Société Générale

  www.societegenerale.com
  www.societegenerale.com

Société Générale Reviews

Updated November 19, 2014
Updated November 19, 2014
370 Reviews
3.2
370 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Société Générale Chairman and CEO Frédéric Oudéa
Frédéric Oudéa
99 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work life balance isn't too bad in the right team, making a real push in some areas (in 75 reviews)

  • Was an easy-going working environment, not too much of the typical investment banker nastiness (in 16 reviews)


Cons
  • Extremely limited opportunities for non French speakers, zero interest by the managers in developing employees (in 12 reviews)

  • Career advancement for those who don't come from the Grandes Ecoles / Societe Generale Paris office pipeline can be difficult (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

68 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    good benefits but no growth opportunity

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I have been working at Société Générale full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    good benefits & reasonable working hours

    Cons

    low bonus & salary, hard to grow without being able to speak french

  2.  

    Equity trading

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

    I have been working at Société Générale full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    good reputation on some niche business . easy location. and easy to shine in a non always competitive environment . decent portfolio of clients, which brings business.

    Cons

    high dependence to the paris headquarter, even when they don't understand the us business in France. Lot of politics games in this bank. salaries and bonus are non competitive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    upgrade the salaries, upgrade some teams.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Be wary of the French.

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

    I have been working at Société Générale as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    The firm is very conveniently located to Grand Central for me. A short 2 block walk to the office from the train. Bonus points to the underground connection so I do not have to go outside.

    Work hours are surprisingly relaxed, vacation time is very french, and benefits are very good.

    Cons

    There is a stigma about french people getting undeserved promotions. There is some truth to that I guess in the middle and back office. In the front office, it's a lot more like a meritocracy largely I think because of the simple fact that there are hard numbers and analytics to measure performance.

    Some people prefer talking in French. I get that it's a french bank. And languages are not really my specialty. Learning fluent financial french is not something I enjoy, but I'm doing what I can to better fit with the group.

    Upward movement is a little capped. I don't think there is a non-french head of anything.

    Outright pay doesn't really compare much with the street. But to be fair, most of the street doesn't give 4-week vacations.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Didn't give me much tasks as an intern

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Société Générale

    Pros

    - The people working there were obviously smart and knew their stuff.
    - The hours were good, class market hours from around 7 am to 6 pm.

    Cons

    - I did not get much work as an intern, mostly working on small projects for my supervisor.
    -My boss most of the time was busy trading rather mentoring me, which is understandable.

  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good and nice people but what a mess

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

    I have been working at Société Générale full-time

    Pros

    great benefits, people are really nice and helpful

    Cons

    too hierarchical, the organization of the bank is so messy that it affects the business efficiency

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Financial Analyst

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

    I have been working at Société Générale full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Most Americans are friendly- I've met some nice people

    Cons

    No career development help from HR or managers
    Horrible systems
    Disproportionate work distribution within same group (some people do nothing all day, while all the work is dumped on a few select/smarter employees)
    French vs. American culture
    Low work morale for Americans

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Cut middle management
    Better work distribution, trim the fat if you have to since this will raise salary/morale of the hard workers

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    An extremely frustrating place to work at times

    • 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 Société Générale full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great vacation policy, solid benefits.

    Cons

    Management is too busy playing politics and blaming others to participate in actual work.
    Very few employees willing to help others - a culture that comes from the top down. Issues are always someone or some other team's problem.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire most of your middle management and hire (or promote) people that have positive attitudes and promote a positive work environment.

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

    learned a bit there, but no advancements.. everyone speaks in french unless they have to ask you something

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

    I have been working at Société Générale full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    smaller than US banks so its easier to get to know everyone in the business..

    Cons

    You will not advance unless you are french. 2nd class citizen... I can't even read half of my emails. My boss still continues to write some of his emails in french when he knows I don't understand.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    it's divide can't be anymore obvious.. They need to do something about the American/French culture divide

  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Scarce career opportunities and low compensation

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

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

    Pros

    Good reputation in europe and good products expertise

    Cons

    Scarce career opportunities nationally or internationally
    Low remuneration and very poor bonuses
    Poor HR policy
    Work rarely challenging
    Little management support

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    SocGen embodies everything that is loathsome about French institutionalism--but there some positive aspects.

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

    I worked at Société Générale

    Pros

    SocGen can be bold in areas in which it chooses to focus. SocGen takes advantage of the French higher educational system that gave it an edge in areas like derivatives.

    Cons

    SocGen is not a meritocracy. It operates with a three-tier hierarchy--with zero mobility between them. At the top are the French from the right schools or families (their upward career path is guaranteed, no matter how incompetent). The next level are talented French who have some opportunties for advancement (these include workers like Jerome Kervial, who blew up the bank partly out of spite towards its deeply anti-meritocratic structure). Below that are non-French employees, who during flush times can fall under the misimpression that they are valued and respected.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hubris is a lousy corporate strategy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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