Interactive Brokers

www.interactivebrokers.com
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There are newer employer reviews for Interactive Brokers

 

great place for computer geeks wanting to branch into finance

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Software Engineer in Greenwich, CT
Current Employee - Software Engineer in Greenwich, CT

I have been working at Interactive Brokers

Pros

Opportunity to advance for doing good job, little or no politics

Cons

If you stack off, it will be noticed and reflected in (lack of) bonus

Advice to ManagementAdvice

none

Recommends
Approves of CEO

54 Other Employee Reviews for Interactive Brokers (View Most Recent)

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Senior managers are the 1%, everybody else treated like plebs

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

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

    Pros

    If you are hired into senior management, you can make a lot of money and have a lot of fun. If you like to crush your subordinates' ideas under your heel you will love this place.

    Cons

    Company decided to recalculate bonuses after Swiss franc disaster in January 2015. Employees left hanging, the mood is really bad, another month waiting for managers with big egos to throw down some pennies for the rest of us.

    At least half the bonus is paid in shares that vest over a 6 year period. This has an insidious effect, people who are not happy or not productive stay with the company longer and longer because they have a big pool of unvested shares that they don't want to lose by going to another job. If you are a programmer, you will find yourself working with programmers who have been in the company for more than 15 years and never had 1 day of external training, still using legacy technologies like SCCS version control or Java 1.4.

    The CEO, Petterfy, talks a lot about his love of the Republicans and giving people opportunity (as opposed to communism) but the reality is that he has built a horrible culture here where somebody who has been here 10 or 15 years without keeping their skills up to date has acquired a lot of shares in the company and acts like they are superior to a can-do developer who just came in from a successful startup.

    The only way to get the unvested shares is by waiting for retirement, waiting for redundancy or hoping that you find a new job where the next company agrees to give you an up-front allocatiion of unvested shares to compensate for the shares you forfeit by resigning from IB. This is only possible if you plan to move to another company with similar characteristics.

    When you try to value your bonus shares, look at the cashflows: if shares are $25 each on the market and your bonus is 600 shares and 100 vest each year then it is more like the company has agreed to a pay rise of $2500 per year for 6 years. If you can find another job that gives an initial annual salary that is $2500 higher than the Interactive Brokers salary then it completely offsets the value of the unvested IB shares you are giving up.

    As an extra burden, the shares vest in May or June, 6 months after the bonus round. So if you don't like your bonus in January and you resign in February then you won't get any of the shares that vest that same year, including the new shares from the bonus round.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to bring in a new generation of IT skills, both by training existing staff and bringing in new staff. This needs to be applied in every team and office in the company. You need to get these skills to propagate throughout the company, if you think that productive developers with modern skills will work side-by-side with the existing dinosaurs entrenched in the company then you will be disappointed.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  2.  

    Bad managers, lack of perspectives and obsolete technology despite good things to learn

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

    I worked at Interactive Brokers full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    * Some managers and colleagues are helpful if you approach them with respect.
    * Some teams tackle interesting problems with state-of-the-art tools (depending on the manager)
    * You end up delivering production sotware quickly (and in frequent cycles).
    * IT teams often drive the business process, or have a strong influence.
    * You can learn some interesting stuff about the business itself too.
    * Fairly stable company with solid financial background.

    Cons

    The previous reviews said it all. Avoid this company if you think of yourself as a real Software Engineer --you'll be a coder guy, mostly following orders. I often felt somewhat depressed, and it didn't get better.

    What I'd like to highlight:
    * Managers have huge egos and can get tyrannical. They may give you direct orders, or disregard you.
    * New joiners can expect that some managers and colleagues might NEVER collaborate.
    * A complete lack of perspective (career development) and insights. You are TOLD what to do, and that's it.
    * Often obsolete technology platforms, which cause continuous headaches. Zero initiative to re-engineer stuff.
    * Your ideas and opinions are often overlooked. These huge egos are sure they know it better anyway.
    * Very few trainings to keep your knowledge up-to-date.
    * Work gets dull and boring after a few months, due to the reasons above. Once you've reached the plateau, there's not much to learn and grow as a developer... unless you want to deep-dive into the business.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    * A more open-minded approach would be necessary to attract and retain skilled people. Simply throwing some money at them won't help on the long run.
    * More effort (yes, your precious time and money!) to rethink and rebuild outdated legacy systems.
    * Collaboration over the rigid 1950s management sytle.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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