The ex-Goldman Citadel Securities trader who is busy and kind
Jake Glasser has the sort of schedule that makes most people look slothful, even if they're working long hours in financial services. Most days, Glasser, who joined Citadel Securities' New York office from Goldman Sachs in August 2022, gets up at 4.30am-5am to exercise. He's on the desk at Citadel for 7am. He has commitments in the evening, and a busy social life on the weekends.
Glasser's weekday evening commitments result from his role as a captain in the US army reserves. “I’m responsible for over 60 soldiers," he explains. "A typical monthly commitment for me is a full weekend of drill or battle assembly from 6am to 6pm on Saturday or Sunday and then attending several four-hour briefing sessions a month. I’m also available as a resource for soldiers in my unit 24/7.” On a weekly basis, Glasser says this translates to between four and eight hours of army commitments after his Citadel Securities workday is over.
Glasser started out in the reserves while he was at Claremont McKenna College in California, and persisted while he went from analyst to vice president over a five-year period at Goldman. At Citadel Securities, he's a sales trader on the institutional options desk and is building out the firm's algorithmic execution offering.
There aren't many finance professionals in the reserves, says Glasser. Many of the other reservists come from government jobs and live outside New York, but this is what helps make the experience worthwhile. “Being exposed to such a wide range of people has been one of the most rewarding aspects of being in the military," Glasser says. "When you work in our industry, it’s easy to be one-track minded, but the military has kept me very grounded. Most of all, it’s taught me that in any career, it’s important just to be a good person. People follow confidence, but they are loyal to vulnerability and respect. The longer I am in the military, the more I learn this.”
As a battalion captain, Glasser's role includes being available for his soldiers when they need help and advice in their daily lives. While this has taught him kindness, Glasser says it's also taught him a lot about human beings, which makes him more effective at work. "When I started as a company commander, I was 26, and I was the youngest company commander in the past several decades of my unit. I had to learn how to manage personalities as young as 18 and as old as early 50s. A lot of my soldiers had a lot more experience than me, but being able to establish a leadership position and to maintain order was a really powerful skill that I learned during those years.”
Glasser's Citadel Securities colleagues are seemingly in awe of his schedule, which includes running 20-25 miles a week, boxing, yoga, workouts, his social life and his day job. "The question I most often get from my co-workers is about balance and how I maintain it," he says. "The answer is that I don’t. Instead, you reach a threshold of controlled chaos where balance is impossible but where you can strive for harmony. That’s something that not a lot of people see as an option.”
Harmony means looking at life holistically, says Glasser. "I accept that I’m not going to be able to sleep eight hours a night and that there are some days that I won’t work 14 hours. That I won’t be able to get a perfect score on my diagnostic physical test every month. But that in aggregate it will be ok.”
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