Cambridge Associates, LLC

www.cambridgeassociates.com

Cambridge Associates, LLC Reviews

Updated January 20, 2015
Updated January 20, 2015
151 Reviews
3.7
151 Reviews
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Cambridge Associates, LLC Chairman and CEO Sandra A. Urie
Sandra A. Urie
107 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good work / life balance with opportunities to learn a lot about portfolio management quickly (in 24 reviews)

  • Opportunity to learn about all asset classes through due diligence on top investment managers, research, etc (in 15 reviews)


Cons
  • Long hours during peak periods, work can sometimes be repetitive (in 12 reviews)

  • status reporting, and (3) data entry (in 9 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    If you didn't attend an Ivy League school, you won't fit in.

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

    I worked at Cambridge Associates, LLC as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    The friendly administrative staff. The office was accessible by mass transportation.

    Cons

    Elitist attitude
    Top management gets rich while the bottom layer struggles to survive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bring in new management. You've made enough to retire twice.

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

    Developer in IT

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

    I worked at Cambridge Associates, LLC

    Pros

    Great work life balance, two monitors.

    Cons

    IT Management doesn't know what they're doing. They hire, lay off, hire some more, lay more off. Work here at your own risk.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    Waste of Time

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

    I worked at Cambridge Associates, LLC full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Benefits. Excellent benefits including health, transportation, etc.

    Cons

    - Degradingly low pay. Even at the manager-level of the data department it is a wonder how they can support their families on their level of pay.
    - No exit opportunities. While you do learn many "soft skills" that's all you'll learn. Any other skills are Cambridge-specific according to their proprietary databases and utilities. Whatever transferable skills you do learn are very hard to show on your resume.
    - Micro-managing managers. In the Manager Information Group much of your time is spent on status reports for the next person up...who is spending much of their time on status reports for next person up...etc. etc. etc. At the end of the day you have managers who think they know about each employee but are actually naive. A non-hierarchical structure would serve the organization better. Finally, all reports go to the department head who is never around anyway. Once every six months you'll see him getting coffee before he ducks away into his office. Its basically like the department head doesn't exist--though he is worshiped throughout the department.
    - Awful performance reviews. To their credit, management is truly trying to improve performance reviews....but I've been told that it's been four years and they don't have much to show for it. Managers are not specific enough when it comes to what is needed for a promotion or how you can improve. They'll use some general language related to MIG's "values" and say how you lack a value. When asked for specific examples, they ramble off in unrelated general thoughts.
    - Misleading job descriptions. The word "research" is flexible but has a generally definable semantic scope. This position includes nothing remotely close to "research". Don't be mislead from the title--you will not provide unique insights into relevant matters. Process improvement and "self-audits" are NOT research!
    - Mind-numbing work. The good thing is that the Manager Information Group is gaining respect within the firm. The bad part is that this does not change the content of your work. Its true that the department gains more "business" from internal stakeholders...but it just leads to more abuse by the consulting and research departments who actually do work that is somewhat meaningful. Your work will be divided into three categories: (1) process improvement--related to the department's operations, tracking utilities, etc. (2) status reporting, and (3) data entry. The latter two take up way too much time for a department that prides itself for being efficient. The first, process improvement, is not nearly as exciting as it might sound. Basically, you need to constantly reinvent utilities and processes because management/the firm is too cheap to invest in long-term solutions (which would cannibalize our department).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Re-think incentive structures. You'll need to pay up to have a decent back-office operation. 5% bonus cap? Really?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    A Place for Average People to Have a Sedentary Career in Finance

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

    I have been working at Cambridge Associates, LLC full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Pro
    Exposure to over 30 years worth of private equity, venture capital, hedge fund, and public market data that cannot be rivaled.

    Caveat-
    You will have to hunt for this information, though, as is the IT and internal software does not make it easy to find or couple relevant data streams to eachother.

    Pro
    The people of Cambridge are generally good, nice, amicable people

    Con
    It's all an act. The illusion of professionalism masquerading as professionalism itself

    Cons

    Everything ties back to the salaries that Cambridge pays, which discourage talent from staying and doesn't attract new talent from joining....

    Cambridge's organizational infrastructure was designed by Rube Goldberg; a company full of middlemen that shuttle hot potatoes.

    Client's are dropping Cambridge on a nearly weekly basis.

    Management is filled with people who's primary skill is loyalty to Cambridge, not true business line acumen.

    Knowledge is so compartmentalized that no one - even at the board level - knows what's going on.

    Consultants are more like waiters than subject matter experts. They sell the same products and managers to all of the clients, negating the tales of personalized portfolio tailoring that they advertise.

    Cambridge is a chronic overpromiser and underdeliverer to clients, employees and itself.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take people's advice and do the opposite of what you're currently doing.

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

    Not worth the year I wasted after college, provided no relevant experience to financial services industry.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Junior Research Associate in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Junior Research Associate in Washington, DC

    I worked at Cambridge Associates, LLC full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Atmosphere was all 20 somethings, so it was fun to be around peers.

    Cons

    Management admitted to not being intelligent, micromanaging, horribly run, took advantage of college students desperate for jobs and paid them unlivable salaries.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    No real skill development

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

    I worked at Cambridge Associates, LLC full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    work / life balance
    people are nice

    Cons

    mundane
    low pay
    not as much of an open door policy as they make it sound

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    So frustrating...

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

    I worked at Cambridge Associates, LLC (less than an year)

    Pros

    Their benefits are okay. But salary is a joke so that negates this Pro.

    Cons

    There are no exit opportunities if you work in the data/performance departments. Your only out is an internal transfer (where you'll still starve on the salary they pay) or getting a project management job (which will likely be unrelated to finance). I guess you can work at a fund of funds--but everyone knows that's a third-rate option. I made a fatal mistake accepting a position at this firm.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Money. Stop starving your employees with your shoe-string budgets and stop adding insult to injury by providing employees with little to no marketable skills after they give you years of essentially free labor.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Cambridge - Where both skill and passion go to die

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

    I worked at Cambridge Associates, LLC full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Yes, it is a very "collegial environment" like everyone says.

    Cons

    You may come into the industry with skills, but they wont be used. You may have hopes and desires, but these will be dashed. The only skill you develop is soft skills. Sure, there's value in soft skills. But why not just go into motivational speaking or HR? Why try your hand at finance?

    You will learn virtually nothing at this firm and you will leave with few skills and experience to cite than when you began the job.

    Money--let's be honest, it's one of the main reasons we enter into finance. Money, money, money. Cambridge will give you none of it. Pay is sub-standard (though it is in line with the skills required to execute the job).

    If you decide to join Cambridge, develop an exit strategy from day one. Get in for a year, get the name on your resume, then make your entry into real finance--not some cush job that can be completed by a high schooler.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I wouldn't even know where to begin.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good Company, Terrible Office/managers - Applies to Arlington - Wilson office

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

    I worked at Cambridge Associates, LLC full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Very easy work - could be done by 8th grader

    Cons

    Skills learned apply only to company and don't transfer to other companies or positions unless data-entry is a career aspiration.
    People are promoted based on office politics and not merit
    Micro-managing is extremely prevalent
    Department is known as a "sweat-shop" to competing firms/investment firms
    Low Salary and minimal bonuses
    Work is mind-numbing and could be done by a grade school graduate

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reevaluate usefulness of the department

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    No respect for anyone not a consultant

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

    I worked at Cambridge Associates, LLC

    Pros

    Good pay, great team environment

    Cons

    Lack of communication by management, hr is a joke, resistant to change rather do the same old just because that's how its been done for 10 years than look to do it better and more efficiently

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    have more respect for support areas

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

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