Silicon Valley Bank

  www.svb.com
  www.svb.com

Silicon Valley Bank Reviews

Updated November 4, 2014
Updated November 4, 2014
117 Reviews
2.9
117 Reviews
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Silicon Valley Bank President & CEO Greg Becker
Greg Becker
57 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good people, very focused on their employees and work life balance (in 11 reviews)

  • good benefits good job opportunity (in 16 reviews)


Cons
  • They've taken the "Client First" mantra to the extreme where there is no work-life balance (in 5 reviews)

  • Its too late in IT, its to damaged thanks to the depredations of the new CIO (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

31 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Great bank to work for, if you ever consider working for financial institution.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank

    Pros

    Small bank, benefits are something to wish for such as free wine tasting at client wineries and mortgage loans to employees, great teamwork.

    Cons

    If you looking for a stable job it's for you, no stock options though or startup excitement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Doing the right thing, just need to be careful about who you hire for executive roles.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Interesting work, great benefits, flexibility but lot of expectation for putting in the hours

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Worker Bee in Tempe, AZ
    Current Employee - Worker Bee in Tempe, AZ

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you are smart, have good communication skills and ready to work hard, this could be the place for you. You will be amply rewarded. SVB pays above market salaries in Tempe, AZ, however, salaries in bay area are probably inline with the market. Very wide range of useful benefits such as employee stock purchase plan, 401K matching with immediate vesting, generous bonus and good medical benefits. The company takes care of its employees financially.

     People are very professional and friendly in general. The company is growing so there is ample interesting work. If I am not mistaken, they have not had mass lay-offs at least in the last 20-25 years . They remained resilient through the financial crisis because they were disciplined and avoided real estate sub prime loans. (Only because they got burnt in real estate in the 80s and they pledged to stay away from real estate). The former chief credit officer, Dave Jones, was a hawk so he probably kept them away from trouble prior to the financial crisis.

    Cons

    People are overworked. It is a very sales like culture. Talkers do better than doers.

    After years of growth and success, executives have become arrogant and there is lot of politics. Only if you are on the right side of the authority, will you do well. They started the SVB values thing so that more people start drinking the kool-aid. The top execs don't really live by it but want it drilled in the worker bees to create a cult-like culture and increase productivity. The integrity of some of the top guys is also questionable.

    There is lot of group think. Depending on who you work for, you can be shot down for disagreeing with the boss.

    SVB has been lucky to be in the right place at the right time. Venture capital investments are going through the roof and SVB being in that space is benefiting tremendously. The C level management and senior management seem to believe that they are somehow responsible for the success of the company. I believe they have little if anything to do with the success and growth. They just got lucky. Now they believe that higher interest rates will make them even more successful. I am not so sure. Higher interest rates will slow down the economic activity and reduce the money sloshing around in VC world. SVB might benefit in terms of higher margins but will lose in terms of volume.

    Not too many people with good education, not even the senior management has good education but there are a few exceptions here and there. They can promote you to the top even if you don't have a degree (not necessarily bad thing if you did not go to college but are a real go-getter). They are trying to promote more women now to increase diversity. I personally think that discriminating based on gender, skin color, race or sexuality is not the best way to increase diversity. In fact, I see a lot of group think in some departments. If you do not agree with the authority, you are considered a trouble-maker. Increasing difference of opinion is probably a better way to increase diversity rather than discrimination but that is just my personal opinion and obviously not a fact.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You are lucky to be in the right place at the right time and your business model is working great for now. Don't get cocky thinking it is only because of your initiatives that the company is making loads of money.

    You have some rotten apples in the mix. Take out bad and arrogant senior managers who lack integrity. At least take a look at why people are leaving under these managers. Make sure that the SVB values are embraced at all levels not just the worker bees. Pay extra attention to integrity. Preserve the culture, it is worth billions! Don't let some ambitious but unethical managers and executives screw it up. Some of them are more focused on building their empire than doing good for the company. Your job is to find them and take care of them!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    One of the better ones

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Operations Analyst in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Operations Analyst in Santa Clara, CA

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great company, great culture, good benefits, and lots of perks.

    Cons

    Volume of work is high, requiring a lot of overtime. Adequate training is lacking in some areas.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Great company to work for. Visionary Team

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

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time

    Pros

    Excellent core values. Benefits and Comps. Growth story. excellent opportunities for people with the right mindset.

    Cons

    Fast growing company with lots of work and less people to do it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work on the re org. Follow through.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Breath of fresh air in IT

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

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    This review is from someone who has been in SVB IT for almost 2 years.
    Great opportunities to grow skills and business acumen.
    A leadership team that really listens and promotes equality.
    Women have equal opportunity to advance.
    Great pay and conditions.
    The business challenges and motivated people make it a pleasure to come to work.
    CIO has a great vision to transform IT.

    Cons

    Some long term IT people have old values and are too comfortable in their jobs. These people form cliques and unfortunately undermine progress with passive-aggressive behavior.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Support the change in IT. It's a breath of fresh air.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work

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

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time

    Pros

    Relationship oriented, really care about people. Very talented and smart teams. Always something new happening so lots to learn.

    Cons

    Hours can be long.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focused and deliberate strategy is appreciated.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Learn a lot, work with high profile tech and life science deals.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate II in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Associate II in Atlanta, GA

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Exciting to be working with fast growing tech and life science companies that are backed by some of the top VCs in the market. No deal is the same. You'll learn a lot about the role of debt and equity in Corp Finance and will get a lot of exposure to the local market.

    Overall compensation and benefits were good, but not amazing. Salary was one of the weaker points as it was slightly below market, especially if you want to live in the downtown area of the nearest city rather than a suburb. Vacation, health, 401k match, bonus made up for it. Also, flexibility in work schedule.

    Work load fluctuated with deal flow. Some days you'll work late and have to be plugged in responding to emails at all hours. Other times you can take a long lunch and focus on your own networking or career development.

    The people are all good to work with.

    Cons

    Commercial bank means you'll be fitting each deal into the bank's credit matrix. The deals are not as far out on the risk curve as one might expect, particularly for a bank working with companies operating at a high risk, high growth stage. Less strategic operating involvement with companies as well. Understand what you are getting into, as this is not a VC or PE.

    Smaller offices in smaller VC markets might not give you the growth trajectory or career opportunities you are looking for. Boston, Boulder and Santa Clara are the big offices and it often felt like young employees in these offices got promoted faster and got more diverse opportunities than those in the other smaller offices. Promotions in smaller offices tended to be based on vacancies above.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Generic "do more" feedback during reviews was not constructive, particularly for junior employees looking to move up. Specific, quantifiable goals would be better and keep people more engaged.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Company!!!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Consultant in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - Consultant in Salt Lake City, UT

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Work Life Balance, Great Culture, Career Mobility.

    Cons

    Hard to get in as a full time employee.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create a better structure for keeping internal contract employees

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great place to work!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst in Tempe, AZ
    Current Employee - Analyst in Tempe, AZ

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    -Tempe operation top notch, great vibe and the two senior mangers running it are genuine & competent. If you take a job here, get based there!
    -Focused group of banking professionals, they stick with what they know best and avoid risky adventures.
    -Exciting global opportunities for the right candidates
    -New IT culture taking root--incompetent Snr. Managers are gone for the most part and the organization is being consolidated and revamped.

    Cons

    -Executive level seems to not get along well. Plenty of games, don't get to close to the sun.
    -Going global--while also positive, company is learning its lessons

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what your doing however pull together as a tighter One SVB team at the top.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great culture, compelling niche, but uneven mix of mid-level managers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Managing Director in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Managing Director in Santa Clara, CA

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Definitely earns its reputation for being a great place to work: supportive /team-focused culture, excellent benefits, surprisingly philanthropic, and a v.low "douche bag" quotient. Plus, dominates the tech / life science banking sector which seems to grow thru every economic downturn

    Cons

    The downside to a great culture is that nobody ever leaves. Its amazing how many people have been at the bank 10, 15, 20 years! This had led to a disappointing concentration of "B" players at the middle ranks of the company, which seriously limits the ability of the more promising people to be promoted.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't be afraid to fire a few people. A few bad apples really will spoil the lot.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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