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Two Sigma

Mission: Discover value in the world's data.
New York, New York
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Houston, Texas
London, United Kingdom
Employees: 1500
Funding: Venture Firm - 71 investments

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New York, New York
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Two Sigma Salaries

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What employees at Two Sigma think about working there

“Because of Two Sigma's growth, there are a lot of opportunities to move around to different teams and accelerate your learning. Great people and great work environment bolstered by strong perks and high pay. There are a lot of great things to say about Two Sigma but by far the best is the culture. There's some beauracracy that slows down our movement which is a little frustrating, but we're still a fast moving company compared to many others.”
“As Two Sigma has grown there have been a wide variety of changes that have affected the people. Working here we used to have the opportunity to implement things with almost no friction, but as we've almost doubled in employee size these last 2 years, there's an increasing amount of red-tape to getting things like environmental changes approved.”
“A great place to work if what you value is money and a relaxed lifestyle. As a fulfilling career though, I don't feel like it checks off all my boxes. The company is very 'time spent at the company' oriented, promoting people just based on their start date instead of ability to lead. The innovative ground up solutions made by past employees are often discarded, with new engineers re-developing them from scratch. It's an ok place to work but the company vision isn't really aligned with all our interests.”
“Two Sigma pays their people very well, super high base salary and pretty sweet yearly bonuses. Your co-workers are all very smart and there's a lot of difference in all of our backgrounds, so there's lots of opportunities to learn. As an investment firm the technology is actually pretty good, and it gets updated regularly, but with the company now being more than 15 years old there's a blend of old and new.”
“I may have just got unlucky with my team (now that this is an organization of almost 1400 people, there are a lot of teams), but I found my managers to be unprofessional and blame pushing. New hires from other investment firms would bring their scummy attitude to the workplace and build cliques of negative finance bro culture. The company is going through constant reorganizations because of the growth, so there's no stability as managers and employees keep leaving.”

Two Sigma Glassdoor Themes

Great pay

Probably one of the highest paying software engineering jobs you can get. Two Sigma is a hyper successful company, and the money flows around to prove it. We don't have to work insane hours either to be paid, a standard work day is from 9-6, and we're given the autonomy to work in whatever way we feel like it.
Great company to be a part of. Tons of opportunities for growth both vertically and horizontally, some really intelligent people and a culture that focusses on learning. Definitely the best thing about the job is the salary and yearly (pretty much minimum) 30% bonuses.

High growth

Two Sigma has had some of the highest returns on their investments because our strategy works. Being focussed on actual data and information is the key to making great decisions, and that's why Two Sigma has been growing so much. There are some challenges that come with this, but overall it means more opportunities to grow with the company and fill new roles in demand.
I've seen Two Sigma go from a highly positive and engaging culture to one that's much more toxic in the last three years. We've hired too many people too quickly. Lots of new hires are coming from bad big companies, bringing their negative and frat bro culture that doesn't align with the original company culture. Lots of key employees are leaving because politics is starting to emerge that wasn't present before.

Strong culture

With a culture that celebrates autonomy and innovation, Two Sigma can seem like a fantastic place to work. Unfortunately, since everyone feels like their the best in their field, everyone wants to develop their own solutions to solve different problems. Although this is great for short term goals and it's fun to do in practice, as these people leave we're left with hundreds of pet projects that need to be updated and revamped constantly to be useful. Since no-one wants to spend time doing this, most projects are just thrown in the trash, making you feel like what you spend your time working on here doesn't matter.
Yes the pay is great but what makes Two Sigma a great place to work is that I'm able to work on what I feel like working on, without the pressure from management constantly wanting to see what's up. I pick my own schedule, work how I want to work, and am able to develop some really interesting solutions that I instantly see affect our revenues.

Why should I join Two Sigma? What should I be aware of?

“"There are lots of reasons why I joined Two Sigma, and a few that I realized after I was hired that I wish I knew before so I would have applied sooner. I knew that the pay was good, you can check any site like glassdoor and payscale and see that, but what I didn't realize was how great of a culture the company has, especially when compared to some of our competitors.

I want to just hammer in the first part though. Working at Two Sigma means you'll be getting an industry leading salary in your field, with an almost guaranteed 30% bonus every year. When you're living in New York you need a good salary to live, but having a great salary means you can do anything in the city, and the city has a lot to do.

But for me the best part of working here is the autonomous and laid back culture, something I didn't think was possible at an financial firm. Managers here don't employee high pressure tactics to make you feel stressed at all hours of the day. We're encouraged to show up to work in relaxed attire, take our time on our projects, and work however we feel.

To me, this has become the main reason why I feel Two Sigma is the best finance firm to work for. You'll be hard pressed to find such a positive and open work environment in any field, let alone in our industry."”

What is the interview process for Two Sigma?

“There is an initial phone interview with HR where they quickly go through your resume and make sure you fit the role your applying and communicate fine. They then bring you in for a first round where you'll meet up to 4 people for 30 minutes to an hour each, these interviews are a mix of behavioural and technical questions (depending on the role). Often there is a technical component where you solve something related to your position. From there you're either hired or asked back for another set of those interviews.”

How can I do well at my Two Sigma interview?

“First thing's first, make sure you're logistically prepared! Make sure you have the timing and address right, show up with your ID and resume handy to make it easy for the staff, and show up a few minutes early. Dress comfortably (this is a casual environment) and however you think is appropriate. During the interview hr really wants to hear your story as an individual, so make sure you review your successes and failures before, and know what you gained from them. Be preapred with questions about the company and position, and stay relaxed!”

How can I succeed in my career at Two Sigma?

“The best way to succeed at Two Sigma is work consistently well for a long time. They are very understanding of the want to have a life outside of work, so you don't have to work 12 hour days to be successful. What they value is consistent effort over time. Show an interest in the systems by developing new projects to help increase profits, and just stay positive and engaged.”

How has Two Sigma changed over the years?

“"Two Sigma has grown a lot since its early days in 2001. I've been here for a few years now and have seen the progress as it went from a known smaller firm to a high growth moving towards established company. There have been lots of changes over the years, mainly culturally, but Two Sigma has been able to stay overall a great employer.

Less than 3 years ago we were only a 750 person company, and in just 3 years we've now doubled in size, becoming a 1500 employee company. With so many new employees joining culture is definitely going to shift depending on who we hire. Personally I've found that overall the quality of new hires has decreased over the years as HR is stretched thin by the company demands.

I find the new hires to be of lower quality just based on technical skill, but mostly based on their culture fit. Many new people joining are from rival places on the street with bad reputations like banks and hedgefunds. We probably have a collection of people coming from 600 different companies, each of us bringing a little bit of our previous culture to Two Sigma. This dissonance is the main reason many new employees don't mesh with the older groups, and small negative cultural bubbles can be found everywhere.

We've also gone through a few company re-orgs which have changed our roles and shifted management around, however these were done pretty well I found.

With the growth in asset management and employees, Two Sigma is on its way to being a dominant investment banking firm. There are some factors of this growth that have been difficult, like the general shift in the cultural landscape, but overall Two Sigma has handled the process of growth very well."”

What do you like most at Two Sigma?

Best part about Two Sigma is probably the compensation you get for working there. Salary, benefits, and bonuses are really high and are (obviously) great motivators to work well! There's still a strong culture and everything else, but having such high pay compared to the industry standard for my role feels great day-in day-out.

How is the work/life balance at Two Sigma?

Two Sigma does a great job at letting us balance work and life. Depending on your team you can sometimes work remote, or have flex hours. If you're doing research you don't have anyone breathing down your neck and you can work however you want. Compared to the other finance companies I've been a part of, Two Sigma actually knows how to keep employee morale high by giving us the opportunity to have a life outside work.

What type of culture is it at Two Sigma?

The culture itself is dominated by the people, who are smart and in the finance and tech industry. It's not a purely internet company culture, nor an investment culture. We're more innovative than many other finance companies, and have the more laid back style of tech companies, while also having the compensation and high levels of energy of finance companies.

What are some things you wish were changed at Two Sigma?

“"Working at Two Sigma is definitely a great job, but there are a few things that if changed, would make me want to spend my career here. The two things that I feel need to be addressed to increase employee engagement is a stronger focus towards integrating home grown software solutions, and stricter hiring policies for culture fit.

One of the biggest problems I've found of working here is having to deal with the wide range of home grown applications built to support different processes. I love that we're given the opportunity to build whatever we think can help the business, but when these applications need maintenance, and the person who build it is no longer here, the project has to be scrapped or completely re-designed.

People are given too much autonomy to build projects they want to build without taking the time to seeing how it can be integrated into our systems for long term use. If we had policies and procedures in place that made the employees spend time in integrating them into a common environment, we would be able to leverage our past work much more effectively.

I also hope that we become more strict with our hiring. In the last couple years we've gone through strong growth as a company, and have been hiring quickly to fill up new positions. But many of these new hires don't fit the culture and are frustrating to deal with. In the end it takes more time to hire train, fire retrain, then it does to hire well the first time. I know this would slow our growth but it would also stregthen our culture."”

About Two Sigma

Two Sigma Investments is an investment banking and asset management firm that uses data to make robust decisions. They're inspired by the fields of artificial intelligence and distributed computing, and are very havily focussed towards research and development for investment strategies. Two Sigma uses modelling, software engineering, and systems engineering, to build technology that enables analysis on vast amounts of data to make better investment decisions.

Founded in 2001 by ex D.E. Shaw & Co. CIO and managing director John Overdeck and David Siegel, Two Sigma has its headquarters based in New York, New York. With branches in Hong Kong, Houston, and London, Two Sigma employs over 1200 people and has over $50 billion in assets under management. With over 70 investments made in a wide variety of growing startups from seed to series H stage, Two Sigma has been recognized for consistently having unusually high returns.

There are many opportunities to join Two Sigma's team as they continue to grow. On glassdoor there are over 70 jobs posted, while on the Two Sigma website there are over 100 job listings. The majority of career opportunities at Two Sigma are in the fields of engineering, data science, artificial intelligence, systems, quantitative research, product management, and operations.

Positive reviews from Two Sigma employees report enjoying the great pay, the high percentage of yearly bonusses, the great benefits, the smart people, the strong work/life balance, the culture of learning, and the opportunity to work autonomously. Negative reviews from employees report being frustrated with the high scale growth of the company leading to increased beauracracy, the cliquey nature of some groups, the sometimes uninteresting work, the lack of maintaining home grown solutions, and the change of quality of hires.

Values and Beliefs

Two Sigma Investments has built a very strong culture centered around learning that sets itself apart from the normal investment firms. Knowing that decisions made based off of research and data have the greatest grounds of truth, Two Sigma has built a value system that encourages employees to grow personally and develop their own solutions. There are 4 core values that drive Two Sigma to be a leading investment firm:

- Two Sigma focusses on giving employees a strong work/life balance. Many investment companies don't know when to let people rest, and Two Sigma wants their employees to always be fresher than the competition.

- Two Sigma is a team of diversity. Having employees from a wide range of backgrounds gives Two Sigma the advantage of having different cultural and economical perspectives. Building a team that leverages the worlds intelligence.

- Two Sigma gives their employees autonomy. When employees have the autonomy to work on their research or projects at their own time, innovative discoveries are made and implementations are done with fewer mistakes.

- Two Sigma is an open source contributor. Knowing that the engineers can benefit greatly from tools that have already been made, Two Sigma wants to accelerate the process of developing the field of engineering by releasing home built projects as open source.

Interview Questions

Why are you interested in joining Two Sigma?

Why are you specifically interested in this role?

What did you dislike about your old job?

Tell me about a time you failed.

What is the last important decision you made?

What are your three most important skills?


Two Sigma Investments was founded in 2001 by John Overdeck, David Siegel, and Mark Pickard. David Siegel received his Ph.D. from MIT, and earlier held a position as the CIO for D. E. Shaw & Corp. John Overdeck studied mathematics and was the ex managing director at D. E. Shaw. The company was founded its main office in New York City, and chose its name to reflect the duality of the word sigma, where sigma can mean volatility and sum.

With a focus towards using a variety of technological methods, mainly AI, machine learning, and distributed computing, Two Sigma recognized the opportunity the growing technical fields had in influencing investment strategies. By November of 2011 the fund managed about $8 billion, growin to $32 billion by the end of 2015, and to $50 billion by the end of 2017. Two Sigma now has branch offices in Houston, London, and Hong Kong, and continues to be a research & development centric investment banking & asset management firm.