Freddie Mac Reviews

Updated September 12, 2014
Updated September 12, 2014
351 Reviews
3.3
351 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Freddie Mac CEO Donald H. Layton
Donald H. Layton
92 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Freddie continues to offer a favorable work/life balance environment (in 55 reviews)

  • Great benefits but work-life balance depends on the area you work in (in 30 reviews)


Cons
  • Company is currently under conservatorship and company future is uncertain (in 12 reviews)

  • Senior management is always changing and the room for growth seems to be diminishing (in 22 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Exceptional

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

    I worked at Freddie Mac full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The people are great, caring, committed, intelligent, and dedicated to the company and to its' success.

    Cons

    Culture is changing...too many executive management changes. Six different CEOs in the past 8 years, all with different objectives and direction for the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take care of the people that have taken care of and have helped to build the company. Show more respect and consideration for your employees, others will see this and it will have a wide-spread positive effect.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Not bad company to work for, environment can be challenging, but there are enough challenges for smart people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Financial Controller Director  in  McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Financial Controller Director in McLean, VA

    I have been working at Freddie Mac full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The company is relatively stable, it has a good mission, there are smart people if you are lucky enough to work with them, large scale operations, decent benefits.

    Cons

    The future of the company is uncertain, senior management keeps changing and hence the direction keeps changing, however the current management is pretty good.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create opportunities even in the midst of cost cutting.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    It used to be a very good place to work

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

    I have been working at Freddie Mac full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Smart and friendly people, good work/life balance

    Cons

    Reorganization does not make sense

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    A wonder wasteland

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT Director  in  McLean, VA
    Current Employee - IT Director in McLean, VA

    I have been working at Freddie Mac full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Niche business model - a duopoly run by two most in-efficient companies in US. Nice and smart folks at lower to mid-level. Flexible work arrangement (although this is driven more to save the real-estate cost) and a small gym (although it is not promoted by management). Also happens to be one of the largest employer in the area.

    Cons

    The place is marred with ineffective management - the place is known for large and ineffective meetings leading to another such meetings without any decision, leaders change their mind in every meeting and the teams keep succumbing to their whims by changing the style and graphics of the powerpoints. Many leaders have hired consulting teams to just make the presentations and a handsome speaker with nicer slides equates to the best idea in the room. There are about 200 VPs for less than 5000 employees and the lust for kingdom and fiefdom creates hierarchy that is rampant with sycophancy and thus the talent sulks. It is not the work but how one moves the parts is the theme. Most of the projects are inflated by at least 1000% and take longer and longer to execute. Managers of failed projects get promoted while the ones who took risk and innovated get bypassed. Unable to attract talent from outside, it has to hire lame people at a better position at the cost of further demoralizing the workforce. Management speaks a lot but just can not communicate. The CEO keeps showing the distaste for consultants but why is it not translating to his subordinate?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1. try to relate to people in your team
    2. say hi or hello when you see a team member
    3. try to use his/her name while wishing. If you can not remember the name then please let that person go of your team. As an exercise try to remember the name of each person in your team. (above plan: also recollect the role, stretch: try to remember when you were nice to him/her)
    4. destruct the layers - at least 60% of VPs/Directors can be let go in order to improve the effectiveness of execution and morale of worker bees.
    5. Stop the training for management - training can not change a donkey to a tiger, just let them go.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Correcting review "All about saving money ..."

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Director  in  McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Director in McLean, VA

    I have been working at Freddie Mac full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The company still provides matching contributions to the 401(k) plan -- up to 6% of comp, subject to IRS limits. They provide a temporary contribution to offset the termination of the pension plan (but it's not nearly high enough to make up for the loss of future years of service under the pension plan). Senior management's comp is governed by law and the FHFA -- they are not "fatcat executives" -- at least not when compared to executives at financial institutions that are not in conservatorship.

    Cons

    In the past few years, Freddie Mac has cut employees and benefits. They terminated the pension plan. They reduced the severance plan. Yes, they got rid of free soda. Compensation is stagnant (raises of 1% - 2% per year). They eliminated matching contributions for employee's charitable contributions. They have increased the employee's share of the cost of health insurance premiums. Notwithstanding their promotion of flexible work arrangements, many managers frown upon the practice. They have revised the compensation system to favor "above plan" employees to the detrimiment of "on plan" and "below plan" employees and, at the same time, they have instituted an employee performance system that forces managers to rate 10% of employees as "below plan." Consequently, some "on plan" employees will be rated "below plan" and will received reduced compensation without any justification for such a rating or reduction. Given this recent experience, I would expect comp and benefits to be further reduced in the future.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Despite wanting to be a "great" company, senior executives manage towards mediocrity when it comes to compensation and benefits. If the company wants to be like Google, it needs to provide comp and benefits like Google, not the "midpoint of the comparator group of similar financial services companies" (HR double speak) that they always say they look at when determining comp and benefits.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    All about saving money to overpay fatcat executives

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Analyst Professional  in  McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Business Analyst Professional in McLean, VA

    I have been working at Freddie Mac full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The employees up to middle management are wonderful. Lots of knowledge and opportunity to work with decent, hardworking employees. There are very nice cafeterias and workout rooms. Good training opportunities as well.

    Cons

    The company seems focused on pinching pennies at the expense of morale, corporate character and perception of equal treatment. The retirement benefit is gone. Freddie Mac doesn't contribute or allow employees to contribute to a savings plan. The fact that our employer no longer wants to invest in our future is depressing. The fact that we cannot even maintain a plan on our own is discouraging. Freddie has more than repaid the government bailout. We are now pumping money in to the government, doing very well and the company no longer cares about the financial futures of their employees. In addition to not offering a savings plan, Freddie has removed the Soda dispensers from all employee break areas. Freddie offered free fountain sodas to their employees. For soda-drinkers, this was a big deal. Saved a lot of money and helped to make your day a little brighter. After 20 years, Freddie pulled the Soda dispensers for "health reasons". Now we have to get water from the tap. And sodas now cost almost $2 in the cafeteria. So it wasn't enough to stop contributing to our retirement, they also want us to spend more money at their store! Oh and the constant layoffs are also hard on the troops.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember to look down and try to relate to everyone in your department.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    CEOs come and go!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Accountant  in  McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Accountant in McLean, VA

    I worked at Freddie Mac full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Good pay, but have to be lucky to work in a department that has reasonable hours.
    The benefits are okay, although it has been reduced in the last year or so.
    Have many employees that have a lot of experience and knowledge about the industry and the legacy systems.
    Mostly good people that work well with others.

    Cons

    Too many changes in the top management. Each CEO brings his own style of management and they all want to reorganize the divisions/departments because they claim to understand things better than the previous administration!!
    The latest CEO seems to suggest that there are a lot of underperformers in the company, so there is a push for management to be tougher on their staff. Good managers play it fair and push back some, but many feel powerless and do what they are asked to do regardless if it is the right thing to do or not!! Sorry, but CEOs come and go, but the effect they have on the company and the employees can last several years. The company hires experienced executives and managers, but in some cases they are not good leaders because they can't manage people well!!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Management brings its helicopter parent pathology to the workplace. Expect micromanagement and little authority.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director  in  McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Director in McLean, VA

    I have been working at Freddie Mac full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Employees are smart, nice and now the mortgage market and industry. The company provides a good work/life balance and allows remote working. Take advantage of the numerous training opportunities - it's a great company to learn your skills before going in the private sector.

    Cons

    Consensus driven decision making and bureaucracy make for a frustrating work environment. Uncertainty regarding the companies future, numerous reorganizations and strategy shifts results in poor employee morale. Prepare to be micromanaged by frustrated empty nested parents.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop the endless meetings. Stop talking and empower the employees to act. Work to transform the passive aggressive culture to more open and positive work environment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  10.  

    Good work life balance, culture, and upward mobility

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Production Associate  in  Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Production Associate in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Freddie Mac full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good workplace culture, support system, potential for promotions and recognition.

    Cons

    Compensation is below market due to conservatorship. High turnover rate

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Great company mission

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

    I worked at Freddie Mac full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    The people are generally smart and driven; Benefits are competitive to the market, Internal training opportunities are expansive, great support for obtaining professional certifications

    Cons

    Restructuring cycle every 3 or 4 years with shifts in the senior leadership; a mix of new leaders have come from other firms and are working to get aligned

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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