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Quant at Morgan Stanley

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Quantitative Analyst in New York, NY
Current Employee - Quantitative Analyst in New York, NY

I have been working at Morgan Stanley full-time (more than 10 years)

Pros

The people are smart and the work is interesting. Math, finance, and programming are all heavily used. About half of each day is spent writing software, the other half is spent analyzing data and discussing with end users.

The company is very structured and well organized. The work environment is one of dedication, but not fanaticism. Atmosphere is collegial. The pay is typically good, but can be uneven due to the bonus system. The technology varies a lot by division, but much of it is extremely good.

Cons

Some areas of the firm are less well developed than others. IT in particular is a mixture of very good (excellent data centers, some extremely good systems), and very bad (lots of reinventing the wheel, a handful of major initiatives that are guaranteed to fail).

Some areas are still holding onto the impression that the firm is what it was in the 1980s before computers took over finance. This can make for some bad decisions and strange interactions.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

The firm should strive for uniformity, but must do so in a reasonable way. An attempt at "one project to rule them all" will almost always fail. Coherent architectures must be grown organically and expanded upon where they are found to work. Some areas of the firm still have a lot of manual work that serves no apparent purpose, and is even counter productive. Automation of these areas is progressing, but slowly. Accelerating the process should be a major drive.

For instance, some positions are still not modeled, or the traders are allowed to directly provide inputs to the model, and thus effectively manipulate the performance metrics that will be used to determine their year end pay. This is OK for very small positions that are not worth the investment to model properly, but it also happens in some very large books.

For positions of significant size, these manual systems are becoming more rare with time, but they should have been completely absent since at least 2007, for reasons that we all well understand.

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Positive Outlook

1705 Other Employee Reviews for Morgan Stanley (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Trading Analyst in FID

    Former Employee - Trader in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Trader in New York, NY

    I worked at Morgan Stanley full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good Analyst program... met a lot of nice people

    Cons

    Lots of red tape... depending on your desk work may or may not be interesting...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Leverage the talent recruited

  2.  

    Merit-based, high-performing, low bureaucracy IT organization

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

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

    Pros

    The most capable and talented co-workers I have ever had worked at MS. The pay is high for software development work. Promotions are frequent, merit-based, and often from within the group. The hours are very manageable (high 40s-low 50s per week). One of the most pleasantly surprising things was how little bureaucracy there was for such a large organization. The goal is to enable the business group to make money and most things that are extraneous to that goal are eliminated. (This is based on 4 years in the Fixed Income software development group)

    Cons

    A relatively large percentage of the compensation was distributed through year-end bonuses. Those were based both on performance reviews and the profitability of the business group for which your team worked. If either your performance reviews or your group's profitability suffered, your bonus would suffer, too. That said, that was the standard compensation model for the finance industry and was no different than any other finance firm.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
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