Interactive Brokers

  www.interactivebrokers.com
  www.interactivebrokers.com

Interactive Brokers Reviews

Updated October 16, 2014
Updated October 16, 2014
49 Reviews
2.9
49 Reviews
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Interactive Brokers Chairman, President, and CEO Thomas Peterffy
Thomas Peterffy
35 Ratings

18 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Hostile Work Environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Account Manager in Greenwich, CT
    Former Employee - Senior Account Manager in Greenwich, CT

    I worked at Interactive Brokers full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I joined for location and the salary. I thought is was a great lateral move at the time.

    Cons

    Manager was an ignorant jerk who knew less than I did. It is unclear how he kept his job. He seemed particularly offended because I went to a great university and had academic credentials in addition to time in the trenches.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I wish I had filed a law suit. I now regret taking the high road.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 9 people found this helpful  

    Horrible! Real devils in here!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Greenwich, CT
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Greenwich, CT

    I have been working at Interactive Brokers full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    There is some really good engineering work being done

    Cons

    - No internet at all. Not even restricted/moderated internet. You cannot get a glimpse of what is happening in the outside world from morning 9am-6pm for a near 365 days a year. In today's world, this is like stringing up a person without allowing air to breathe.
    - Adding to the internet policy, the culture is one of the worst. The managers are horrible with absolutely no humane feelings. They expect you to be like slaves, no question asked, no issue raised against your head. With the internet policy, I feel people who work for a few years will loose any sense of emotion and become extremely apathetic. People this will have very adverse affects on your personal lives. So please read this and do not take an offer at this company even though the money they give is somewhat above the average market value.
    - The head of the one of the departments even sometimes makes this explicit when hiring you: "Being social is not good in the company". So not take this lightly. The culture will drain any life from you. You work in the company for 10 years and not know anything about the guy sitting next to you.
    - H1B/Work visa permit holders... READ THIS!!: They only give 10 days of vacation for the whole year for the first 5 years! Yes just 10 days a year! So, you will have no time to prepare for interviews leave alone actually interviewing with companies to get out of the place if you don't like the culture. I have seen many people who are stuck there because of this situation. This will drive you crazy leading to many psychological problems.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give your employees internet if they need. You can give them the tradeoff of reducing their salary for having their internet monitored if security is a concern.
    Get a life guys. Treat your employees like they are humans and remember they have feelings too. They need to get a life where they can smile once they get home and not think about why they ever got stuck at this company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 6 people found this helpful  

    rigid management and culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Interactive Brokers full-time

    Pros

    - some great engineers.
    - free lunch (at a cost)

    Cons

    - free lunch at the cost of your lunch break.
    - no growth and they don't care. same sh*t everyday.
    - rigid management. you better be a machine that functions only to finish tasks.
    - expect to work all time. eyes on you.
    - don't expect help or communication. they are non-existent.
    - many more....

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

    Stay away if you are not desperate

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Greenwich, CT
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Greenwich, CT

    I worked at Interactive Brokers full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Health insurance better than at most large financial institutions
    Reasonable hours compared to many financial institutions (approximately 9-6, work through lunch).
    There are quite a few competent and pleasant people.. if only you could interact with them during business hours!..
    If you are a mediocre c++ coder, you will be taught a minimal standard that will make you better.

    Cons

    Low compensation, uncompetitive vesting schedules, unethical authoritarian management, substandard time off policy, and zero flexibility.

    Your kid is sick and you need to be 2 hours late? Either take 1/2 day off (you get 16 days of sick+vacation), or work two extra hours in the evening. You choose between seeing a sick child, and a chance of a vacation. Sick with a fever? Take a day off. I have seen a lot of sick people putting in the hours.

    The employer is likely to stick to the letter of the job offer - so read it carefully, and make sure you understand what you are signing.

    There is no room for professional growth and upward mobility.
    You are assigned detailed projects (specs) by your manager, and are given no freedom in their execution. The "managers" call and treat all employees as 'programmers' - it is irrelevant that you were trained as an engineer of a scientist. You will be coding to a spec, no matter what.

    Your manager is your final arbiter. There are some "managers" who cannot stand up to their boss when issues arise. As an alternative, they blame their reports for failures (note the spec part above!), and repeatedly get their reports fired. The upper management did not question this pattern until a handful of people went the revolving door.

    Interaction with anyone is discouraged. You are paid to type, not to talk.

    And never, ever should you offer your opinion. Even as you walk in and see that certain areas are 2-3 years behind competitors - stay mum - IB managers already know that they are the best. Your input will get you nothing but trouble.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get modern management training.

    Learn to respect your employees and show it.

    Bring time off/sick leave policy in line with competition (3-4 week vacation, 1-2 weeks of sick leave). Bring deferrals in line with competition (0-30% for most, 2-4 years). Bring comp in line with competition. You are no longer paying well enough for people to disregard the issues. Your most desirable employees are snatched by competition. Who do you think is staying?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Horrible place. Unless your kids are starving, look elsewhere.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Operations in Greenwich, CT
    Former Employee - Operations in Greenwich, CT

    I worked at Interactive Brokers full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Paycheck and Health Insurance, Free lunch ( that isn't free at all )

    Cons

    Impotent HR, Flawed review process, complete disrespect to employees, Blind following of orders is required, Dysfunctional atmosphere that could be damaging to mental well-being in the long run. Do not confuse this company with any other in the financial filed and do not get fooled by interviewers who are trying to draw a rosy picture, you will regret it later. Low compensation and bonus compared to industry standards.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest into employees, review your middle management so that they do not abuse power, start acting like a $6B company. Interview employees and review their goals ambitions and general well being. Give employees ability to submit anonymous reviews of their managers. Educate your middle management, as they are mostly uneducated without any real management experience thinking bullying is an appropriate management style.

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

    Looking forward to leaving.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Greenwich, CT
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Greenwich, CT

    I have been working at Interactive Brokers full-time

    Pros

    If you are good, have no ambition, and are willing to put up with the company 'idiosyncrasies' for the long-term, you will be very well compensated.

    Some other reviewers' comments that I can echo:

    - A few people are very smart and are a pleasure to work with* and learn from**
    - Business is run ethically
    - No red tape

    * 'Work with' means ask questions and get answers, not collaborate
    ** Learn C++, see below

    Cons

    Good reviews on Glassdoor are mostly not from programmers.

    No effort is made to educate employees about markets or the business beyond what is required for your immediate project. "Do your assigned project and don't rock the boat" is the motto.

    There is essentially no collaboration. You are told what to do and you do it.

    Benfits are abysmal.
    - 6.5 year (!!!) vesting schedule for stock bonuses and 401k matches (50% of 10% of contribution), you only get 10% up front (in May) plus 15% per year over 6 years
    - Two (!!!) weeks of vacation for the first five years, after that, three.
    - Health insurance is a low-end Cigna plan. Here's an example of how cheap it is; you can only get an eye exam once every two years. I have a feeling anyone who puts the insurance in the 'pro' column has never actually used it.

    Perks are half-hearted and penny-pinching.
    - See comments about benefits above
    - You get $12 from seamless.com to order lunch from crappy restaurants.
    - "Stocked Fridge": the fridge is stocked with soda. Want a snack? Pretzel sticks.
    - You wouldn't know it's a multi-billion dollar business from the spartan, depressing offices.

    If they offered a company car, it would be an engine-less Yugo pulled by a donkey, but hey, it will get you there!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There are ways other than tight golden handcuffs to inspire employee loyalty. Show some concern for making our lives happier and easier.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    terrible place

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Greenwich, CT
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Greenwich, CT

    I worked at Interactive Brokers full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    good comp & job security. great bonuses. decent benefits. some really smart developers. the annual company party is a nice touch. free lunch.

    Cons

    The work/life balance is non-existent. The first time I tried going out for lunch, I was reprimanded by my manager and told that lunch is to be eaten at my desk, while working. Bullying is alive and well, with senior management routinely screaming at, cursing, and berating employees. The atmosphere is that of a sweatshop. No salary is worth the treatment you'll receive here.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 10 people found this helpful  

    Everyone against everyone. Highly political. No life

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Greenwich, CT
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Greenwich, CT

    I worked at Interactive Brokers full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Free lunch and free health insurance (you will regret it later)

    Cons

    The governing style is absolute tyranny.

    Crazy night/weekend hours, frequent wake-up calls. Your pay will likely not reflect that. Developers are production management team by themselves.

    Everyone is anti-social. You will never discuss your weekend or kids/family with any of your co-workers. Even an elevator conversation arriving at / departing from work (I am officially off at that time, right?) is all about what projects you or I are working on.

    Did I just say "kids"? Forget you have kids (or are ever going to have them), and never mention it, or else... (see below)

    When looking for candidates, top managers always ask their junior managers (who bring candidates to them), if a candidate has any kids. This is outright illegal to ask a candidate of, so I am not sure how they get this information. A typical answer is "well, he/she does, but the youngest one is almost 15 and will soon head out for college." (what?)

    The process of assigning blame (or getting your things ready in case stuff happens) is very important, and takes about 30% of your work time. Any minor system malfunction looks like a public execution of whoever was found "guilty", and everyone is made aware of that.

    Managers afraid to make any design decisions, and the most specific request I have ever heard was "build us a system that will work for us". In the end if it doesn't "work as our users were envisioning it in their head" it is all your fault.

    You will have to pretend your boss (and his/her boss and so on) is the smartest guy on Earth, and you 100% agree with what they say on every account. You cannot possibly have an opinion, and you should feel lucky at any time of day (or night; you do work nights) that you are here.

    Unprofessionalism, Disrespect, and Hate are the top human qualities here. You will spend most time fighting your peers. Everyone thinks highly of themselves, and hates everyone who is new to the company.

    People come and go. Some positions are advertised on-going for years because people don't stay for long.

    Many people who currently work here will be lying about how "great" this place is. They think If they tell you the truth, people will avoid them just because of the strange things they are talking about all the time. This is a typical victim mentality, so I don't blame them for lying. When I spoke to a recruiter, I was surprised with how many people are looking to escape from this place.

    There are many more things that you should know before you start here, but I want to get back to my Saturday morning, and move on with my life, as reviving these images in my head from a few years ago takes quite a bit of energy and grief. I hope I have given people enough warning to make them stop and think before you make a decision that will affect your life for the next few years.

    P.S. I have learned a lot. People who work with me right now (at another company) admire my survival skills, and they say I will survive anywhere. Yes, this is a good skill to have, but I wish it hasn't come at such a price.

    I work at another firm in Finance now, and I am happy with my life, work, and my colleagues. Interactive Brokers is the biggest nightmare of my life.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in your people (no one would listen, but I had to put some text in this box for completeness)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 6 people found this helpful  

    Mixed feelings

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Programmer in Greenwich, CT
    Former Employee - Programmer in Greenwich, CT

    I worked at Interactive Brokers full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - SOME employees are very smart, very good at what they do.
    - Agree with other commenter that business is run in an ethical manner. ie. doing the right thing even if no one is looking.
    - Still on the cutting edge in some areas.
    - Minimal bureaucracy.

    Cons

    - Current incentive structure (no incentivization of employees) guarantees that the smartest and most motivated will leave. This is why HFTs ate their lunch.
    - Low pay relative to industry.
    - No growth opportunities.
    - Company is kept alive by H-1B slave labor.
    - Some groups are wildly incompetent (eg. HR, Marketing) due to perceived irrelevance by mgmt and these should be fired en masse.
    - Very anti-social office culture.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a life? TP runs this as a hobby, and I can't imagine a more boring hobby. If you're not HUNGRY, or know how to hire/retain people that are, your failure is guaranteed.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    This company should qualify as #1 worst place to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Treasury Analyst
    Former Employee - Treasury Analyst

    I worked at Interactive Brokers

    Pros

    The only one that I can account of is the free lunch you are entitled to. But guess what, you are supposed to eat it at your desk ( which is the whole point of it being free) and if you dare to leave you will be attacked by disapproval looks

    Cons

    -disrespectful management - you will get yelled at for things such as the way you arrange your own desk, the shrift you use etc. You will be constantly treated as being incompetent and worthless.

    -on your own - This dept is a bunch of people that happen to work together ( very far from team). You are not supposed to ask questions. if you dont get something it's your own fault, don't expect to recieve support. On the contrary, asking for one will put you faster on the unemployment bentch than you think ( happened to a colleague)

    -Zero employee morale - basically 90% of the treasury team leaves within a year ( true statistics). Main reason - management that creates a sick environment, comparable to a concentration camp.

    To sum up, do yourself a favor and don't even bother apply. You will not only lose your time but hurt your career and health. Don't do it! There are so many better companies out there ( happen to work for one now) that will put a lot more value on you and your career development.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    First day on the job I was told " If you think this is a place where you can chat around with colleagues, you are not int he right place" Turned out to be the total true. I have no other comments.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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