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

Updated September 2, 2015
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  1. Amazing People!

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

    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 Management

    Tell people what is going on.


  2. Helpful (3)

    Not what it once was

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

    Less micromanagement and more transparency


  3. Helpful (1)

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

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

    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 Management

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


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Good place to work

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

    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 Management

    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


  6. Helpful (2)

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Systems Administrator in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Systems Administrator in New York, NY
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

    Be careful to grow sustainably.


  7. Helpful (2)

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

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

    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 Management

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


  8. Helpful (1)

    High-stress environment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend

    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 Management

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


  9. Helpful (1)

    Amazing company with extraordinarily interesting people!

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

    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 Management

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


  10. Sets the mark really high

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Hyderābād (India)
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Hyderābād (India)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Best culture and extremely bright colleagues. Flexible timings and a very generous pay. Flat structure helps in adaptive growth & learning.

    Cons

    Stretched timings and slower promotions can take a while for you to be on the top of the ladder. Bonus amounts are far less than the fixed pay.

    Advice to Management

    Business expansion is critical for both the firm and the employees to rise in their career and make progress while maintaining the stability of learning & culture, hence the management should look into it.


  11. Great work culture

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

    I have been working at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You get to work with the masterminds from the country. Amazing work culture. Employees are pampered.

    Cons

    Too much hierarchy, which makes it very process oriented.

    Advice to Management

    None



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