BlackRock Reviews in San Francisco, CA

Updated September 5, 2014
Updated September 5, 2014
625 Reviews
3.3
625 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
BlackRock Chairman and CEO Laurence D. Fink
Laurence D. Fink
453 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

110 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Good work/life balance but culture is stale and paper pushing runs rampant

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

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

    Pros

    Good name on resume
    Great work life balance (8-5 easily)
    Nice coworkers, smart people
    If your main concern is collecting a paycheck and coasting, you've hit the jackpot
    Decent pay to start (significant pay increases seem to be rare/impossible once you're there
    Definitely not a terrible place to work

    Cons

    Depends greatly on your division but there is a lot of dissatisfaction at the company now (and has been for years). Not meritocratic - at least at the VP/Associate level. I see teams that are overstaffed with people who seem to spend most of their time on busy work or twiddling their thumbs in an effort to look like they're adding value. My biggest personal complaint at the Associate level is that I haven't had opportunities to challenge myself or expand my professional skills in a meaningful way. Career growth is definitely possible but it's all about networking. Clearly, networking should be a portion of a good career growth strategy, but it shouldn't be the only thing (in my opinion). If you're looking for an opportunity to develop professional skills and feel like you're making a real contribution (not just pushing paper), I'd be quite careful in accepting a job in the SF office. The company claims loudly to encourage internal promotion but it's simply not the case. Open positions are overwhelmingly filled by overqualified candidates, often from the outside. The result is a workplace where employees in many divisions aren't provided with any real career opportunity besides using the BLK name to find a better gig.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Encourage internal promotion (for real). Get to know something about what's going on beneath you. You should know what your direct reports (and their teams) are actually doing on a day-to-day basis. Many don't.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Mostly Positive

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

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

    Pros

    People are smart, generally friendly, and being at a big firm does offer a lot of resources and possibilities

    Cons

    Can be very beauracratic and it can get political at times managing your career. Big firms can be slow moving. Not as agile as small companies, etc.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reorgs seem to happen every other month. So many conflicting priorities. Hard to innovate when you're daily duties are already barely manageable

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    disappointing

    • 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 5 years

    Pros

    great people, great potential, LBGT friendly

    Cons

    flawed execution and management, misaligned compensation

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    either don't hire smart people or use the skills you buy, but don't make smart people sit and watch you all figure it out

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great name, but limited upward mobility.

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

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

    Pros

    Largest investment manager by asset in the world

    Cons

    Highly limited upward mobility
    Management keen to cut down cost

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Challenging work environment with smart colleagues.

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

    I worked at BlackRock full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Very smart and hardworking colleagues. Fantastic information sharing culture and openness of senior management is great to see.

    Cons

    Aggressive culture. Also, New York HQ could mean a lot of travel to NY if you are in an office outside of the city and wish to get ahead/greater visibility in your career.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Big and diverse, which has both upsides and downsides

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

    I have been working at BlackRock full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Pretty much every investment style exists somewhere in Blackrock, so lots of opportunity if you know what you want and know how to find it.

    Cons

    Company is so big now that management can be out of touch with the specifics of each group, so top-down decision making can feel somewhat incoherent at the ground level.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Empower more independence at the investment group level, if you want to be able to compete with external managers unconstrained by large bureaucracy.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    top company, but increasingly bureaucratic...

    • 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 10 years

    Pros

    BlackRock is a well respected company, a true leader in the industry. Upper management appears to care about employees and takes feedback seriously. The company attracts fantastic talent.

    Cons

    It has become a more and more bureaucratic place to work at. There are very frequent structural reorganizations which can be exhausting.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Dynamic, always changing, highly political

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

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

    Pros

    For the right person, it's a great place to be. An ambitious, intellectually curious person who is not daunted by ambiguity can really thrive here. There are abundant opportunities but you need to keep your head up looking for them. There is no such thing as a standard functional role. Networking is absolutely key to getting things done.

    Cons

    You don't want to be in the wrong seat at the wrong time. Things change quickly, you can feel secure in your job one minute, be deemed redundant the next.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The firm would benefit from finding ways of advancing more women to higher levels in the organization.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    BlackRock was a formative journey during a challenging time in the world of finance; I look fondly upon my time there.

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

    I worked at BlackRock full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Collaboration, innovation, risk aversion, responsibility to the client and to other stakeholders is ingrained in the culture, we do what we say and we say what we do.

    Cons

    Only the drawbacks of a large organization.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The people at the lowest ranks in the organization who have their ears down to the ground can at times provide the best insight into customer and client needs.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Bad Days at BlackRock

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

    I worked at BlackRock as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Gorgeous offices, great (if confusing) technology

    Cons

    No privacy, everyone sits at long tables. People are unfriendly to newcomers. Their technology systems are staggerly complex, and it often takes more than a week to get a phone set up, have a simple distribution list created and gain access to their travel and expense system. They also tend to hire contract employees, some of whom have been there for years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would keep a close eye on your managers. The way people are treated is very unkind.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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