D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm

  www.deshaw.com
  www.deshaw.com

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

Updated October 15, 2014
Updated October 15, 2014
73 Reviews
4.2
73 Reviews
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D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm Chairman David E. Shaw
David E. Shaw
43 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Very good work life balance, Good work if you want to actually do it else nobody is going to bother you (in 7 reviews)

  • great culture, smart people--very smarty people (in 11 reviews)


Cons
  • narrow scope, limited exposure, long hours (in 5 reviews)

  • Work-life balance could be improved (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 2 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
  2. 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
  3. 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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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    D. E. Shaw provides a great academic atmosphere where all employees work hard and also have a good work-life balance.

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

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

    Pros

    A few of the best reasons to work for D. E. Shaw are the laid back atmosphere, great benefits and wonderful coworkers. There is no dress code, and only 4 titles in the entire company. While this might seem overwhelming at first, it is nice to not have an emphasis on needing to move up a title every two years. Your career path here can be much more free form and this is reflected in D. E. Shaw's academic nature. Extensive benefits for all employees are a definite perk and everyone who works here tends to be very motivated and smart but also concerned about their lives outside of work. It's definitely a great balance of everything.

    Cons

    Sometimes the academic atmosphere can be a downside. Unless you are the type to figure out what you want to do next and go after it, the opportunity will certainly not come to you like at some more strictly traditional hierarchical companies. The good news is that most of the employees at D. E. Shaw are very smart, enjoy what they do, and know how to go about taking the desired next step in their careers. The senior leadership is very competent and I think the future is bright for the company as a while. While not necessarily considered by me to be a downside, I would recommend that self-moitvated individuals work for the company since I see them as more likely to succeed in this type of an atmosphere.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Senior management is very good and has deep experience in both good and bad times to successfully lead the company into the future.

    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    High-stress environment

    • 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

    It's a big hedge fund, with significant opportunities for employees to make a lot of money. At least that's what they tell you. Once you actually get there however, things are a bit different and you might begin to wonder whether it's worth it to spend 60 to 70 hours a week working in a high stress environment, with no immediate reward in sight. On the bright side, you do get to work with a lot of smart people, and the rewards (if you are able to stick around long enough, of course) are not bad at all. Overall a good pick.

    Cons

    tons of stress, very long hours, and a requirement for some serious dedication and determination

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire more people, to allow existing employees to actually have a life outside of work

    Doesn't Recommend
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Amazing company with extraordinarily interesting people!

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

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

    Pros

    The environment and the benefits. D.E. Shaw places a high value on recruiting the best talent which creates a workforce of bright, curious, academic-minded employees. It's a very collegial atmosphere where collaboration on both work and extra curriculars (e.g. green initiatives, running club) is encouraged. The company hires interesting people so many people have creative hobbies (everything from writing to acting to stand up comedy) so it's not your typical financial investment firm!

    The benefits are great -- they include $2/month health insurance, free snacks, subsidized gym memberships, games dispersed around the office (foosball, Wii Guitar Hero, etc...), and great company parties. Work/life balance is generally good and most of the admin jobs are created to appeal to artists from Ivy League schools who need to support their craft with a well paid 9-5 job with a flexible schedule.

    Cons

    Because of the rigorous recruiting policy, it can take months to be hired or hire new employees into your group. The later can cause work overload. Also, some departments have limited opportunities for growth/promotions, but I do feel the selection process is fair.

    DE Shaw has an open vacation policy, which initially sounds great, but it can make some employees feel guilty about taking vacation days.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More interaction with employees in the remote offices (non-NY)

    Recommends
  8.  

    A flexible culture, opportunity to grow, high pay, and amazing work culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior MEMBER TECHNICAL in Hyderābād (India)
    Former Employee - Senior MEMBER TECHNICAL in Hyderābād (India)

    I worked at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible culture
    Opportunities to transition within teams easily
    High salary
    The company takes care of you and your needs

    Cons

    A hierarchical ladder which hinders the wishes of your career growth

    Recommends
  9.  

    A great place to work

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

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

    Pros

    Great people
    Great talent
    Great culture

    Cons

    Limited opportunities for fresher's
    Role monotony

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Encourage more collaboration

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    I was at Shaw, uninspired by the lives, that were driven by money, not the elegance of their creativity.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Finance and Operations Associate in Hyderābād (India)
    Former Employee - Finance and Operations Associate in Hyderābād (India)

    I worked at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The only pro, I can feel is that, if you're money oriented, you will get your money.

    Cons

    No Work-life balance. And you're treated like an email id, or some resource. I think the worst thing was that, you do not see any connection of your effort to the end result. Very Marxist as well.. But then again, it affected to a person who was putting in close to 60 hours.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please do not consider every employee as a headcount, or a number, or a resource. They're human. Talent needs to be comfortable. And that was not ascertained by the management system.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Rollercoaster Ride

    Former Employee - Project Leader in Hyderābād (India)
    Former Employee - Project Leader in Hyderābād (India)

    I worked at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great people to work with.

    Cons

    long work hours. Too much expectation from a person at every level.

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