AQR Capital Management

www.aqr.com

AQR Capital Management Reviews

Updated January 23, 2015
Updated January 23, 2015
29 Reviews
3.0
29 Reviews
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Cliff Asness, Ph.D.
17 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great firm. Great people, great culture, and a wonderful learning environment

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

    I have been working at AQR Capital Management

    Pros

    company values, training, academic environment, knowledge gained, great people

    Cons

    lack of upward mobility, lack of personal growth, flat, compensation, in connecticut

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Firm's primary focus on asset gathering / beta limits potential upside for junior employees

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

    I worked at AQR Capital Management full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Really sharp people
    Good work life balance
    Mostly nice people
    Tremendous transparency across the firm
    Team-based investment process means people are willing to share knowledge freely
    Highly intellectual culture

    Cons

    Compensation and yearly raises are well below industry average, despite remarkable growth
    Highly specialized roles with limited transferability
    Work can be tedious, and improvements to models are often very incremental
    Title promotions are largely lock-step
    True upward mobility is limited to a select few and not always based on merit
    Commute from NYC is draining over time

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider making alpha generation a greater focus
    Consider improving compensation and mobility for junior employees
    Tie bonuses to fund performance with greater transparency

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great work environment, with some growing pains

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

    I have been working at AQR Capital Management full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people here are great - the office is very academic and collaborative and people are always willing to discuss anything with you. Also, you never get the feeling that the person above you doesn't deserve to be there - this is definitely the smartest group of people I've ever worked with. The company is growing rapidly (more than 2x employees, 3x AUM since I joined ~3 years ago), which creates interesting positions and opportunities - I was recently able to switch within front office to a more desirable (for me) role, which would not have necessarily been possible a few years ago. Fantastic benefits as well. Hours aren't too bad - I almost never have to work weekends, and stay late when I feel I need to in order to finish projects, not because of arbitrary deadlines.

    Cons

    With rapid growth comes growing pains - management has gotten larger and there are more layers of people providing input into decisions, which can slow down the research process. Also as AUM has grown so rapidly, the problems facing the firm (and that are highest priority) have changed significantly, so there is not as much of a focus on new "alpha" research as maybe 5, 10 years ago, though there is still a lot of this. Many of our current problems are interesting but of a slightly different flavor.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    AQR historically had a pretty flat structure, which realistically isn't feasible anymore. But we need to find the right balance of controls / management and flexibility. Also, keeping less tenured employees more aware of potential career paths would be useful for them, as it can be hard at first to understand your place and trajectory within the organization

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 6 people found this helpful  

    average all around

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

    I have been working at AQR Capital Management part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    successful firm
    well respected
    compensations pretty poor. not a real hedge fund. mostly long only

    Cons

    office culture bad
    training is really good for my entry level but then went away almost completely and i became total isolated

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    no advice

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    excellent learning opportunities and on-the-job training. always intellectually stimulating

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

    I have been working at AQR Capital Management full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Clear and flexible career progression: I recently moved quite seamlessly and effortlessly from a strategy implementation and portfolio construction role to an alpha signal research position
    - No silos: quite uniquely for a large hedge fund, senior researchers are very open about their research and results. They are always available to explain intricacies related to their strategies. Research presentations and signal code are accessible to everyone in the team
    - Access to senior principals: they are very closely involved in decisions and are accessible to even junior employees
    - Highly collaborative culture: teaching others about your research and responsibilities and having back-ups is always encouraged. The firm dislikes opaque projects that are driven by one single person
    - Firm's roots in academia means intellectual curiosity and honesty are highly prized. Senior leadership has an academic background and they have retained their inclination to pass on knowledge
    - More recently, structured weekly learning sessions led by renowned b-school profs
    - Excellent brand value
    - Fully paid health, vision and dental insurance
    - Generous vacation days policy

    Cons

    - Commute to Greenwich can be tricky at times (Metro North!)
    - Consensus-driven culture (generally a good thing), whereby every decision is taken by committee, can sometimes lead to numerous back-and-forths and long decision times
    - Dramatic company growth in the past couple of years putting some pressure on infrastructure, though significant revamping efforts are under way

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    As the company grows every fast, strive to maintain the innovative and collaborative culture that has always defined us. Ensure company does not get silo-ed, as the lack of silos is what sets AQR apart in the industry

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

    Incredible place to work with plenty of opportunities for growth and development

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

    I have been working at AQR Capital Management full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    When considering other firms AQR stood out because of its people. Everyone at AQR is incredibly smart, focused and hard-working but more than that they are incredibly warm, welcoming and nurturing. That is really the culture at AQR - you are surrounded by brilliant people who are just as nice as they are smart. Starting day one, you have exposure to senior management and are given responsibilities beyond your title...you are pushed each and every day to learn more and are able to learn from industry thought leaders and some of the best "professors" in the world finance. Senior management also looks to provide opportunities for younger employees to move up and take on more responsibilities. The work/life balance is great as well especially when compared to similar roles in the industry...we are given subsidies for meals every day, have 20+ vacation days per year (depending on your title) and have very nice medical/dental/vision packages - also 401(k) matching is a plus as well. Overall AQR is an incredible place to work with plenty of opportunities for growth and development for your career.

    Cons

    No real cons outside of the commute from NYC - about 50 minutes door to door. One thing to note as well is that there is an expectation for employees to contribute starting day one...so the learning curve is quite steep early on but there are plenty of resources and training programs available to help new hires get up to speed and the people are incredibly nice, supportive and willing to spend time with you.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Extremely rewarding experience, Intellectually stimulating work environment, great work/life balance

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

    I worked at AQR Capital Management as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Excellent training program (learning series and networking events). Each intern has a "real" well-defined project which exposes you to all aspects of the job of a full-time analyst. The firm encourages collaboration and discussion among the employees - I learnt more about finance during my time at AQR than in my finance courses. Professional environment.

    Cons

    None that I can think of.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Maintain the lean organizational structure.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    Highly political

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

    I have been working at AQR Capital Management full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    AQR offers great benefits -- medical, dental, vision, 401(k), free breakfast and lunch.

    Cons

    It is a highly political place which has done very well for the partners, but doesn't offer a lot to the junior employees. The promotion to MD and up is based on who gets along well with the founding partners. AQR favors PhDs over non-PhDs irrespective of the meritocracy and overall contribution. PhDs from Chicago and Harvard runs PhD-mafia with two groups jostling for influence. Some of the recent partner promotion were befuddling. This is probably the only place where someone with a consistent loss making strategies can be made a partner. Anyone who has worked in GSS in last few years knows whom I am referring to -- yes the great Prof from Chicago.

    Infrastructure is terrible -- partners do not want to spend money on technology -- which is evident in the quality of hires in IT and infrastructure.

    The place does a great job in hiring smart people, but there is no emphasis on training.

    The compensation is terrible. It is probably in the lower 20 percentile.

    Turnover is high among junior employees. As far as I know, AQR has not lost a single partner.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Force out some of the less productive partners. Invest in training the employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Run away!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Gss Quantitative Analyst/Developer II in Greenwich, CT
    Current Employee - Gss Quantitative Analyst/Developer II in Greenwich, CT

    I have been working at AQR Capital Management full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Free lunch, dinner and breakfast. The location of AQR's office is also convenient if you are commuting from the city.

    Cons

    Terrible culture, insecure managers(because most of the managers got their by accident, and not by meritocracy), horrible pay. No career prospects -- you get hired to code in python, and a few years later you will still code in python.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    political mutual fund

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

    I have been working at AQR Capital Management full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    - free food and drinks
    - innovative culture in playing politics

    Cons

    - reviews have been manipulated, please leave the branding efforts out from Glassdoor, sorry I know the branding costs a few millions
    - turnover is extremely high, hiring is also crazy, "we are hiring all the time!"
    - horrible culture, there will be multiple people doing the same job, and they keep the most favorable one
    - long hours with little compensation increase, they make sure you are replaceable any time with no room for growth
    - first 6 month honey moon, and then the game starts
    - yet, it is still saying "innovative, academic, intellectually challenging"

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    please be honest to yourself

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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