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Helpful (2)

Pretty good place to work, trying to be great

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Director in San Francisco, CA
Current Employee - Director in San Francisco, CA

I have been working at BlackRock full-time (More than 8 years)

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO
Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

Pros

There's been a lot of effort put towards building an iconic culture and make BlackRock a great place to work. Presuming it's sustained over the long-term, I think it will work. Feels like it's a genuine effort, and in a lot of ways the firm has great roots to build from. There's a lot of pride from legacy BGI and legacy BlackRock employees - in some cases that leads to conflicts, but also has the potential to lead to great things if the cultures can be reconciled to capture the best of both legacy cultures. In San Francisco, I feel that there's an overall positive vibe. BGI-ers felt a connection to the firm, and the passion showed as a result. I think some of that has gone away post-merger, but I think as people adjust to working for a much larger and different kind of firm, it will come back in a lot of (different) ways.

Cons

There are still some challenges post-merger. There's been a lot of focus on improving many things, but a few things seem to stand out as yet unresolved problems. One is technology and resourcing, which both continue to be constant struggles. Another (and often related) is that decision making is still centralized among very few people at the top. And as part of that, there's also a bit of a bravado culture at the top, and decisions can often be made based on someone escalating to someone higher up and gaining their alignment, rather than on the merits, which I think is unfortunate. To be fair, I think that some of the cost management is actually a function of good management control over costs (there's waste at BlackRock, just as there is in any firm). The problem is that there aren't great mechanisms to recognize which parts of the business run very lean and responsibly, versus those that don't, and that can cause frustration...and worse, gridlock at times. And to be honest, I think some of it is also a function of overly constraining the business in order to squeeze out margins.

Advice to Management

Keep doing what you're doing with regard to company culture, there are a lot of great things going on in that space right now. But also strengthen your commitment to the other elements of culture - decentralize decision-making and trust and hold business heads accountable for making the right decisions for their business. Resource the business to succeed in the long-term, even if it's at the expense of some short-term margins. And last but certainly not least, reward those employees who work hard and deliver results (quantitative and qualitative). Yes, everyone knows the market is volatile, but people will become increasingly demotivated by taking the full brunt of that repeated message, particularly when the firm is wildly profitable and there's such a disparity between earnings across people (across and within levels).

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  1. Helpful (2)

    BRS: A great place to learn; but long hours, lots tech/systems, and by no means a pathway into portfolio management

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

    I worked at BlackRock full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Smart people, very detail oriented, lots of responsibility for recent grads and young professionals. Very competitive comp.

    Cons

    If you're a person with investment banking or pure asset management aspirations, BRS will not be the most direct route for you. The approach to learning about the market/industry is akin to learning a language one word at a time... Very bottom up, devil's in the details etc.

    Advice to Management

    1) Focus less on finance / econ grads when recruiting and more on Comp Sci, Engineering, etc
    2) Have mid-level managers do more to ensure analysts are periodically seeing the "big picture"


  2. Helpful (9)

    great people doing the work, arrogant bullies taking credit for it

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Director in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at BlackRock full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    salary, cameraderie, location, light-filled offices, diversity

    Cons

    inner circle mentality, more stick than carrot, non-experts making subjective decisions, hierarchy and politics over strategy and common sense

    Advice to Management

    reconcile iShares/BlackRock tensions at senior levels, stop reorganizing by adding layers, rationalize salaries, talk to people like you aren't mad at them all of the time, don't let toxic leaders keep seats warm


There are newer employer reviews for BlackRock
There are newer employer reviews for BlackRock

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