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RUN THE OTHER WAY!!!

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Investment Performance Associate  in  Arlington, VA
Former Employee - Investment Performance Associate in Arlington, VA

I worked at Cambridge Associates, LLC

Pros

The people at Cambridge Associates were very nice to work with. The average age of co-workers was probably around 25, so it is easy to form friendships.

People who go through the 2-3 year career path tend to position themselves well for graduate school.

This position helps to improve time management and organization skills.

Free Wall Street Journals!

The office in Arlington is in a nice location as well.

Cons

Where to begin...

If you are a recent college graduate seeking an entry-level career in finance to learn about financial modeling, budgeting/forecasting, investing, etc. this is not the place for you! The Investment Performance Associate Role is beneficial to people pursuing either a career in data entry/administrative work, or who are using the position as a stepping stone to graduate school. Each associate is responsible for collecting various financial information from funds that clients are invested in. Financial statements are put in PDF form and information including MVs, monthly return, cash flows, and cash allocation is circled and then entered in a proprietary system. After the data has been entered and is corrected of errors, the report is ready to be generated. This process continues as long as you are an Investment Performance Associate.

Needless to say, very little learning/creative thinking actually took place in this work environment. I felt as if I was killing brain cells every time I entered a number into the computer. The first job that you take should help to develop fundamental skills in the career you choose to pursue. Other than a paycheck, I felt this was a waste of time.

The position also requires a substantial overtime commitment. I worked anywhere from 40-70hr weeks. There were rumors of people working in excess of 80 hours/week during the busiest times of the control cycle and developing stomach issues from stress. Employees are not compensated for this overtime and there are no bonuses for Investment Performance Associates.

I could justify the monotonous work, long hours, and low pay if there was some sort of light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, at Cambridge Associates, the light at the end of the tunnel is actually a full speed train on its way to run you over! There are no raises for Investment Performance Associates. You are stuck at $46k until you get promoted to Senior Investment Performance Associate that make around $50k. Investment Performance Associates generally stay in that position for 1-2 years, but I have actually heard of people getting stuck in that position and making the same salary for 3-4 years! Senior Associates are then promoted to Analysts which serve as a liaison between consultants and the Marketable Performance Reporting Department. In other words, they double check your work to make sure there are no errors before sending the reports over to the consultants. There are no incentives to succeed and do well in the firm.

The turnover in this department is also exorbitantly high! I think about 30 people left while I was there. Unreal!

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Your business model, financially speaking, is spot on. Develop a "career path" of three years designed to filter through entry-level workers, while effectively squeezing your employees for every dollar you pay them. It is a win-win: Average salaries/benefits for the department will remain low in the department because of the limited career potential. The inevitably high turnover will bring in new energetic workers willing to do the same work for the same pay as those that leave.

Yes, the point of a business is to generate a profit. However, it is management's responsibility to create an environment that is beneficial to employees of the firm. Many people that I have talked to have a bad taste in their mouth from working in the control department at Cambridge Associates. You never know who your next big client may be!

Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

Other Reviews for Cambridge Associates, LLC

  1.  

    Good entry level position...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst  in  Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Analyst in Arlington, VA

    I worked at Cambridge Associates, LLC

    Pros

    - good work environment, a lot of young professionals, willing to help out others
    - decent job for a college graduate
    - set career path
    - get to work on some interesting clients

    Cons

    - the work itself gets very repetitive even as you progress in the career path. the only perk of progressing is you get to delegate the work to associates.
    - the job is mainly data collection/entry at the associate level
    - the hours can be long during the busy cycle (60+)
    - compensation is pretty low (43k starting)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    offer better compensation and more continuous training that challenges your employees.

    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Cambridge Associates Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager  in  Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Manager in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at Cambridge Associates, LLC

    Pros

    Good intiaial experience for young college graduates. Looks good on resume. Ability to work on multiple projects / asset classes. Most employee leave for business school after three to five years.

    Cons

    Pay is sub standard for finance industry. Limited upward mobitlity. Corporate philosophy is very backwards looking, and firm management is afraid to be bold in taking new direction.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The future is not going to look like the past so stop looking in the rear view mirror. Founders' philosophy worked 20 years ago; time to re-assess.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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