DC Energy

  www.dc-energy.com
  www.dc-energy.com

DC Energy Reviews

Updated September 18, 2014
Updated September 18, 2014
20 Reviews
3.1
20 Reviews
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Dean L. Wilde
6 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Mostly satisfied with experience at smart and growing but pragmatic company

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

    I have been working at DC Energy full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The culture of the company reflects the people who work here: young, smart, motivated, and friendly. Management in general does a very good job in the recruiting process, and so you feel surrounded by (on the whole) very competent people much like yourself. Perks on the job are great - expensable dinners if you stay late, and on average once-monthly company events at very nice venues. Most are happy coming in to work in the mornings.

    Work-life balance is pretty good compared to other companies expecting similarly high-performance - it's no govt job. 50-60 hours per week (some teams may need to spend more occasionally), but hours on a daily basis are pretty flexible and "facetime" isn't a huge issue here.

    Feedback from direct managers is frequent and constructive - feedback is emphasized.

    DC is a fun town - like the company, very young and energetic.

    Starting salary higher than most anybody else.

    Company performs very well compared to competitors.

    Exit opportunities are good - the kind of work we do is looked on very favorably for its analytic/quant rigor. The coding skills that you pick up on the job are also quite valuable. Caveat: see non-compete below.

    Cons

    Bonuses seem to vary a lot, and without a lot of explanation on the part of management. Overall, transparency on the management's behalf seems a bit excessive, and it weighs on a lot of people's minds.

    Noncompete is pretty binding, and can be quite disadvantageous if you're not looking to go back to school after you leave.

    Mentorship at the company, while not bad, is not great. More frequent formal meetings with advisers would be nice so there's not as much pressure to interact on a casual basis. (On the plus side, upper management that has a lot of cumulative experience in a range of areas is approachable and friendly, and willing to talk.)

    Staffing on teams seems arbitrary at first, although most people are able to move into roles that suit them after putting in a year's work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    CEO should have more direct interactions with analysts/associates. The company is small enough to know everyone.

    Giving employees a bit more perspective on how end-of-year comp is determined would be appreciated - at the moment it's pretty opaque.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Great people and great learning experience

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

    I have been working at DC Energy full-time

    Pros

    Our small size means everyone has an important role, and new hires are given a lot of responsibility. There is extensive training in a few different programming languages and many opportunities to really develop those skills. We put a lot of focus on minimizing doing "busy work", which means more time to work on interesting problems. It's a young crowd, so there is a lot to do outside of work.

    Cons

    Location is not ideal. There can be a lot of pressure put on meeting deadlines. Long hours. Strict non compete.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Extremely smart company focused on the fundamentals of good finance..

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

    I have been working at DC Energy full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Very young and extremely smart company with a lot of energy; this is the firm's strongest point.
    Good base salary that scales quickly with experience.
    Office environment is professional and quality; everyone starts in an office.
    Very flexible work hours - leave in the middle of the day for an hour or two if you want - just get your work done for tomorrow's meeting. i.e. face time is not an issue.
    3+ weeks paid vacation each year, and it rolls to the next year.
    Most lower-level (analyst & associate) employees readily engage with each other outside work (sports, trivia, nights out, etc.). Very friendly group.
    Frequent company events, team dinners, etc.
    Bagels, fruit, snacks, etc. available in the mornings.
    Expense accounts.

    Cons

    Office in Vienna, VA seems needlessly out of the way (although across from a metro stop and large mall).
    Management, while in touch often with employees, may seem secretive.
    Pretty harsh non-compete must be signed.
    Regulatory environment of industry forces various of the teams through ups and downs - employees can get shuffled to new teams/restaffed relatively frequently.
    Health insurance is a bit wonky.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More pay transparency would be appreciated.
    Let's move the office...

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    A very stressful place to work

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

    I have been working at DC Energy full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Good pay and good location. Good holiday schedule and vacation time. Very professional office environment. Co-workers are very friendly. The company provides breakfast on certain days.

    Cons

    Hours are too long--no time for family, and very limited free time because of the hours. You dedicate your entire life to the office working here. After long hours during the week, weekend work is very common.

    The work load per individual is very high. The amount of work given to analysts is overbearing and virtually impossible to complete without working long hours and weekend work. Members of management put too much pressure on analysts to make sure deadlines are met instead of offering to take some work themselves during the busiest times. 60-70 hours per week is very typical.

    The busy seasons limit you as to when you can take time off.

    It is very easy to get laid off. If you do get laid off, the non-compete agreement makes it difficult to find a new job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to understand that employees have families and relationships outside of the office. It is important to significantly improve the work/life balance.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    A lot of challenging, interesting work with fun people

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

    I have been working at DC Energy full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Starting Salary is great
    Great group of people who are mostly all fun to work with
    The work is interesting - on my team there is a lot of thinking to be done, not just doing the work your told
    I'm very rarely bored, except when my scripts take an age to load/run
    Firmwide events are incredibly fun.
    Snack are available and dinner can be comped.

    Cons

    Work in R can be tedious, you do find yourself waiting for scripts to load a lot
    Its out in Vienna and the commute is at least 30min
    The CEO shows almost no interest in meeting the employees of this not so large firm - he does run 3 companies but I doubt he'd even recognize me as an employee
    Management policies are remnants of old consulting policy standards, awkwardly forced upon a trading firm. This is changing but slowly
    There's probably not that much more additional opportunity in the power space and competitors will catchup, if they haven't already.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To keep moral high during tough times, it might help if you provide a clear direction for the firm. I don't feel that management has a clear idea of what it wants be in 3 years, and that's particularly apparent when things go poorly.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Intelligent & Challenging

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

    I have been working at DC Energy full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    If you are looking to work with some of the best and brightest, to be challenged to strive for excellence and have high-end perks for doing so, this is the place. The environment is collegian, challenging and professional. Good starting pay for all levels with the potential to move up within the consulting staff. Tyson's Corner location, good benefits and AM snacks provided M-F (donuts, bagels, fruit).

    Cons

    Once the Metro line is complete, accessing the office via Metro will be easier.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Interesting and challenging work, a lot is expected of you from day one

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at DC Energy

    Pros

    -Incredibly smart people who are more than willing to help you, very open door policy around the office
    -Co-workers are not at all cutthroat like many stereotypical trading shops
    -Right out of the gate you're immediately given opportunities to make a meaningful impact on investment decisions
    -The effects of your output are directly visible in the daily returns of your team
    -Interesting and complex markets means there's always more to learn
    -Strong compensation right out of school with potential for large bonuses given individual progress and firm success

    Cons

    -The non-compete agreement can be limiting, but analysts gain meaningful soft and technical skills in a variety of areas (data analysis, finance, energy markets, etc.)
    -Hours / trading schedules can get tiring, but that comes with territory (high responsibility, high comp, etc)
    -Quality of managers is somewhat wide ranging given that this is the first or second job for most. No one I dislike, but some would require more proactivity than others in terms of career advancement

    Recommends
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good starting compensation but low upward potential

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

    I worked at DC Energy full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    -Very smart and friendly coworkers, mostly fresh out of school
    -Great entry training on programming and market fundamentals
    -Competitive starting compensation
    -Very sophisticated modelling of electricity markets
    -Lots of responsibility for new employees
    -Lots to do in DC metropolitan area

    Cons

    -Lower compensation growth than other top tier banks and prop shops
    -Little room for advancement causing very high turnover (most employees leave in under two years)
    -Frequent changes in workplan
    -Minimal feedback between formal reviews
    -Promotion decisions very unpredictable and opaque
    -Overuse of PowerPoint presentations
    -No professional software developers, so some of the code is a mess
    -Unpredictable workload with frequent weekend work
    -Unpaid non-compete agreement prevents you from trading the same asset classes for two years after you leave

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Directors should delegate more of the investment decisions to free up time to focus on employee development

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Worked there full time two years+

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

    I worked at DC Energy full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Fun events, sometimes free food, cachet of pretending to be a trader (see cons), in good markets you can start seeing returns immediately.

    Cons

    Management was hit and miss but mostly miss, your performance was rated almost entirely based on this persons whims. A good manager might get you promoted, most saw analysts/associates as expendable. Even earners who would be considered high performing elsewhere were forced out over petty politics or useless managers. Most management are leftovers from the firms origins as a third rate consulting firm and have never worked elsewhere so very insular. Most employees are not trained as actual traders (though you will not know ahead of time), rather spending their time to repair and execute trades on clunky proprietary code base.

    Basically you have no control over your fate and most exits are bad to mediocre for the time and effort. Long non compete means you are out of the industry either way. Most ppl figure this out in two years and leave or get stuck become bitter.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire real traders, clear the deadwood out of the director levels

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Smart, energetic company

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

    I have been working at DC Energy full-time

    Pros

    Work is interesting, you learn in-depth how markets work to delivery electricity (or other commodities) to your door. Working in finance cuts through the BS that a lot of policy and consulting types of work entail. Quick turnaround putting ideas into practice - everyone is "on the same team." Coworkers are all friendly/approachable, and very smart. Great compensation (bonus>>salary when you do well).

    Cons

    Tackling open-ended problems that may not have good answers and responding to changing markets means your work-plan changes constantly, which can be draining. Also, being in a competitive environment means you'll see turnover, which might include people you like personally (but the process seems fair).

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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