BlackRock Reviews

Updated September 17, 2014
Updated September 17, 2014
630 Reviews
3.3
630 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
BlackRock Chairman and CEO Laurence D. Fink
Laurence D. Fink
454 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • While it was not quite as relaxed as the San Francisco office, I found solid work life balance (in 41 reviews)

  • these are very smart people with tremendous resources spread across the globe (in 46 reviews)


Cons
  • if you want any type of work life balance rethink your idea to join this firm (in 58 reviews)

  • Very long hours, if you are not an investor you're kind of second class (in 44 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Company is growing very fast

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

    I have been working at BlackRock full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Fast pace, learn lots and able to work on meaningful projects and business needs

    Cons

    work-life balance is bad, gap between MD and analysts with no desire to develop middle management layer. "everyone is replaceable"

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    invest in current employees and develop depth in firm's workforce.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Associate

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

    I worked at BlackRock full-time

    Pros

    Great Company
    Good work environment
    Lot of opportunity to grow

    Cons

    Compensation review can be improved

    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Great culture and place to really challenge yourself

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

    I have been working at BlackRock full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    You have the ability to really ignite change and make a difference given it is still a relatively young firm with much of an feel Entrepreneurial

    Cons

    Given it has an entrepreneurial, that also means it does not have a lot of processes in place and you have to work extra hard to establish business as usual. You really challenge yourself but at the same time it's hard to maintain a work life balance and you can easily get burnt out. Hard to get the appropriate staffing needed for the workload.

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  5.  

    Associate

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

    I have been working at BlackRock full-time

    Pros

    Good place to start your career

    Cons

    Need more mobility to grow

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Kind of a shame

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

    I have been working at BlackRock

    Pros

    So many great things about this company, and I think that it will do well, despite some significant drawbacks. Good products and great depth, great ideas and smart people. Lots of progressive thought about products and organization (just not as good about truly living those great organizational ideas in practice). Has a lot to offer from a career perspective, particularly for more junior people looking for experience and the ability to move around and learn new things (although beware...there's a lot of talk about internal mobility, which is admirable, but also some senior people who will write-off someone looking to move to another role).

    Cons

    There are some serious cultural issues which I think are quite a shame for such an otherwise promising and fantastic company. Unfortunately, the seemingly blind application of the functionally aligned model has created an environment where ownership and accountability suffers and where finger pointing flourishes. There's also a culture of "bullying" within senior management in particular, which is demotivating and can paralyze people with fear and stunt innovative thinking. And finally, the continual push to "do more with less" has taken a damaging toll on people and created a good deal of accumulated technical and operational backlog. Many valuable people are burning out and leaving, which can exacerbate the problem.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust people more to make good decisions for their business, including more autonomy to make resource decisions and direct their technology priorities in line with their business needs. There's so much great potential in this company and its people; take the long view and do what's right for people and the long-term health of the business, even if it means (which it will) short-term costs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Good company; need to eliminate red tape

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

    I have been working at BlackRock full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Work life balance, good location, opportunities to learn

    Cons

    Can't get promoted easily, managers cannot manage.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat everyone as you would be treated.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Lukewarm Experience

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

    I worked at BlackRock full-time

    Pros

    The people here are very smart and generally easy to work with. There is definitely a pretty good opportunity to learn while here.

    Cons

    Since it has become a bigger company, it has become more bureaucratic and difficult to find mobility as was once the case.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find ways to better manage employee career paths to lead them into a successful place

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

    Very driven for success, can be tough, but recognizes effort

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

    I have been working at BlackRock

    Pros

    Good salary, benefits, training, attention to employee comforts. Fast rising culture if you aren't adverse to change of job function or location. Bonuses commeasurate with effort.

    Cons

    As a leading finance company, results dominate culture. Sometimes you can disappear among the work. Can be diificult to be expected to be independent and yet accountable. 110‰ is the minimum expected effort, can be frustrating. Work life balance can be tough. Bare employee space, can be on top of your neighbor's desk.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be careful of burning people out, there is a high rate of turnover.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Summary of Reviews - SF Tech

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Vice President  in  San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Vice President in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at BlackRock full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    This will summarize the reviews here, also taking into account the results of the employee survey. It is from an SF tech perspective, but captures the general consensus. If you want to work here, ask pertinent questions to get at the heart of the pros/cons.

    1) Total compensation is OK, but base is below market. Base salary doesn't move (4 years running with "exceeds expectations" manager reviews).
    2) CEO is a leader in the field and well respected.
    3) Benefits are good.
    4) Work/life balance is good.
    5) Respected financial company with a diverse range of products.

    Cons

    1) Decisions are driven from NY. SF is a satellite office, even though there is superior technical talent. Management will tell you otherwise, but that is how it is.
    2) Your experience will largely depend on what group you are in and where your group is located. If you work in SF, be part of an SF-based group. Many groups are remote, resulting in lots of phone calls. What could be accomplished in minutes takes hours.
    3) Most MDs are in NY, so you get limited face-time if you are working on the west coast. They generally don't know what you are working on and what skills you bring to the table. If you can sit with them in their office, you have a huge advantage (i.e., if you are located on the east coast).
    4) Career growth is limited. Promotions are based on your relationship with your MD (and your manager), not technical skill. I've seen tech people with years of schooling and experience stagnate, while biz people with soft skills (i.e., anyone could pick up at work) get promoted. Although the company prides itself on being technology-oriented, technical people are second-class citizens. Any biz school grad with the same skills/knowledge/drive as a tech grad will be 1-2 steps ahead in the hierarchy.
    5) Speed is rewarded over quality. New projects pop up continually and are pushed out without spending the proper time designing solutions. Technical debt is knee-deep.
    6) Project management is seriously lacking. Managers tend to think up their own methodologies rather than studying best-practices in the industry.
    7) Lots of talk about innovation, but years behind tech companies.
    8) Tons of context switching. Interruptions are constant.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Understand what your people know and what skills they bring to the company. Take advantage of SF and the technical ability it provides. If you are serious about innovation, understand what it means and do what other financial companies do and open an innovation center. Take risks and accept a degree of failure. Consolidate your teams geographically (i.e., the entire group, top to bottom) to gain efficiency.

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

    Not BGI, which was a wonderful company to work for.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Vice President  in  San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Vice President in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at BlackRock full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Money, but not as lucrative as BGI. With the acquisition, came a brain drain, so the NY bankers weren't equipped to deal with the market changes.

    Cons

    Everything else, such as a lack of leadership, transparency, interest in the local office, and the brain drain.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you can't or won't be transparent, at least say that rather than completely lying to your employees. This was true all the way to the top, including Larry Fink. Guess the name should have warned us.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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