Gerson Lehrman Group

www.glg.it

Gerson Lehrman Group Reviews

Updated January 25, 2015
Updated January 25, 2015
166 Reviews
3.4
166 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Gerson Lehrman Group President and CEO Alexander Saint-Amand
Alexander Saint-Amand
105 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work/life balance is overall very good for being involved with Wall St (in 18 reviews)

  • Very smart people from huge range of backgrounds (in 9 reviews)


Cons
  • The work life balance was seriously lacking (in 6 reviews)

  • HR and Senior Management are not emplyee friendly, high internal politics (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Best professional experience of my career

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I have been working at Gerson Lehrman Group full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    I have worked for GLG across multiple offices, business units and in a variety of roles and it has been the best professional experience of my career. I began as an entry-level employee and through a mixture of hard work, entrepreneurialism, intellectual curiosity, and a passion for the business I have risen to a more senior role and am the happiest I've ever been in my career. The caliber of GLG’s senior management team is in part what drew me to the company in the first place, and my continued confidence in them has inspired me to stay. GLG’s culture is undoubtedly results-oriented. Employees who perform are rewarded with advancement and compensation, as well as opportunities and responsibilities that would be difficult to find at many other employers. The people here who are most successful and happy are those who get excited by the opportunity to interact every day with the world’s smartest people, which include GLG’s Council Members and clients. If you are intimidated by those interactions, or view them as a chore, you will not be happy here. Those who demonstrate effort but are not good long-term fits for the company are treated thoughtfully and humanely, encouraged to find another career path, and often given help in finding other opportunities. The beautiful New York office and flexible work environment (activity based working and flexible leave policy) afford employees with an unusually progressive and civilized work environment. GLG’s management team makes no apologies for expecting excellence from its employees and generally holds themselves to the same high standards. When compared to other high-octane NYC career paths the hours are reasonable and GLG treats its employees like adults. Our CEO has taken a lot of heat on this website, and in my view much of it is unfair. As many have mentioned, Alexander is open and reflective about mistakes he has made, and has grown a lot in the past few years. At his core he is an intellectual with a burning passion for GLG’s mission to transform the market for teaching and learning. Some of Alexander’s critics on this website praise our senior management team but fail to acknowledge that Alexander selected them for their roles and continues to motivate and inspire them. Many at GLG appreciate the opportunity to learn from and be led by someone with deep experience in this business.

    Cons

    If you require a very structured work environment with significant daily guidance, you will likely not be successful at GLG. It is also a place where social animals tend to thrive.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Good place to start but…...

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

    I worked at Gerson Lehrman Group

    Pros

    The pros are that the job is not rocket science and they alway have good locations and amazing offices. You're typically going to find their office in the center of downtown in every major city in the US. Some people like working with a lot of young people and others don't. To me it can be a negative because you have so many young people holding manager positions that honestly don't know what they are truly doing.

    Cons

    My biggest problem with GLG is their recruiting process. They spend a ridiculous amount of money on recruiting. This is because the founders are pretentious Yale Law school graduates that believe you are nothing unless you have an outstanding education from a prestigious school. You wouldn't find someone working here with a state education. Just wouldn't happen. It honestly doesn't matter what you major in and you really don't have to be as smart as the schools as they're recruiting for. You just have to be able to work hard. I'm sorry but this is one of the most stuck up organizations I've been around. I read one review on here that said you are a call scheduler and thats pretty accurate. But once I got into work it was fine because the work was extremely easy. It would be really hard to mess this job up. But if you don't have a degree from a top tier university good luck. They will fly you all over the place for recruiting spending money that they shouldn't. They really want they're company to have different cultures. But the amount of money they put into recruiting is just ridiculous

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Good work experience means more than a fancy ivy league education with nothing on the resume

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Best Place I've Ever Worked

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

    I have been working at Gerson Lehrman Group full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Collegial work environment,;smart people who enjoy their work and share the credit; management supports professional growth; puts resources behind strong performers and business ideas; flexible attitude towards work-life balance; direct feedback and communication by managers (quarterly goals conversations); nice people; thriving business growth; constant innovation and creativity; constantly learning

    Cons

    I love working here and after 15 years of work experience, have nothing negative to say about this place, especially relative to other places I've worked; youthful culture which depending on your perspective can be a pro or a con; similarly, this is a people-business - if you don't enjoy meeting and talking with some of the most interesting people in the world, this job may not be for you. Need to be intellectually curious to succeed here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep it up! Particularly in the NAFS division, leaders are focused on creating engaging career paths, attracting and retaining the best talent, training & development and creating a culture of top-notch leadership and management. This is an incredibly fun place to work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great Lauchpad

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

    I have been working at Gerson Lehrman Group

    Pros

    Awesome place to start career and overall awesome people to work with. The culture is one of communal learning and getting your feet wet in the industry. Unbelievable exposure to the finance industry.

    Cons

    Pay disparity is wide between clients and employees. Still wide between employees. There are "limits" set on bonuses and salaries that are not at all tied to overall yearly performance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a page out of competitor's books when it comes to how to retain talent

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  6.  

    Extremely friendly staff and inclusive atmosphere.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in Austin, TX

    I worked at Gerson Lehrman Group

    Pros

    The team is everything. Weekly team lunches or other group activities.

    Cons

    The work is not mentally challenging.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Excellent Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Austin, TX

    I have been working at Gerson Lehrman Group full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    The pros are that the company is filled with bright and driven people, good corporate structure, and excellent training program. Overall it provides an exciting package that allows employees a lot of responsibility quickly.

    Cons

    One of the cons is that GLG has a rigorous work environment, they demand a lot of you because they give you a lot of responsibility.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide more advice regarding future options for moving up within the company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 7 people found this helpful  

    Only a launchpad with directionless leadership

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

    I have been working at Gerson Lehrman Group full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    People - I've ran into many intellectual, social individuals at this company. GLG hires very good personalities.
    Decent Health Insurance / mediocre 401k (3k match)

    Cons

    Management - So many young managers who have absolutely no idea on how to manage people. You have managers being 24-25 who are managing 3-4 people and they are absolutely clueless on what to do.

    Monotonous Work - Truly feels like a glorified call center. We schedule calls all day long, seriously this is actually a huge huge part of the job. You are constantly scheduling calls, figuring out what times work for 2 different parties, rescheduling when one fails to show up.

    Average Salary & Poor Bonus Structure - Salaries are average, decent for out of college, but nothing crazy 52-56k. The bonus structure is terrible though, great employees receive very similar bonus to poor/average employees. Your bonus is almost fixed depending on where you stand in the hierarchy (Manager, VP, SVP, etc). Seems most individuals receive the same bonus, despite some of them being completely undeserving.

    High Turnover - I think this is largely due to the fact that when interviewing they claim you are going to be a "Research Professional" and assist in Hedge Fund/Private Equity research. In reality you are just scheduling calls for the analysts at these Hedge Funds/Private Equity firms.

    Summation - Even if you do progress and move up throughout the company the role is very much the same. You are constantly at the mercy of Hedge Fund/Ibank/PE analysts who want to speak to industry experts on a certain topic. Thus you find them and arrange a call between the industry expert and HF/IBANK/PE analyst. Morale seems to be very low when people are honest. The business is also having extreme difficulties growing, not sure where the future lies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create a better work environment. Work is extremely repetitive and monotonous. Don't tell people they are going to be doing actually research with our investment analysts, this is a bold face lie.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 6 people found this helpful  

    Culture needs work

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

    I have been working at Gerson Lehrman Group full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Generally, compensation and benefits are good, although those on research have little opportunity to maximize earning if they are below the Vice President role. Bonuses are discretionary, and require political maneuvering. You'll work with incredibly well-educated and generally intelligent people. However, many of the best people will eventually move on.

    Cons

    GLG is really about discovering what lies beneath the facade of the new brand. You can build an new extremely expensive office, revamp the website, hire a PR team, but that doesn't change the incredibly troubling culture that exists at GLG, and that has existed for years. After all the efforts that management says it has made to tackle turnover, the simple truth is that GLG gained 300 employees last year while losing 200. People continue to leave and will continue to leave because they realize that their hard work will not be rewarded on its merits alone. So many mediocre managers and employees have been promoted or put on pedestals while so many hard working and smart employees have been punished for petty reasons. In my experience I've seen some incredible managers, and the culture in other offices is not as bad as it is at HQ, but I've also seen so many managers who have completely destroyed entire practice areas by their sheer lack of management experience or inability to work well with their teams. When an entire practice area virtually loses all of its non-associate employees, why keep the leader of the practice area?

    Beyond the culture and poor leadership, GLG needs to actually focus on what its trying to accomplish, and find solutions to problems. Countless initiatives, too many business units, and poor technology are just the major factors undermining the future success of GLG. The huge failure of GLG was to not invest in technology in the beginning, and GLG has been trying to repair that mistake for years. GLG has only had a CTO for a few years, and should invest in hiring more engineers than professional services employees. GLG seemed to be about streamlining and making finding expertise more efficient. But that has turned into a mission of professional development and learning. The latter requires far more manual work by employees and has turned employees into glorified assistants.

    I could not recommend a friend or family member join GLG. While I've worked with some incredible people and managers, I'd recommend to many of my colleagues that they move on and find a better opportunity.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    In the NAFS division, serious thought must be taken into replacing some of the top leadership, particularly the heads of research and sales. Culture starts at the top, and when your top leadership can't even keep their word on mission and path, how can you expect junior and mid-level employees to follow? Of course this leads to a discussion of the CEO, who also should be removed. The CEO exhibits little leadership qualities or clear goals. He is just coasting at this point.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    On GLG's CEO

    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Gerson Lehrman Group full-time

    Pros

    It’s not uncommon to find sharp critiques of GLG’s CEO Alexander Saint-Amand on Glassdoor and I thought I’d take a moment to share my own view of his executive acumen. I have worked at GLG for three quarters of my professional life, in three different roles and for two different business units. Hopefully that breadth of experience carries some weight as folks evaluating GLG for prospective employment think about its leadership.

    Leadership or lack thereof in a CEO can manifest in any number of forms but the good ones are true to themselves. Introverts who try and make themselves something they’re not by engaging employees often in an attempt to “rally the troops” can come off clumsy and disingenuous. Extraverts who are content to focus inward on strategy, operations, capital structure and capital allocation might demotivate employees by robbing them of the chance to hear from their company’s leader.

    Alexander has an introverted executive style. There's no question. Critics would be well-served to keep in mind, though, that a good leader does not try to be something he or she is not. Give me substance over style every day of the week.

    Detractors would also do well to remind themselves that whatever contribution they are making to GLG, Alexander has likely done it. He’s been a Research Manager, he’s programmed Live Meetings, he’s sold, he’s raised money, and he’s seen the company through boom times and through a recession of historic proportions. And just like every other GLG employee, he’s both succeeded and he’s failed. He’d be the first to admit as much. Go ahead and talk to him some time about HighTable, about veering away from a professional services culture and stressing a technology one, about over-investing in business units that ultimately held less promise than established ones. If you want to criticize him on the merits, he’d love to hear from you. Really.

    And finally, to his credit, he’s evolved. He’s no longer so introverted. He’ll talk to any employee about the strategic direction of the company, about the culture of curiosity and learning he wishes to foster, about past mistakes. I’ll concede that some of the critiques of Alexander’s style one can readily view on Glassdoor, at one time, may have carried some merit. But nearly all of them are now dated. Alexander is firing on all cylinders at the moment, communicating effectively and often with employees, and doing so with a great deal of conviction around a strategy whose early returns look excellent.

    Cons

    Just posting CEO commentary for now

    Approves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Building and flying the plane

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

    I have been working at Gerson Lehrman Group full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Brilliant colleagues in offices around the world who value the opportunity to support business leaders through every macro and micro challenge. Freedom to develop new approaches, test ideas, build and expand on a market-leading platform. The beauty of what GLG lies in the connections we form between people.
    More progressive employee policies (relaxed dress code, no max on vacation days, collaborative and open offices) have had a great impact on talent and recruiting.
    Direct access to very senior executives enables young talent to build very impressive professional networks.

    Cons

    Not suitable for someone looking for a highly structured, predictable corporate culture. Requires adaptability, autonomy, and a willingness to roll up sleeves to get things done. Air of secrecy among senior leadership creates unnecessary worry and stress.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increase transparency and interaction between senior leadership and employees. For a company of less than 1000 people, the mid-level and junior team members should have more exposure to the leadership. Also seek ways to lessen silos between business units.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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