Quantitative Researcher


Can you solve this puzzle?

An ant leaves its anthill in order to forage for food. It moves with the speed of 10cm per second, but it doesn’t know where to go, therefore every second it moves randomly 10cm directly north, south, east or west with equal probability.

  1. If the food is located on east-west lines 20cm to the north and 20cm to the south, as well as on north-south lines 20cm to the east and 20cm to the west from the anthill, how long will it take the ant to reach it on average?
  2. What is the average time the ant will reach food if it is located only on a diagonal line passing through (10cm, 0cm) and (0cm, 10cm) points?
  3. Can you write a program that comes up with an estimate of average time to find food for any closed boundary around the anthill? What would be the answer if food is located outside an defined by ( (x – 2.5cm) / 30cm )2 + ( (y – 2.5cm) / 40cm )2 < 1 in coordinate system where the anthill is located at (x = 0cm, y = 0cm)? Provide us with a solution rounded to the nearest integer.

Was that easy to solve? If you enjoy mathematical challenges and writing computer programs, you could be instrumental in the success of Optiver’s dynamic trading floor as our next Quantitative Researcher. With your statistics knowledge and top-tier analytical abilities, you’ll create the insights, reports and proposals that drive impactful new trading strategies. Get ready to collaborate with world-class Traders and Software Engineers from more than 50 countries to improve financial markets across the globe. This is your chance to demonstrate how valuable research and data are to the future of electronic trading

Who we are:

Optiver is a tech-driven trading firm and leading global market maker. As one of the oldest market making institutions, we are a trusted partner of 50+ exchanges across the globe. Our mission is to constantly improve the market by injecting liquidity, providing accurate pricing, increasing transparency and acting as a stabilising force no matter the market conditions. With a focus on continuous improvement, we participate in the safeguarding of healthy and efficient markets for everyone who participates.

Our Amsterdam office is where it all began. Over 35 years ago, Optiver’s business started with a single trader on the floor of Amsterdam’s European Stock Exchange. Since our 1986 founding, Optiver’s Amsterdam office has grown into one of the most dynamic and exciting trading floors in Europe. Our culture reflects the Dutch capital city’s progressive, innovative and inclusive nature. With its unique spirit, Amsterdam is the ideal hub for our teams to trade a wide range of products from listed derivatives to cash equities, ETFs, bonds and foreign exchange.

What you’ll do:

Quantitative Research acts as the foundation upon which Optiver’s trading activities are built. Our research teams – experts with MSc and PhDs in a variety of STEM subjects – utilise a scientific approach to research and design our world-class trading algorithms. This means applying and developing state-of-the-art stochastic models to price options and predict market volatility, as well as utilising Monte Carlo methods to determine how to perform differentiation on discrete realisations of stochastic processes. It also means developing statistical arbitrage strategies by working with petabytes of low latency, high-frequency market data sets, an extensive high-powered computing back-testing framework and much more. Optiver Researchers believe in academic discourse, and therefore invite their teammates and Traders to challenge each hypothesis. Can it be mathematically improved? Does it pose potential risk? Does it exploit a market behavioural pattern? Can it sustain its output goals? Constant testing, analysis, refinement and innovation ensure our quantitative models remain at the cutting-edge of constantly evolving capital markets.

Who you are:

We’re looking for a Quantitative Researcher who will be versatile, flexible and creative in innovating new solutions. In return, we’ll give you the freedom to pursue your ideas and implement them right into our production systems. Within a few months, you will play a key role in developing automated analysis programs and trading algorithms.

In terms of skills and qualifications, we’re looking for:

  • Academic degree with top grades in Engineering, Physics, Maths, Econometrics, Computer science or equivalent
  • Programming experience in any language (C, C++, Python, Basic, JAVA, etc.)
  • Ability to apply basic concepts of probability, calculus and linear algebra
  • Ability to carry a project on your own in a structured way within a short timeframe
  • Competitive attitude and eagerness to constantly improve yourself
  • Self-starting, ‘can do’ attitude
  • Ability to learn quickly
  • Excellent verbal and written English language skills

What you’ll get:

  • The chance to start your career working alongside best-in-class professionals from over 40 different countries.
  • Our performance based bonus structure is unmatched anywhere in the industry. We combine our profits across desks, teams and offices into a global profit pool fostering a truly collaborative environment to work in.

Alongside this you will get great secondary benefits such as 25 paid vacation days, fully paid first-class commuting expenses, training opportunities, discounts on health insurance, breakfast and lunch facilities, sports and leisure activities, Friday afternoon drinks and even weekly in-house chair massages. Being highly international, we are accustomed to guiding expats through their relocation, offering competitive relocation packages and providing visa sponsorship where necessary.

How to apply:

Are you interested in furthering your career on one of the most dynamic and exciting trading floors in Europe?

Apply directly via the form below for the position of Quantitative Researcher. Apply directly via our website for the position of Quantitative Researcher. Please provide us with a CV, a solution to all three puzzle questions highlighting in bold your final answers and a letter of motivation in English. Applications without an answer to the puzzle and a letter of motivation will not be reviewed.

The full puzzle solution is to be uploaded in the same document as the cover letter and submitted as a pdf. 

When we think there is a potential match, you will hear from us sooner than you expect. If you have any questions feel free to contact our Recruiter Bernice Juk via [email protected]

Please note, if you are selected from your application to proceed to the next round for the position of Quantitative Researcher, you will be required to take an online assessment.

Kindly note that we do not require any assistance from third-parties including agencies in the recruitment of this role.

Diversity statement:

As an intentionally flat organisation, we believe that great ideas and impact can come from everyone. We are passionate about empowering individuals and creating diverse teams that thrive. Every person at Optiver should feel included, valued and respected, because we believe our best work is done together.

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is hardwired through every stage of our hiring process. We encourage applications from candidates from any and all backgrounds, and we welcome requests for reasonable adjustments during the process to ensure that you can best demonstrate your abilities.

Application Deadline

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