FHLB Boston Reviews

Updated July 24, 2015
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1.9
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Ed Hjerpe III
15 Ratings

17 Employee Reviews

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  1. great place to work!

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at FHLB Boston full-time

    Pros

    I LOVE my department and team. Great, friendly and supportive atmosphere. The work is also very interesting and exciting. HR makes a great effort to ensure employees are happy and succeeding. All around great place to work.

    Cons

    Not a lot of opportunity for upward mobility, however hard work and successful productivity is always rewarded with both acknowledgement and bonus compensation.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what youre doing! My direct manager is fantastic, encouraging and supportive. I have had a 100% positive experience with management.


  2. Helpful (2)

    Potential to be a great employer, but misses the mark

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at FHLB Boston full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Work/Life balance is good. Benefits are leaning towards generous. Compensation is livable, but positions are priced very low compared to the market. The pace of the workload isn't typically overwhelming, with the exception of the IT department. Most of the employees below the senior management level are genuine, smart, and capable. These people are the best part about FHLB.

    Cons

    Leadership is lacking, and there is little to no opportunity for advancement. The turnover rate is extremely high, and instead of looking within to develop and promote the existing staff, management hires from the outside. Years’ experience and institutional knowledge is extremely valuable at FHLB and is overlooked time and time again by those making hiring and staffing decisions. Those who stick around typically do so for the pension, the tuition reimbursement benefits, or the guaranteed 9-5 that they couldn't get elsewhere. The culture is reflective of that.

    Advice to Management

    It’s not 2008 anymore. The Bank is performing well, and the job market has drastically improved. The offerings at the Bank are no longer competitive enough to keep talent here long term. Other companies have far surpassed what FHLB offers employees in terms of compensation, benefits, opportunity and culture. Boston has the lowest glass door rating of all the FHLB Banks. Perhaps management should head over to the other FHLB's that are getting 3 and 4 star ratings to see what they can do to make FHLB Boston a better place to work.


  3. Helpful (5)

    Not a smart career

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at FHLB Boston full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Bank has a fading work/life style balance that was once strong. Overall, most employees are not expected to work 60 hours a week or pull extra duty on Saturdays and Sundays (IT may be the exception). However, a strong work ethic will go unnoticed or rewarded.

    Cons

    Leadership is lacking at senior levels. Most managers are Peter Principal technicians without a clue on mentoring, developing, or team work problem solving. The recent crop of Department heads in the past 18 months have glaringly weak leadership skills and are solely interested in advancing their careers at the cost of their staff. Good staff have left in a mass exodus by finding more challenging and rewarding jobs or taking early retirement. This is clearly apparent in four struggling department including Information Technology / Information Security, Credit / Collateral, Internal Audit, and Human Resources. If you are even vaguely considering a position in one of these departments and have a job offer elsewhere you would be crazy to join one of these teams based on these department heads' leadership skills and abysmal management styles. If you desperately need a job and have no other choice plan on a short tenure at the Bank, but ask four questions during your interview process. 1. What is the turnover rate during the past 12 months? 2. What positions have turned over in the past three months and why? 3. As a department head how long have you been in this position and what happened to your predecessor? 4. As them to update you on the long term viability of the Boston Bank and the merger of other FHLBanks. It would behoove you to do a bit of on line research in this area based on declining growth and out of district mergers. Most importantly, insist on speaking with two staff members in the department that you are interviewing with that have more than a years tenure. Ask them the same questions and what career opportunities they have had during their tenure. If they will not arrange for these staff reviews. Run, do not walk away from a career mistake at FHLBBOSTON Boston.

    Advice to Management

    Come on guys, you need a focus group to tell you what the staff needs and wants. You are supposed to be managers of a 200 person Bank. Are you too busy ensuring you meet your ICP goals and bonuses to have you hands on the pulse of your departments?


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Good employer offering great benefits

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The bank's mission makes many employees feel good about going to work. The bank really plays an important role in economic development of the New England area. 10% of income set aside each year to supports many development projects including homes for veterans, seniors, and lower income households. Given what I know about other places, the work life balance here is a dream. You might check email once or twice but there is almost never work on weekends. Most of the employees take the commuter rail so the place empties out around 5 pm. Plus some of the people here are GREAT to work with--professionals who know their stuff and are genuinely kind and caring. It’s not the kind of competitive environment you see in some other places. People genuinely care about the place and in my experience love to help when asked. For its huge financial size ($50 billion plus in total assets), it’s amazing how small the place is in terms of staffing – just over 200 people to support all of the finance, operations, IT, risk management, regulatory, customer-facing, and other needs. This means lots of potential opportunities to interact with senior management on high level issues. The benefits are among the best I've seen/heard of. This place offers a defined benefit pension plan based on years of service (does that even exist anymore?) This is above and beyond 401k savings programs where they match contributions. Vacation days are comparable to generous. Insurance benefits are comparable to elsewhere. My manager has said yes to every educational opportunity/seminar I've wanted to attend, which was fully paid for by the Bank. To be sure, no one gets Wall Street level salaries here. Salaries are maybe slightly lower than financial institutions our size that are completely private? But this partly reflects a work life balance tradeoff. If you convert everything to an hourly wage, I would not be surprised if FHLB came out comparable to other companies. (That said, I think larger salary increases would help improve morale.) Overall a good, family-friendly place to work where the self-starting, driven, and detail-oriented person can take on significant levels of responsibility fairly quickly.

    Cons

    A difficulty for FHLB is its size. With only 200 people, it is difficult to have a clear career path for some positions. The management is aware of this and is trying to improve. I’m not sure what they’ll come up with given that career progression is inherently challenging for a small company. If the company wants to retain talent over the long haul, this has to get addressed somehow. There seem to be a couple of departments with higher turnover where employee morale is an issue. This does seem to be something the management should really put resources into improving. This place has to deal with an amazing amount of regulations. I don’t know if anyone really enjoys this part of their job but it’s something everyone learns to live with, given what FHLB is, as a quasi-government, quasi-private entity. This does create a somewhat conservative, slow-moving culture.


  6. Helpful (2)

    Once good employer, now not so much

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at FHLB Boston full-time

    Pros

    Like others I believe the bank's mission is important to the regional economy. Also, ten% of profit goes to affordable housing. You would think this would be a great place to work, you would be wrong.

    Cons

    Upper management trusts or respects no one, including each other. Everyone is micro managed including them. Staff with advanced training and degrees have to deal with officers sticking their noses into technical subjects they know little about. Toxic atmosphere is made worse by salaries and bonuses heavily weighted to corporate officers, To make things worse HR is clueless about how to treat professionals. They cant even retain their own department staff. They treat everyone like children and are deceptive when it comes to things like announcing benefit reductions. Worse, they think no one will notice. (Note to management: everyone knows). Things got so bad that HR & management made a big deal about an employee engagement survey last year. Very negative results, but the only change they made was to allow jeans on Friday starting in 2015 as long as the board is not meeting. Wow. This used to be a good place to work. It hired smart people and promoted up the ranks. For the last 5+ years corporate officer positions have been filled from the outside, usually by those who know somebody in management. Once here, all they do is what they are told. Other opinions are not welcome. You are expected to leave after a few years because there's no career paths here. That is why more than 50 of the 185 employees have left in the last 2 years and why there are always openings.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your employees. Treat them with respect.


  7. Don't stay long

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at FHLB Boston full-time

    Pros

    great education benefits. Pay more towards education than I've seen most companies do as well as pay up front. Also have a pension, which not many places have left.

    Cons

    Management doesn't get to know you or even care. They only seem to want to talk to people in their committees. No work from home on days where the weather is bad. If you can't come in, take a vacation day. What company in this day and age does not have remote access?????

    Advice to Management

    Learn who the people are below a VP level. It isn't a big place and won't take that long. The tone from the bottom is that all management cares about is their bonuses.


  8. Disgusted

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Most of the people are cool, there are a few difficult ones. The job isn't that bad if you are allowed to do it properly.

    Cons

    Management will not let you forget something you've done or said once months/years ago. No reward for a job well done. Questionable hires over the last year or so. A lot of in-fighting over minor crap. Major babying to the staff. Good people have left or they make some excuse to let them go.

    Advice to Management

    Get off your high horse and get a clue as to what goes on the "trenches".


  9. Depressing

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Like other reviews have said, there are a handful of very good people left. If you happen to report to them, it can be OK.

    Cons

    The other reviews are spot on. This place has become a sweatshop without any upward potential or legitimate raises while working around a growing concentration of difficult personalities and recent hires who know nothing.

    Advice to Management

    You won't listen so why bother. Only a catastrophe or regulatory order will wake you up.


  10. Miserable Place to Work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at FHLB Boston full-time

    Pros

    Better than being jobless. Some friendly people are left even though the work environment has become hostile.

    Cons

    All non senior employees are viewed as easily replaceable but when good,mid and lower staff leave, many errors occur, most of which senior management hides from the president. No upward promotion - all senior hires are external. Once good benefits are now completely lowered to the point where they are consistent with other financial services companies, without the high cash and noncash compensation potential of those companies. Raises are at or lower than the inflation rate so each year you earn less - forget about market rate. Workforce is demoralized across the board. Demoralized workforce has resulted in some departments, like IT, being outright hostile to each other and other departments. IT is especially bad with some very bad recent upper level hires creating a hostile work environment. Year over year turnover at the CIO level has really made for a disaster in IT. All quality IT employees are looking for different jobs especially because there is never internal promotion even though IT employees are working harder than ever. There is no good reason to come work in IT here when elite tech companies are in the area. Senior management really screwed up twice now in failing to retain the last 2 CIOs.

    Advice to Management

    Read the cons and adjust. Promote internally. Retain employees by improving morale through market rate compensation. Stop always low balling your employees. Share Bank success with employees, not just members of senior management. Remember we are human. Your treatment of us during the marathon bombing was horrible in every way - both the day of the event and on the day of the manhunt when you demanded we report to work at the bankup facility even though there was a lockdown order from the governor. Also you made us report on the day of Hurricane Sandy - that was unsafe and awful. We are human and should be treated as such.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Deskilled, demotivated, overworked and underappreciated

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at FHLB Boston full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Some good people to work with.

    Cons

    As you can judge from the comments of other reviewers, the FHLB Boston is one of the most boring and depressing (the environment, the culture, and upper management), deskilling and demotivating (if you are coming from a place where you are used to being intellectually challenged and learning more things and acquiring more skills as you go, beware this is definitely not for you. You would be robotized, demotivated, and depressed by the time you leave this place) and corrupt (almost most senior management, the CEO and Board members have known each other for over 20 years and hook each other and their friends’ kids on a regular basis. I know an individual who was on the chopping board but was saved due to his relationship with the FORMER CEO and some similar examples). I don’t want to be redundant but I want to emphasize again that it is one of the most depressing places I have ever worked. More three fourth of the 250 employees here genuinely hate it for all the reasons I mentioned and maybe more.



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