MSCI Reviews

Updated March 5, 2015
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MSCI President, CEO, and Director Henry A. Fernandez
Henry A. Fernandez
134 Ratings

60 Employee Reviews

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  1. Worked as VP in the firm

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Vice President in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Vice President in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    Process driven company, strictly managed, solid index business

    Cons

    Way too much outsourcing to overseas, high tension in the firm, poor management on the analytics business lines.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Less outsourcing, value the employees, give the life back to the employees

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  2. 2 people found this helpful

    overly expanded medium size company with a Fortune 500 dream

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

    I worked at MSCI full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    smart people to work with
    great brand and industry recognition
    global reach
    decent benefits
    good products and strong research focus

    Cons

    no real work life balance when your workload doubles due to turnovers
    pay is not related to performance as it is supposed to. having a good year sometimes could mean a flat or smaller performance bonus. so there is little motivation to deliver better performance
    top heavy corporate structure. career opportunities for any non-sales related poisons are quite limited. it also depends on which business you are in. the index business is better than others

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    pay your top performers well instead of spending all the money acquiring businesses that are hard to integrated

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful

    Autocratic managers stymie growth, but you'll learn a lot about the industry

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

    I have been working at MSCI full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Sales people have large base pay. Trips easily expensed. Easy product to sell. Brand recognition.

    Cons

    Only concerned with you knowing the product. No training outside of this. Management calls themselves 'authoritarian' and the culture is "do as I tell you b/c I'm telling you to" and "my way or the highway" (aka "the MSCI way"). This leads to mgmt worrying only about goal achievement and not the satisfaction of employees. The only motivation used is threatening, stifling ingenuity and hindering teamwork.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Re-examine middle management and the culture/ values they are bringing to the table. Organization feels like it's lacking morals - get the job done no matter who you have to deceive in the process.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful

    Spinning

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

    I have been working at MSCI full-time

    Pros

    Used to be collegial and respectful. Maybe it's going back to that in some areas but not very consistent. Pay ok but not very competitive.

    Cons

    Terrible team dynamics. A lot of jungle like extreme guarding, in largely aloof settings. Loads of long-term secrecy and targeting. Even king and queen-bee designates thoughout the offices. Often hard to just do a consistent meeting. Groups can be challenging to keep. software development scattered for a mostly software firm. Culture clashes and downright tyrannical upper management. Career Paths can be nebulous at best, unless one is responsible for controlling unit budget. This means if your work can be out-soourced or held to minimum wage gain, it will be. The managers, no matter how competent, are encouraged and even rewarded to do that. And in strange ways over years. So it's not surprising that the labor force very troubled. And not supported very much. Meetings are mostly for going through the motions. With often uninformed members who just stay around for the next party. Nothing wrong with socializing for team building, but we can do a lot more work. Even basic office processes create tension, with a kind of lazy, moody Facilities direction. Newer groups, like some of clients from recently acquired firms, can easily get just bewildered by a lack of professionalism. Dialogues absolutely not two way streets.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep trying for more definition and clearer goals. With measurable results. This can probably best be done by spending more time with not just the protected officers but employees at large. Find the truly motivated and stable senior AND junior staff.

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

    Worst Work Experience & Culture

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

    I worked at MSCI full-time

    Pros

    On the face they seem to pay well but the salaries are kept relatively same for prolonged periods of time. Most of their benefits have a lock in for a min of 2 years.

    Cons

    The worst managed company. No team work. Extremely political environment and toxic. Long hours and weekends without any significant increase in compensation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would not recommend anyone to join this company. The initial pay might look attractive but for the hours worked and the environment to deal with- its not worth a single penny.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful

    Home Offices Too Many (entitled) Chiefs, not enough Indians

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

    I have been working at MSCI (more than a year)

    Pros

    Array of talented junior reports
    Possible career growth though very slow because of terrible team dynamics and shaky HR
    A yearly Fun Day

    Cons

    Top heavy structure, with the critical junior functions scattered. Just a few of the lower levels in home offices. But mostly frozen by paranoia and politics. Only those folks affiliated by schools and/or clubs of senior managers appear to be given (too much) liberty. Stagnating office ambiances, especially in California. Frequently traveling or outside meetings take priority.. New York not far behind. Indeed the home offices seem to be in rivalry of a strange sort. With little appreciation over the years for anyone who has tried to call attention to problem ops or staff. So the Company is run a la Boiler Room style, with the club aspect, then token quota hires protected. Then the alienated, overworked outsiders, who can easily be targeted, are left to do the work of many and not allowed advances very much. And horrible HR; frequently absent and easily irate. Given to rudeness and error, especially when new staff joins. Really bad hires and practices over years. With little room for correction. Or coherent, timely product creation. Uninterested, often irrational senior staff. And they too can be conveniently absent. Newer packages stalled. Competition catching up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When will you allow for real team work and stop favoring ineffective soldiers? Why are you hiding so much?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful

    Great product, far too bottom line oriented

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Intern in Norman, OK
    Former Intern - Intern in Norman, OK

    I worked at MSCI as an intern (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The software is incredible to work on, there are some very talented people to work with, great place to learn. The people in office are fantastic, and the work is interesting.

    Cons

    The company is far too bottom line oriented. They had a history of laying off extremely valuable, talented developers from a product they bought because they were "overpaid." That was indicative of the culture...to them, you are nothing but a line on a ledger sheet.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn that people are valuable. Skill and experience that comes with time aren't easily quantified. Treat your people like they're actually people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful

    Greed yand hectic culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Executive Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Executive Director in New York, NY

    I have been working at MSCI full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Some smart people around.
    Competitors aren't much better.
    Dynamic culture. Lots of aggressive managers, male and female.
    It's like Wall Street without the big bonuses

    Cons

    Too much greed. Comp doesn't reward hard work nor results. Or is it only top management who gets well paid?
    Career upside is only for sales people
    Hectic. TOO MUCH politics.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stock price isn't a culture.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful

    innovation stymied if not completely repressed

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

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

    Pros

    Pay is OK but only at the higher title levels. Domain and analytical work itself can be highly interesting and challenging, if not for the corporate bureaucracy and infighting that impedes progress. Decent benefits such as medical, vision, 401k, etc.

    Cons

    Blame game, Machiavellian politics between groups and individuals.
    Corporate culture is almost the opposite of teamwork; rather, people try to CYA all the time.
    There is a negative view permeating the company of “failure” be it actual or perceived. People are therefore understandably afraid to try new things, do green-field research and proof-of-concept projects, etc because of the risk of failure, which is inherent in these sorts of endeavors.
    Zero focus or value placed on career development; people essentially get stuck in their role with no opportunity or catering toward improving their skills or moving to higher levels on their career path.
    Non-technical managers hired to oversee technical functions leads to poor decisions, political battles, disenfranchised and frustrated staff.
    Focus on cost-cutting and maintaining margin means innovation does not thrive, since the focus is always on feature development that is promised to bring in new customers.
    Lots of jobs transferred offshore, which makes software engineering efforts difficult to complete and very inefficient.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If satisfied with how the company is operating then don’t change anything; however, if unsatisfied, be prepared to embrace significant cultural and operational change that will make everyone, up to the senior level of management, uncomfortable at best.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful

    Gives its blessing to dirty politics and bad systems

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

    I have been working at MSCI (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The ever changing middle and lower level staff from all over. More and more are leaving unfortunately, when they realize no great advances unless connected or brilliant manipulators.
    A potential for good mix of companies, but too many alienated and deceptive things.

    Cons

    Really inefficient systems, and old original offices never easy to work in. Inconsistent and Adversarial office management. Too many VP's and even a few more senior staff running around doing very little except dressing up and smiling when head honchos are in town. Severley technically deficient managers esp in project managing. Severely untrained other managers/officers in general office management, who are stubborn and stressed, at times, even abrupt and unpofessional to outside and inside. A lot of bad promotions past couple years, coming where politically calculated. Hard to really see how the company can go forward with so much bad behavior and morale. Unrealistic deadlines in general for new product, and with terrible home office management and lack of consistency, even crazier atmosphere.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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