Cambridge Associates, LLC

  www.cambridgeassociates.com
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Cambridge Associates, LLC Reviews

Updated August 22, 2014
Updated August 22, 2014
133 Reviews

3.6
133 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Cambridge Associates, LLC Chairman and CEO Sandra A. Urie
Sandra A. Urie
94 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • For the industry, there is good work/life balance at Cambridge Associates (in 22 reviews)

  • Opportunity to learn about all asset classes through due diligence on top investment managers, research, etc (in 14 reviews)


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

  • status reporting, and (3) data entry (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Monotonous work, smart colleagues, not much room for advancement.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Investment Performance Analyst  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Investment Performance Analyst in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Cambridge Associates, LLC full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Smart, hard-working co-workers. Plenty of internal company resources within the financial services industry that allow analysts to learn easily if interested. Sponsorship for the CFA and CAIA are also a nice perk.

    Cons

    Only a decent salary with not much room for growth. Job is highly cyclical, involves doing the same thing quarter after quarter. A lot of micro-managing within the firm.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to find a way to give entry-level employees more room for growth within the firm so that they will want to stay for longer.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 4 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 for more than a 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
  3.  

    Good place to start out

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Consulting Associate  in  Singapore (Singapore)
    Current Employee - Consulting Associate in Singapore (Singapore)

    I have been working at Cambridge Associates, LLC full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    -Broad exposure to asset classes, especially in Alternatives
    -Teamwork-orientated culture
    -Flat hierarchy

    Cons

    -Culture that does not incentivize individual outperformance
    -lack of exit options vis-a-vis other roles
    -lack of a progression plan

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -reorganize incentive scheme to retain top talent and cut 'deadweight' laggards
    -put together a clear and definable progression plan

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Satisfactory Place to Work

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

    I have been working at Cambridge Associates, LLC full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Good health plan, casual atmosphere. Parking and subsidized metro. Creature comforts attended to.

    Cons

    Non-competitive salary, limited promotion potential, biased compensation structure. Demoralizing in expectations at times. Little to no interaction among departments - very compartmentalized organization. Becoming much more a company of isolated groups. Core support groups only in Boston office - limits some growth opportunities.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stronger emphasis on support staff could result in better work quality and loyalty and drive to enhance/improve processes.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Great company if you start in the right place

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

    I have been working at Cambridge Associates, LLC full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Collegial environment where you will quickly like your coworkers and not hate coming to work everyday.

    Cons

    Ceilings are apparent if you work in certain groups and the company as a whole is pretty siloed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember that in order to build for the future, you have to start with the people.

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

    Decent but should be better

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

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

    Pros

    Cambridge is a great name to have on your resume as other companies in the investment management space really respect the firm. You do learn a lot about the industry and have access to some very smart people.

    Cons

    Cambridge does not pay very well at all. They consistently talk about retaining top talent and the easiest way to do that it to pay them, Cambridge does not agree. They continue to hire every year despite need so redundancy is a real problem. There is virtually no way to move up to be a consultant unless you leave to work for another firm or get your MBA; however, once you've done that you don't want to come back to work for the salary that Cambridge offers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There needs to be a very clear way to move up in the firm without leaving. If you want to retain the top talent, cultivate that talent when it is recognized. Pay more, people will put up with a lot of the office politics (and there is a ton there) and unimpressive managers if they are compensated accordingly. There also needs to be some accountability for superiors.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 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 for more than a 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
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good company, but entry level jobs are not that great

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

    I worked at Cambridge Associates, LLC full-time

    Pros

    -Management values hard work and supports professional growth
    -Helpful and genuinely caring coworkers
    -Good for recent college grads because everyone is in their early 20s
    -Great benefits and HR team
    -The values of Cambridge and the work they do really are wonderful

    Cons

    -Misleading job descriptions: you do no research or anything qualitative, just math and data entry
    -Really not for liberal arts majors
    -Limited amount of growth opportunity
    -Management seriously micromanages

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Relax; you don't need to do what employees do every hour, there does not need to be a checklist for everything, and no one needs performance reviews every month.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Great learning experience for somebody fresh out of college.

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

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

    Pros

    Broad exposure to various asset classes, get to work with many smart and talented peers and senior team members, generous benefits including paid time off

    Cons

    Compensation is on the lower end of the spectrum, work can become repetitive after a few cycles

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Monitor and manage staffing situation better so that associates are not prematurely assigned to new clients before having a chance to fully evaluate capacity.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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