you're looking for a job profile to compare against, doesn't that sound like a quant/systematic trader kind of role?
    – scrwtp
    Commented Aug 28, 2021 at 14:09

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If asked to wear many hats, negotiate according to the hat that pays the most. Whatever role they pay the most for is the hardest to find candidates for, so you have that leverage. Some hats will be easier and pay less, but this is countered by the need for a flexible candidate.

Consider the limit of highest imbalance among the hats. Suppose they need a brain surgeon and a dishwasher— would a brain surgeon let the employer cheap out here?

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