D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm Reviews

Updated March 8, 2015
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  1. 1 person found this helpful

    Great place to work, but limited potential for growth and learning.

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

    I have been working at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm

    Pros

    Extra-ordinary group of people.
    Friendly (research lab like) environment.
    Great reputation.
    Great compensation and benefits.
    Flexible work hours.
    No dress code.

    Cons

    Limited growth potential. Has become too big in size and bureaucratic. Limited collaboration between groups and people within groups. No gym!

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful

    Good place to work

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

    I worked at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm

    Pros

    Most of the time you work with smart people.

    Cons

    Management is pretty bad - decisions always come from top.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They need to stop hiring when they know company is not doing well - instead of waiting until last minute to lay off people.

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. Overrated

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

    I worked at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm

    Pros

    Benefits; Smart people; Laid-back culture; Friendly

    Cons

    Poor communication from management
    Mediocre to bad middle management
    Unclear promotion or professional development path
    Culture dependent on performance of firm--once performance deteriorated became a place not worth working at.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire professional managers

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. Great place, but culture is deteriorating

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

    I worked at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm

    Pros

    - colleagues are smart, engaging, well-rounded people
    - fabulous benefits
    - work/life balance is encouraged

    Cons

    - culture is less supportive/collegial than it used to be a few years ago
    - complete lack of career development for people who don't have prior background in finance
    - your experience/development at the firm is completely determined by your immediate manager, and they are a mixed bag

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    communicate!

    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful

    back office

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

    I worked at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm

    Pros

    flexible schedules and vacations
    good medical benefits
    happy hours and other events for employees
    internal training program
    super pantry with food and drinks

    Cons

    not good at promoting from within or transferring personnel internally
    not good at sharing information
    large divide between front and back office staff
    very difficult recruiting process

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    provide more opportunies for developing personnel
    provide better leadership to inspire employees
    communicate more to all employees not just managing directors and senior manager

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  7. Amazing People!

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

    I worked at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm

    Pros

    -Some of the smartest and most self-motivated people I've ever worked with
    -Diverse staff - so many unique interests (artists, musicians, etc.), especially for a financial firm
    -Fun perks (happy hours, lectures, snacks, etc.) and good benefits
    -Interesting work

    Cons

    The financial crisis greatly changed the company culture in more bad ways than good
    -Increasingly bureaucratic and political process (this was also partially due to the increase in company size)
    -Lack of transparency from senior management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Tell people what is going on.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful

    Not what it once was

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

    I worked at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm

    Pros

    Accepts non-financial people into the world of Finance
    Good benefits
    If you get into a good group then it's a good place
    Really good people
    Nice parties

    Cons

    Restrictive non-compete agreement that won't allow you to continue on in Finance when you leave (and no you can't just ignore it)
    Little or no choice about which group you are in or about what work you will do
    Becoming increasingly bureaucratic with an abundance of micromanagers
    PhDs doing menial work and often nothing else
    Long hours
    No vacation policy so you really are at the mercy of your boss

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Less micromanagement and more transparency

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful

    hard, but great experience as an intern to start the working life

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

    I worked at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm

    Pros

    The team was great to work with. they were very helpful in introducing me to the work environment. they gave me lot of responsibility from the beginning

    Cons

    the working hours are very long and they expect 1000% commitment . not everyone gets so lucky with their superiors and are expected to be on their own from day 1.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    they take fantastic people with superb skills who haven't worked in this field before. these people would need more on the job training.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful

    Good place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Finance and Operations in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Finance and Operations in New York, NY

    I have been working at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm

    Pros

    good package except bonuses
    people are great to work with
    learn a lot about hedge fund operations
    can do this coming form liberal arts

    Cons

    more limited exit opportunities coming from this group
    very long hours the first 6 months - 1 year
    no formal training program

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It seems that there should be more opportunities for liberal arts students to gain employment with de shaw ... maybe expand company operations to accommodate this

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful

    Great environment, if you know what you're getting into.

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

    I worked at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm

    Pros

    The pay is great. Lots of bright people work for the firm, including management and support staff. For a financial services firm in particular, this company places control in the hands of the technologists; many of the senior managers have PhD's in technical disciplines. There is potential for large bonuses and advancement within the firm, or so I am told. Like many software companies, there are free beverages and snacks. The firm is structured as a meritocracy. The company has shower facilities on site in the main office. Some might appreciate the firm's location just off of Sixth Avenue in midtown Manhattan.

    Cons

    I felt that the picture my interviewers painted of my position was very different from the reality of the position. The firm hires over-qualified people for every position, which means that your position may not be fun or challenging, and moving up is that much more difficult. Fast paced, high stress environment. Health plan had a high deductible. The downside of being organized as a meritocracy is that it takes a long, long time to move anywhere. The company is growing at a very rapid pace, so the average experience of employees at the firm is much lower than it once was. Unless working in a primary business role of the firm, the fact that you are in a supporting position is very clear.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be careful to grow sustainably.

    No opinion of CEO

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