BlackRock Reviews in London, England

640 Reviews

3.4
640 Reviews
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BlackRock Chairman and CEO Laurence D. Fink
Laurence D. Fink
465 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • While it was not quite as relaxed as the San Francisco office, I found solid work life balance (in 41 reviews)

  • these are very smart people with tremendous resources spread across the globe (in 46 reviews)


Cons
  • if you want any type of work life balance rethink your idea to join this firm (in 58 reviews)

  • Very long hours, if you are not an investor you're kind of second class (in 44 reviews)

More Highlights

8 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    Blackrock takeover of BGI was like being assimilated by the Borg

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT (Associate)  in  London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - IT (Associate) in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at BlackRock

    Pros

    1. If you're not the only person left in your team supporting umpteen applications then you can generally get time off whenever you need it.

    Cons

    1. you will acquire a boring non transferable skill set
    2. you will not be given any transferable technical training unless you are willing to do it in your own time and pay for it yourself
    3. If you're not a legacy Blackrock employee you have little chance of career development
    4. not enough legacy BGI employees left to support the BGI applications
    5. management ignore staff who have resigned and are working their notice - in some cases they won't even look at them - bizarre!
    6. low morale and a general feeling of hopelessness in the London office

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Respect and appreciate your biggest asset - your employees (unless of course you really want a mindless army of zombies working hard but not smart)
    Start this process by getting rid of the circle of management that hide the real goings on from those at the very top.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Don't get stuck in this team at this company.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - PAG Analyst  in  London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - PAG Analyst in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at BlackRock

    Pros

    -Fast Pace
    -Access to senior management.
    -Good name on CV
    -Plenty of scope for operational development.
    -Health insurance. and pension.

    Cons

    -No work/life balance
    -No transferable skills
    -Misleading job interivews and descriptions.
    -Lack of formal training for graduates.
    -No respect.
    -Bad atmosphere.
    -A lot of condescending.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Get rid of PAG as an access to Blackrock.
    -No grad will be interested in being placed in a technical role with no transferable skills.
    -Reduce excessive middle management and increase the focus of senior managers.
    -Produce a strong and recognized graduate program.
    -Don't lie about job role.
    -Try to make people feel its worth the effort.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    Prepare for Micro-Management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at BlackRock

    Pros

    BlackRock is a strong brand, which in some parts of the world is widely recognised.
    The firm is the largest buy-side (investment management) firm in the world by a long way, leading to a breadth of potential opportunity and experience.
    Compensation is competitive to good

    Cons

    Decision making is often opaque and is nearly always centred in New York, decisions seemingly being made by a small group of people
    The company is very inward looking, particularly with regards to technology and is wedded to a lot of poor, dated, highly proprietary technology
    The management style from the top of the firm is to micro-manage people and centralise control

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start to trust people, particularly those who have come in from acquisitions, delegating responsibility down as far as possible. Share information. Stop micro managing. Look outside the firm for solutions, particularly with respect to technology.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 7 people found this helpful  

    Arrogance & Chaos.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Vice President  in  London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Vice President in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at BlackRock

    Pros

    Apparently a good name to have on your CV. Some good and hard working colleagues. Decent corporate discount scheme. Good office locations in London and New York.

    Cons

    Top two or three managers in lines of business and IT make all the decisions. The unwillingness to properly delegate breeds impotent and insecure subordinate managers and results in even the most straightforward request becoming a painful one.

    Communication is poor - even deliberately so.

    Very curious technology choices. The arrogance of senior IT staff has built an overly complicated infrastructure and suite of applications.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop being afraid to make decisions, and when you do, stand by them rather than hiding when pressed by those above you.

    Communicate.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 7 people found this helpful  

    Its the number of hours you work, not the quality of work or even if you delivered

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate  in  London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Associate in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at BlackRock

    Pros

    Blackrock has some very intelligent people that work here, so on a personal level one can stand to learn a lot.
    Great name to have on your resume.

    Cons

    There is a lot of division within the company between Ex BGI, Ex MLIM and BLK employees. People seem to introduce themselves by declaring which group they belong in, which is contrary to the 'One Blackrock' culture that the Senior Management harp about. The company also has major culture devides which makes it a very political environment to work in and also does not inculcate any trust across the said groups. The culture is not very tolerant of strong dissent, anyone who stands up to senior management to say this is not how things should be done seems to get thier hands slapped. Very very fear driven culture. Feels like a bad wallstreet movie from the 80s.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Delegate to managers and employees and empower them to do let them get on with the work. The Vice Chairman of the company should not be looking at change logs over the weekend! There also seems to be a disconnect between the message that is sent by upper management and what actually takes place on the ground.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    RIP BGI...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Vice President - IT Support  in  London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Vice President - IT Support in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at BlackRock

    Pros

    Still has a core group of good people at the heart of it's technology support teams (I am probably biased, but this is predominantly due to some of the legacy BGI folks still being here)

    There's not really anything else I can think of... there's free milk in the kitchenette areas?

    Cons

    Wants to be a world-class investment manager but refuses to invest in anything to get there (outside of it's Aladdin product), landing it all squarely on the shoulders of any employees unlucky enough not to have been made redundant.
    Doesn't seem to think anything of the breadth of talent that props up it's technology sector.
    Extreme lack of communication whilst management dilly-dally with major strategic decisions, leaving staff to feel exposed and dejected.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    i think the sooner senior management appreciate the people that prop up their company as individuals with real skills and ideas, instead of numbers on a sheet, the sooner they'll be able to get the company to where they want to. For a former BGI'er, the BlackRock takeover has been a very sorry experience to go through. The attributes that used to make BGI such a wonderful place to work have been slowly squeezed out by BlackRock's almost Borg-style assimilation of it's latest acquisition. Lots of good folks have been lost to competitors, but the general feeling is that they have escaped a sinking ship and, personally, I'm glad I have also had the opportunity to make my own escape.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Trapped

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Vice President  in  London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Vice President in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at BlackRock

    Pros

    The name and the company's reuptation in the market. That's it. If you're lucky enough to have been offered redundancy/relocation, that's a pro too.

    Cons

    Arrogant senior management clique, with golden children that can do no wrong and whose opinion counts far more than it should...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look beyond the legacy BlackRock Management for input and ideas. Don't miss the opportunity to learn from those companies you've acquired.

    Doesn't Recommend
  9. 6 people found this helpful  

    BlackRock compared to BGI

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Vice President  in  London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Vice President in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at BlackRock

    Pros

    Leveraged opportunities and lending to increase it's size over the past few years by agressively purchasing (right place / right time)
    Fortune favours the brave mentality (risk takers)
    Entrepreneurial drive
    Purchase of Merill Lynch and BGI brought in lots of fresh talent and bright people
    Buy versus grow business model

    Cons

    Unless part of the original BlackRock team, everyone that has started from a transition/merger or joined later, does not get a look into the senior positions
    New York centric management team and small firm mentality, it's run by the original founding members, the whole global reporting line, business functions and power sharing is split between the founding members.
    Power base in NY, if not in NY, then not really a decision maker
    Risk takers and lack of planning means approach is not ideal and things are duplicated or manual solutions put in place
    Not leading edge use of technology, more archaic and cheap (vendors are chosen as they are cheap or aggressively negotiated down)
    Firm's reputation is built around the front office, with middle and back office treated badly and paid below par
    Aladdin technology and the MD's that run BlackRock solutions are over protective of their proprietary software/system. Negative feedback is frowned upon and career limiting.
    Aggressive management with big egos to stroke in NY
    Redundancy pay is just above statutory (cheap)
    Stock price linked to Larry Fink (who knows what will happen if he stops buying companies and tries to grow the business organically or retire) - key person risk
    No downward delegation of decision making due to a lack of trust (run the same way as when it was formed in the 80's)
    Lack of investment in people or facilities - cheap company to work for (rewards to the front office to maintain reputations and keep star fund manager's - everyone else is discounted to support this culture)
    It's not what you know but who you know

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Time to get over the small firm mentality of having to see every invoice over 10K, stop micro managing everything and everyone, treat people with respect, the world is larger than just NY, International does not mean Canadian dollars, all your employees are assets not just the front office

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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