Are you a trader looking for a new gig? Do you have certain requirements of the job that've made finding the perfect employer slightly difficult? Do they include:
* Wearing flip-flops, polos and shorts to work?
* Taking leisurely lunches
* Enjoying yourself a good rom-com and paying matinee prices?
* Playing 18 holes before the close?
* Catching a few winks on the company roof deck?
* Having bosses that understand there's not much of a point to working more than a few hours a day?
Then shoot a resume over to Briargate Trading. These are the guys for you.
On the day the "flash crash" bludgeoned the stock market and chaos swept over the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, the founders of Briargate Trading were at the movies. Rick Oscher and Steven Rubinstein weren't playing hooky. Briargate, a proprietary-trading firm that the two former NYSE floor "specialist" traders started in 2008, is mostly active at the stock market's open and close. In between, when market activity typically drops, the Wall Street veterans play tennis in Central Park, take leisurely lunches, visit their children's schools and work out at the gym. Dress shoes have been replaced with flip-flops, slacks with cargo shorts. Once during market hours, they walked about five miles and crossed the Brooklyn Bridge to try Grimaldi's pizza. "We actually planned on working a full day," says Mr. Oscher, wearing a white polo shirt and blue-plaid shorts. "But from 11 to 2, the markets are pretty quiet—what's the point? As a specialist, you have to stand in your spot all day and we did that for 20 years."
In 2008, the men joined forces with a programmer from Van Der Moolen and started Briargate. The five employees that now comprise Briargate work out of an apartment in a luxury-hotel and condominium complex on Wall Street. Briargate trades mostly stocks, using computer algorithms that still require human decision-making. Sometimes the firm's programmer is left in charge when the rest of the staff leaves the office. Focusing trading on those times could limit gains, but Messrs. Oscher and Rubinstein are at peace with that. "Would you rather play tennis or make an extra $80? It's a lifestyle question," says Mr. Rubinstein, who sometimes works remotely from Florida. "I can go play 18 holes of golf and then come back and trade and that's a workday."
"If someone offered us three times what we make to do a real job, we wouldn't do it," Mr. Oscher says. "Money isn't everything. Plus, we'd make terrible employees."