BlackRock

  www.blackrock.com
  www.blackrock.com
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3 people found this helpful  

Mixed - smart people but absolutely no middle/senior management

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

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

Pros

Smart people, committed and dedicated. A lot of teamwork and cooperation. Perhaps not as political as some other financial companies.

Cons

Absolutely no management whatsoever; not even the first principles of management are applied. Several managers are just whimsical and survive only because of their length of stay at the company. Constant shifting of direction based on whims and moods of senior management contributes to a fairly low morale.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Invest in some serious management training to make it less whimsical and personality oriented.

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

683 Other Employee Reviews for BlackRock (View Most Recent)

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    A great firm with challenging work, smart co-workers, good pay

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

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

    Pros

    BlackRock hires at the best schools, exposes its employees to real issues for solution and will pay well for performance. The national and global footprint provides the potential for some interesting transfer locations.

    Cons

    Much too much time in meetings/video-conferences!
    Then manager personality and non-business issues intrude into these meetings, leading to a reluctance to speak up and contribute to the "crowd-sourcing" that is supposed to be the point to the number of meeting participants to begin with.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Develop internal management talent rather than hire senior managers sometime.
    It is time for some of the original founders to move on to allow for the growth of a more professional managerial culture.

  2.  

    Summary of Reviews - SF Tech

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

    I have been working at BlackRock full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    This will summarize the reviews here, also taking into account the results of the employee survey. It is from an SF tech perspective, but captures the general consensus. If you want to work here, ask pertinent questions to get at the heart of the pros/cons.

    1) Total compensation is OK, but base is below market. Base salary doesn't move (4 years running with "exceeds expectations" manager reviews).
    2) CEO is a leader in the field and well respected.
    3) Benefits are good.
    4) Work/life balance is good.
    5) Respected financial company with a diverse range of products.

    Cons

    1) Decisions are driven from NY. SF is a satellite office, even though there is superior technical talent. Management will tell you otherwise, but that is how it is.
    2) Your experience will largely depend on what group you are in and where your group is located. If you work in SF, be part of an SF-based group. Many groups are remote, resulting in lots of phone calls. What could be accomplished in minutes takes hours.
    3) Most MDs are in NY, so you get limited face-time if you are working on the west coast. They generally don't know what you are working on and what skills you bring to the table. If you can sit with them in their office, you have a huge advantage (i.e., if you are located on the east coast).
    4) Career growth is limited. Promotions are based on your relationship with your MD (and your manager), not technical skill. I've seen tech people with years of schooling and experience stagnate, while biz people with soft skills (i.e., anyone could pick up at work) get promoted. Although the company prides itself on being technology-oriented, technical people are second-class citizens. Any biz school grad with the same skills/knowledge/drive as a tech grad will be 1-2 steps ahead in the hierarchy.
    5) Speed is rewarded over quality. New projects pop up continually and are pushed out without spending the proper time designing solutions. Technical debt is knee-deep.
    6) Project management is seriously lacking. Managers tend to think up their own methodologies rather than studying best-practices in the industry.
    7) Lots of talk about innovation, but years behind tech companies.
    8) Tons of context switching. Interruptions are constant.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Understand what your people know and what skills they bring to the company. Take advantage of SF and the technical ability it provides. If you are serious about innovation, understand what it means and do what other financial companies do and open an innovation center. Take risks and accept a degree of failure. Consolidate your teams geographically (i.e., the entire group, top to bottom) to gain efficiency.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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