FINRA Reviews

Updated July 2, 2015
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2.5
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FINRA Chairman & CEO Richard G. Ketchum
Richard G. Ketchum
32 Ratings

Pros
  • work life balance is great as well (in 32 reviews)

  • Good opportunity for growth, great benefits, decent pay, great opportunity to interact with other regulators (in 18 reviews)

Cons
  • The organization moves at a snails pace and so does your opportunity for advancement (in 9 reviews)

  • Lower pay than others in the industry but great benefits and work/life balance (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

68 Employee Reviews

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  1. You get what you put in.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    FINRA Technology Rocks - in general. There are ample opportunities to be creative and make a contribution to the FINRA mission through technology. FINRA chugs > 50 billion transactions per day and assembles a wide variety of data in support its regulatory obligations. That comes with many interesting technical and data challenges waiting for smart people to solve. If you have what it takes, then you can go far here. There is no shortage of challenging projects, only a shortage of truly talented people.

    So what does it take? Initiative, outside the box thinking, willing to go outside your comfort zone, common sense, and a collaborative work ethic. Someone who is willing to step out, and maybe step on a few toes in the process, will find this to be an invigorating place to work. Put in the energy, then it will likely pay off. If you don't put in the effort and just do your 9-5 thing, you won't get much out of FINRA other than a pay check.

    Benefits are good. 401k, healthcare, etc are as good or better than any company I've worked for. Annual bonus is icing on the cake. The pension plan is the cherry on top. Additionally, FINRA technology offers plenty of opportunities to learn new technologies. They will pay for conferences and training, tech teams offer brown bag sessions, technology days, and open collaborative wikis for technology sharing. Work schedule is flexible. Lot's of people trying to do the right thing.

    Cons

    FINRA faces many of the same organizational challenges as other large companies. It is a bureaucracy, hindered by old culture, government oversight, and the good old boy's network. This is orthogonal to the goals of an agile technology company.

    Advice to Management

    Read up on how other large silicon valley tech companies run their organizations and do the same. FINRA needs a flatter organization that empowers more people.


  2. Data Developer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD

    I have been working at FINRA

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible work environment and good full time benefits

    Cons

    Process oriented company making it difficult at times to get small things done


  3. Comfortable but dull

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great work life balance. Management was very supportive, helped me whenever I needed anything. Everyone there was friendly and relatively easy to work with. It was generally a low pressure environment; if you were smart and didn't surf the internet all day you would do fine. Also the salary was pretty good for me, since I was only a few years out of college.

    Cons

    Very bureaucratic, they reward loyalty much more than performance. Your best (or really only) opportunity to move into upper management was if your manager got promoted or left. Some people were able to transfer to other groups, but that's the rule rather than the exception. The work itself was relatively boring. You enforce esoteric rules and write pretty boring memos. Most of the smartest people ended up leaving after a year or two to do something more interesting.

    Advice to Management

    Be more receptive to new ideas. Maybe create a better career track for high performers so there's an incentive to stay.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Software Development Lead

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Development Lead in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Software Development Lead in Rockville, MD

    I have been working at FINRA full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Money is good. Salaries are competitive and bonuses are nice. Very hard to get fired.

    Cons

    Too much politics, especially at the senior management level. No manager would fire those who aren't doing their jobs. It's very demoralizing when you work really hard while some of your coworkers just goof off.

    Advice to Management

    Uphold high standards for employees. Hold them accountable and fire those that just aren't qualified to do their jobs or just aren't motivated.


  6. Helpful (2)

    Greta manager, overburdenned by lack of resources and a very "old boy" type of network; Glass ceiling is inherent

    Current Employee - Research Analyst - Fixed Income (Market Regulation) in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Research Analyst - Fixed Income (Market Regulation) in Rockville, MD

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

    Pros

    Good people, many opportunities to attend training seminars, in-house cafeteria, easy interview.

    Cons

    The market regulation department is inherently messed up. The "old boys club" , including two heads of research within the Fixed Income Market Regulation team are not willing to adapt to today's changing social landscape.

    Advice to Management

    Your department will continue to be a revolving door unless you become more humane and less focused on micromanagement stats because you're too busy setting up Golf Tournaments with your buddies.


  7. Helpful (3)

    Lack of leadership!!!!!!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Firewall/Network Engineer in Rockville, MD
    Former Employee - Firewall/Network Engineer in Rockville, MD

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great pay and excellent benefits which get A grade treatment at doctor, dentist and vision.

    Cons

    Micro-management manager. No room for advancement. Whatever told by manager during the interview about opportunity within the group was lied. It is because the manager will learn first (any new technologies) and expect you to be expert immediately after explains/demos to the team during the meeting. The manager makes the group so segment that only limited engineers have certain access based on the function the manager wants you to be. The manager INCHARGE of every single project with no delegation and you work like puppet to follow the orders. Even the manager always says "welcome" suggestion, the manager will not accept any alternate unless come from the manager.

    I seriously do not recommend anyone in this group unless you really running out of option.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Senior Developer

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

    I have been working at FINRA full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Stable Job, work life balance (tends to be reducing now) . Good compensation and benefits.

    Cons

    0 prospects for career growth . The managers and directors don't give an opportunity for subordinates to grow . The people who interact directly with decision makers for promotion get promoted . The manager would not give his subordinates an opportunity that could result in a promotion , He will take on all the higher visibility projects by himself which ultimately leads to rating numbers that get him promoted . His subordinates get stuck where they were when they started. If you decide to stick with the organization you may end up retiring where you started. They recently introduced "open workspace arrangement"resulting in very ugly looking work env. You get to sit on an open floor with desk just large enough to fit 2 monitors no room to put your laptop . This has resulted in less communication and lower morale amongst employees . The team members call in sick more frequently as they pass on the cold or flu virus form folks sitting close to each other, A survey showed big dissatisfaction rate amongst employees due to growth opportunities . I am sure the workspace rearrangement leading to seating arrangement with higher density will lead to even more dissatisfaction amongst workers. Not a very fun place to work. The work env is not very exciting .

    Advice to Management

    Please try to implement fair job promotion policies for employees at lower level too and please try to reevaluate the new workspace design model. I am sure you may save costs in short run but may prove costly in longer run


  9. Analyst

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD

    I have been working at FINRA full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    I really like my colleagues. The rank and file co-workers are great, unlike management.

    Cons

    No job growth. Mangers actively prevent movement. You are not chosen on merit, but on whether your current managers gives you a good enough recommendation to your potential hiring manager. That's usually saved for a relative or someone else that's connected.


  10. Helpful (5)

    If you really believe in investor protection and market integrity, go work somewhere else.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Regulatory Staff in Rockville, MD
    Former Employee - Regulatory Staff in Rockville, MD

    I worked at FINRA full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    It's a job.
    You get paid.
    Benefits are generally good.
    That's about all I can honestly say about this place.

    Cons

    Managers care more about finding/manufacturing and documenting "bad performance," rather than valuing staff expertise.
    Diversity? What diversity? They only want people who think just like their inept managers, who know nothing about the securities industry they are charged with regulating.

    Advice to Management

    To those at the top, wake up and open your eyes. Nobody wants to work here for long, once they figure out that you don't really care about them, or about the "mission." All you care about is collecting your fat compensation packages and making sure nobody else can advance into your ranks. Pretty soon, the only ones in your private country club will be yourselves. The staff you are hiring are incompetent to do the work, and someday very soon "Main Street" will see you for the ineffective regulators you really are.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Change is still needed

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - QA Tester in Rockville, MD
    Former Employee - QA Tester in Rockville, MD

    I worked at FINRA

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    If you're looking for 9-5 job with benefits, but with little room for overall improvement - this is for you.

    Cons

    Little drive for self- improvement. Software meets bureaucracy

    Advice to Management

    More focus on quality - not just metrics



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