Brown Brothers Harriman

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Brown Brothers Harriman Reviews in Boston, MA

Updated February 22, 2015
Updated February 22, 2015
92 Reviews
2.8
92 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Brown Brothers Harriman Managing Partner Digger Donahue Jr.
Digger Donahue Jr.
92 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Recent ability to work remotely somewhat keeps a better work life balance in check (in 34 reviews)

  • as long as you're not a temp, job security is not an issue (in 15 reviews)


Cons
  • At the time, I thought that the work/life balance was decent (3 weeks vacation (in 7 reviews)

  • In reality they provide NO room for advancement to those young European graduates and offer pennies for which it is hard to make it through the month (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

92 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

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  1.  

    Just like every other custodian now.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - PL/SBA in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - PL/SBA in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Brown Brothers Harriman full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good people to work with (though many are leaving).
    Charitable organization
    Compensation is OK (although the health coverage is less than adequate now).

    Cons

    Perception is reality. If the right people think you're doing the job, then you are. Too much credit (and upward mobility) given to people who act the part; while the people who actually perform get held in place. The new employee review system is built to rate everyone as meeting expectations, allowing for less compensation despite the company making record profits.

    The company has long maintained that its people are valued; but that was under the old partnership. With the new wave of MBA/Lean Six-Sigma leadership, people are now only valued at a certain price. This is why many positions are being off-shored to Krakow and good people are leaving in droves.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a good look at your upper middle management; these are the folks you have deemed to be the future leaders of the company and too many of them are clipboard managers afraid to make a decision and be accountable for it.
    This used to be a company people were proud to work for; now it's operating like every other custodian.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Although the working environment is great, the company seems to act somewhat slow to personal details.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Corporate Actions: Financial Services in Boston, MA
    Current Contractor - Corporate Actions: Financial Services in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Brown Brothers Harriman as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    The work environment is very beautiful, and the location is awesome as well.

    Cons

    Snow days do not imply (winter of 2015).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  3.  

    Survive and Advance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Risk in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Risk in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Brown Brothers Harriman full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Decent work-life balance, decent comp and normal working conditions.

     This is a regular 9-5 gig for probably 95% of the bank. If you're in i-banking or an SVP or higher, it is different obviously.

    Cons

    The concept of "they will take care of you no matter what" is not true.

    There have been plenty of people fired or laid off no matter what their seniority level.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It is a partnership so there are no shareholders to please. Run it as you see fit.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    A very good company in many ways. Solid, Stable, Fair

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

    I have been working at Brown Brothers Harriman full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Stability, Highlight on Professional Development, Innovative, Competitive Salary and Benefits. Very hard working rank & file. Philanthropy a plus.

    Cons

    Too many projects or big projects are not well vetted. Too many "Cheifs", a lot of Micro-managing of senior staff. Too many lower-level skilled staff are promoted into positions of management because of seniority, but not appropriate skill set. Some high level managers are not authorized or in some cases, not informed sufficiently to make effective decisions. Attrition lays a heavy burden on already over-extended staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look at the professional capabilities of your highest level managers. SVPs and VPs. Is there a difference in skills across each platform? Adjust accordingly. Look at true hours staff spend on project based tasks vs. 'administrative" or general tasks. Lots of wasted time in some areas, lots of wasted skill in others. Adding more "people" or outsourcing not always best if the resources don't have the skills needed to rapidly acclimate to job requirements. Overly aggressive project deadlines result in a lot of wasted time by the staff most impacted at the low end. Please implement permanent and consistent HR leadership and practices across all business lines.

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

    You get out what you put in

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Investor Services Consultant in Boston, MA
    Current Contractor - Investor Services Consultant in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Brown Brothers Harriman as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    Awesome place to work. The people are great. My boss is very reasonable have not had a single problem with her expectations for me. I will say though you can make your time at BBH productive by really embracing the atmosphere and working to network to be promoted or you can just sit behind a desk and do your work.

    Cons

    when first starting off they give you temp like jobs which are very short term. They want to see that you are a good fit and a hard worker. This can lead to some people finding other jobs thinking there is not another job coming after you complete your assignment.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Overworked, underpaid.

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

    I worked at Brown Brothers Harriman full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Stellar reputation (good for the resume), stable job security, decent benefits ( with the exception of the new health insurance) surrounded by great people. Involved with the community, charitable work opportunities available- if your manager allows you to partake.

    Cons

    Higher ups vastly concerned with money and not people. Out of touch with the daily grind, don't seem to understand the trickle down impact that their decisions have on their employees. Underpaid, minimal training, low morale. Very little is done to boost morale- ie company outings, teams being given the okay to use the am ex etc.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 5 people found this helpful  

    Operations Specialist

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Operations Specialist in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Operations Specialist in Boston, MA

    I worked at Brown Brothers Harriman

    Pros

    - Employees and middle managers are pretty good at grinning and bearing it

    Cons

    - Leaving Americans with few jobs and exploiting the cheaper Polish labor market to the extreme levels by APPEARING as a quality company that attracts top talent. In reality they provide NO room for advancement to those young European graduates and offer pennies for which it is hard to make it through the month.
    - In the meantime their bunch of awfully wealthy top managers who create legends around themselves make deals with companies such as Fidelity, which are supposed to wisely invest people's money to secure their retirement, but when the time to collect it comes, not only do we have to wait to get it back long times as if they were doing us a favor, but they steal the large cut of the profit. Far too large. It serves the unethical "woolfs of wall street" of our times and therefore, it is just a part of the global financial speculation in which the wealthy get wealthier and the poor move numbers from one excel spreadsheet to another to make it all possible.
    - With its excellent customer service BBH serves banks that make international purchases that are damaging to developing economies and again, they are partially responsible for the massive global gap between the rich and the poor.
    -Working for BBH can be described as a parallel to working as a miner in an African diamond factory. There should be no positive sentiment built around it. Yet there is and the smart, young, but desperate European graduates waste their potential by believing those rich crooks.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Nothing can be changed unless people detach themselves from this matrix.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Micromanager x's 10

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

    I have been working at Brown Brothers Harriman full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The company has a Good work life balance

    Cons

    Management is extremely counter- productive and convoluted in their responses.

    Everybody is a VP or an AVP which makes no sense to me but it's great if you leave the company with one of those titles.

    One too many meetings and no open dialogue from manager to employee.

    Aweful about making meetings and being on time or showing up at all.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give your management team the proper training or don't give direct reports to just anybody. The management needs a total restructuring...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Excruciatingly brutal

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Systems Analyst in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Systems Analyst in Boston, MA

    I worked at Brown Brothers Harriman full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    None that come to mind

    Cons

    Partners, therefore managers that don't care about employees,
    no room for growth, only deadweight gets to move around in the company
    I actually felt punished for doing a good job as my co-worker who did nothing all day was allowed to go to trainings, move to other groups, etc. My manager told me he couldn't spare me for the time the training took, etc.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a look at all the talent you've lost, and look at the dead weight you are left with. This includes middle managers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    BBH is a large fish bowl and you are one small tadpole

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Operations Specialist in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Operations Specialist in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Brown Brothers Harriman full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    The name, tuition reimbursement, and benefits

    Cons

    You are just a number to the company that doesn't really care what you wanna do in the future.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give employees the green light on wanting to do more

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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