Working at First Derivatives | Glassdoor.co.uk

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First Derivatives Overview

Newry, Northern Ireland
1001 to 5000 employees
1996
Company - Public (FDP)
IT Service
$100 to $500 million (USD) per year
First Derivatives is a leading provider of products and consulting services to the capital markets industry. Focused on financial institutions that work cross-asset, often with multi-system and/or high volume trading activities, the Company scopes, designs, develops, implements ... Read more

Mission: To create the preferred derivatives consultancy for banks, insurance firms and corporate treasuries worldwide.

At current we have a head count of 1800 + staff members


Glassdoor Awards

Best Places to Work: 2017 (#10)

Company Updates

  • Last week we announced our partnership with Red Bull Racing at our offices globally! Exciting times!

    —10 days ago
  • We are absolutely delighted to announce that last night we won #UKTech17 Tech Company of the Year!! Absolutely fantastic news! We would like to thank our staff globally for all their hard work! #FDFamily #KxTechnology

    —21 days ago
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First Derivatives – Why Work For Us?


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First Derivatives is a leading provider of products and consulting services to the capital markets industry. Focused on financial institutions that work cross-asset, often with multi-system and/or high volume trading activities, the Company scopes, designs, develops, implements and supports a broad range of mission critical data and trading systems across front, middle and back-office operations.

Incorporated in 1996, First Derivatives has served the capital markets industry since its incorporation. The Company holds a niche market position in terms of domain knowledge of capital market asset classes (equities, fixed income, foreign exchange, commodities, etc), as well as expertise in leading financial services systems (such as Calypso, Murex, Opics, Summit, Principia, Opus, Wall Street, kdb+, etc). The Company continues to work closely with leading global financial institutions to enable client proprietary and 3rd Party systems cope with the demands of high volume, complex trading in an increasingly regulated market. This combination of domain knowledge and technical expertise in leading financial services technologies has motivated the Company to invest in developing its own product suite.

First Derivatives is a publicly held company, trading on the London Stock Exchange (LSE FDP.L) and Irish Stock Exchange (IEX:GYQ.I). The Company is headquartered in Newry, Northern Ireland from where it has established its research and development centre, its Capital Markets Competency Centre and its near-shore support facilities. The Company has continued to expand its service offering and now has operational bases in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia to service its global client base. It is recognized as one of the fastest growing capital markets service providers in the world. First Derivatives now employs over 1,800 employees worldwide.

First Derivatives’ distinct competitive advantage derives from its unique combination of knowledge of financial markets and expertise in financial services technologies. The Company believes that its consultants need to fully understand the client’s business requirements in order to produce the right technical solution. This saves our clients development time, and ultimately money.

We are widely renowned for the quality of our service and our product portfolio and for our pragmatic and commercial approach. Our growth is the direct result of the importance we attach to our clients, understanding their businesses and building and maintaining strong relationships.

Key to our market position is continuing our strong track record of profit growth and our international reputation for the quality of our services in our target sectors.

We know that ensuring our people are well motivated, well rewarded and have the opportunity to develop their true potential is critical to meeting our varied client needs and our continued commercial success.

Our Interview Process

After our initial telephone interview stage an assessment day follows in our Newry office.

1. Placements

Your selection will consist of a logic test, two face-to-face interviews and a group exercise. The assessments will be based on your academic record, past experiences and accomplishments, as well as suitability and interest in First Derivatives. Your performance in these tests is taken into account during our selection process. If you are offered a placement and perform strongly, you may have the opportunity to join the graduate programme by applying again once you graduate.

2. Graduates

Your selection will consist of a logic test, two face-to-face interviews and a group exercise. The assessments will be based on your academic record, past experiences and accomplishments, as well as suitability and interest in First Derivatives. Your performance in these tests is taken into account during our selection process. Following your assessment day, you may be invited to arrange a second-round interview that will focus on your suitability for a particular group within the division you have applied to.


Preparing for an Interview

You've impressed them with your CV and telephone interview, and now you've got that all-important interview. But don't rest on your laurels, read this section for some tips on how to prepare for your interview. 

Before the interview 

Look at our website; learn as much as you can about First Derivatives, our business areas and our culture. If you know people who work in investment banking, particularly within the business area you're interviewing with, don't be afraid to contact them and ask them questions. 

Read the financial press regularly and be prepared to discuss topical issues. 

Know yourself — think about why a career in financial services and the business area to which you have applied is of interest to you. 

Most of our interviews are competency based, so think about aligning your key skills with relevant examples. If an interviewer wants you to demonstrate your communication skills, team-working talents and business ability, don’t use the same example for every question. Try to think of various ways to demonstrate your skills, perhaps by talking about things you do outside work or university. 

On the day

    • Wear appropriate business dress and act professionally at all times.


    • Allow plenty of time to travel to your interview and plan your route the evening before. Arriving too early or late is an unfortunate way to start your interview.


    • Watch your body language — posture, hand shake, eye contact, and smile.


    • Make sure your mobile phone is switched off.


    • If a question throws you off track, ask for a moment to think about it and compose yourself. They don't want to catch you out – they just want to see if you have the right skills and motivations for the role.


  • Demonstrate your interest by having some questions for us. This is your chance to learn more about our business and culture.


Hints and Tips

    • Get your contact details right — this shouldn't be too tricky, but people do get it wrong and if we can't contact you, then the entire application is a waste of time.


    • Ensure you know which stream you want to apply to and why. For placement and graduate positions, you can only apply to one business area.


    • Be clear and concise.


    • Take your time — this is your first chance to sell yourself, so make sure you provide us with relevant information that is going to differentiate you from other applicants.


    • Think laterally — use examples of achievements, both inside and outside the classroom, to illustrate qualities such as teamworking, interpersonal skills, drive and creativity.


    • Don't copy and paste — individualise your CV.


    • Demonstrate your motivation for applying First Derivatives — Make sure you know exactly why you would like to work with us.


  • Please give thought to the job role of your selected stream. We are looking for more than academics, interest in the training and willingness to travel; we want you to have a clear understanding of the role and what it will entail.

What you need to have:


  • Minimum 2:1 in Economics, Finance, ICT, Mathematics, Physics, Engineering or other STEM related disciplines
  • Flexibility for Worldwide travel
  • Financial Engineer - AAB A Level UK or Leaving Certificate equivalent (including an A in Mathematics)
  • Trading Technology/Data Science - AAB A Level UK or Leaving Certificate equivalent
  • Software Engineer - BBB A Level UK or Leaving Certificate equivalent
  • Applicants must be ambitious with exceptional interpersonal skills and strong analytical and problem solving skills.


If you want to work for an organisation with career opportunities throughout the world that counts amongst its clients Tier 1 investment banks, the world’s leading hedge funds, exchanges, foreign exchange brokers and to work with leading edge technology then when you must consider a career with FD.

We're looking for individuals who have a balance of strong academic backgrounds and great interpersonal skills. We employ individuals who are motivated and care about what they do. Among our staff we have a blend of raw enthusiasm and the ambition to succeed. Join our dynamic team and make a difference.

First Derivatives Reviews

3.2
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
First Derivatives CEO Brian Conlon
Brian Conlon
121 Ratings
  • "Great first job straight out of University"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Engineer in London, England
    Current Employee - Financial Engineer in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at First Derivatives (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Ability to travel and expenses.

    Cons

    Not much initial control on where to be placed or what to be doing.

See All 187 Reviews

First Derivatives Photos

First Derivatives photo of: Office space, Newry HQ
First Derivatives photo of: CEO Brian Conlon, award winner from NI Science Park
First Derivatives photo of: FD Graduates in NYC
First Derivatives photo of: Some of our recent grads on client site in NYC
First Derivatives photo of: WINNER of 'Best Place to Work' and 'Managing Talent' Awards for a large organisation at The Irish News Workplace and Employment Awards 2015
First Derivatives photo of: FD Graduates in NYC
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First Derivatives Interviews

Experience

Experience
53%
26%
19%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
79%
10%
3%
2
2
1
1

Difficulty

2.6
Average

Difficulty

Hard
Average
Easy
  1.  

    Financial Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Newry, Northern Ireland
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. I interviewed at First Derivatives (Newry, Northern Ireland).

    Interview

    I had an initial 20 minute phone call with HR to review my CV. Then when called for a face-to-face there were two 15 minute meetings discussing my CV, my goals, and my knowledge of the company. Then we had to prepare a short presentation, and finally ended with a 45-min logic test.

    Interview Questions

    • What is the most recent news item you are aware of regarding First derivatives?   Answer Question
See All 218 Interviews

First Derivatives Awards & Accolades

  • Best Place to Work, The Irish News, 2016
  • Managing Talent Award, The Irish News, 2016
  • Best Place to Work, The Irish News, 2015
  • Managing Talent Award, The Irish News, 2015
  • Business Personality of the Year(Brian Conlon - CEO), Belfast Telegraph, 2015
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