MSCI
3.0 of 5 175 reviews
www.msci.com New York, NY 1000 to 5000 Employees

MSCI Reviews in Berkeley, CA

MSCI – UK – “A RiskMetrics legacy!”

All Employees Current Employees Only

2.6 18 reviews

                             

43% Approve of the CEO

MSCI President, CEO, and Director Henry A. Fernandez

Henry A. Fernandez

(7 ratings)

25% of employees recommend this company to a friend
18 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

1 person found this helpful  

Smart people, innovative products, dedicated client service, poor work culture

Vice President (Current Employee)
Berkeley, CA

I have been working at MSCI full-time for more than 3 years

ProsIndependent work, diverse, highly motivated and creative people, a long career for top talent. Good vacation and holiday time. Really values clients.

Cons24-7 weeks, little respect for personal time because you need to be available across global teams during your day and theirs. Can be very political internally.

Advice to Senior ManagementPay attention to your employees as people, show a human side.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Disapproves of CEO

1 person found this helpful  

OK, if you can check your personal life and sense of decency at the door.

Senior Associate (Former Employee)
Berkeley, CA

I worked at MSCI full-time for more than a year

ProsGood compensation and benefits. Very interesting domain, at the intersection of finance, analytics, software, and data. Opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in the finance industry.

ConsFairly toxic work environment, unless you appreciate a culture of stepping on those beneath you and sucking up to those above you. CEO has anger management issues (in fairness, it may be a Wall Street thing) which sets the tone for other senior executives.

Advice to Senior ManagementWhile I'm pretty sure that upper management has little interest in advice from former employees, I'd suggest viewing employees as valuable, intelligent assets to the company rather than interchangeable and outsourceable resources. Or not. They seem to enjoy the way things are...

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • No Opinion of CEO

1 person found this helpful  

Uncertain future for US offices

Vice President (Current Employee)
Berkeley, CA

I have been working at MSCI full-time

Pros- Capable, smart, driven, and nice people
- At times can contribute to cutting edge research
- Good benefits

Cons- The firm has been outsourcing jobs and so the future US positions is uncertain.
- Salaries have been stale in the US offices for years.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

 

worthwhile

Vice President (Current Employee)
Berkeley, CA

I have been working at MSCI full-time for more than 3 years

Prosinteresting domain, friendly people, lose structure allowing you to take things in your hands, if you have initiative and proved yourself you can easily pick up new tasks and grow,
fresh wave of energized executives from GS pushing for improvement and changes in personnel

Consbit too much chaos, projects dispersed around the globe demanding 24h availability for meetings,
lost a lot of experienced key employees, and left with either too junior, or too senior ones which do not know what to do.

Advice to Senior Managementif you want to work globally you must plan globally. Keep replacing stagnant/useless executives.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

 

A good company to work for.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Berkeley, CA

I have been working at MSCI

ProsMSCI is a leader in the risk management and index business.
The company has been growing steadily via strategic acquisitions.
Management is very approachable and open.
Benefits are attractive.

ConsThere is limited potential for professional growth and there are not that many perks for employees. Also, the tendency is to lead people into becoming very specialized in a specific area, to the point where certain groups seem isolated form the rest of the business units.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • No Opinion of CEO

1 person found this helpful  

Hectic but rewarding

Senior Associate (Former Employee)
Berkeley, CA

I worked at MSCI

ProsChallenging job and worked with a group of very smart individuals. Company planned some fun team building events such as "Fun Day" and "Friday drinks"

ConsUpper management can be a bit tricky and people are overworked. Too many things going on and not enough resources.

Advice to Senior ManagementTry to make sure you have appropriate resources in order to complete the jobs without rushing them out the door.

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Disapproves of CEO

6 people found this helpful  

Unhealthy environment altogether

Senior Associate (Former Employee)
Berkeley, CA

I worked at MSCI

Pros- Wages above average, if you don’t count the 30+% overtime you will be asked to put on it
- Decent year-end bonuses
- Offices are usually in prime locations in the financial capitals (although relocation and travels are discouraged)
- Attractive health care coverage, average 401k retirement plan
- Established reputation among customers
- Respected research team, especially in Berkeley and Geneva

Cons- Lengthy interview/hiring process; this will mislead you thinking they know what they are looking for: quite the opposite
- MSCI is a software and service company that heavily rely on engineering, although it is very difficult for an engineer to have a voice heard at strategic level in order to contribute to the execution strategy of what designed and planned
- MSCI is unable to retain talents they so carefully selected from the market. They say they only retain the best, more often they only retain who can’t have chances elsewhere
- The company is in constant turmoil struggling to keep up with the CEO’s aggressive growth strategy based on merger and acquisitions. This reflects badly on the human capital causing high turnover rate affecting overall operations, customer service, product development, ultimately affecting competitiveness on the market
- Management is largely inadequate and ineffective: senior managers (mostly Morgan Stanley dropouts) seem busy on keeping the status-quo while trying to land safely to hefty
retirements; junior management is, on the other hand, highly unfit, under trained and in many cases sycophant (ie "yes-man") while facing their boss and arrogant while facing reports
- The company shows incapable of elaborating and promoting a single culture throughout the global locations; this causes frustration and sense of exclusion on the many and lets
some overly zealous managers assuming tremendous decisional power without the necessary checks and balance mechanisms.
- The company is missing a global strategy for the Human Resources:
a) Training is reduced to the minimum required by regulations
b) Training for skill improvement is largely unfunded as budget for training is either minimal or non-existent
c) Managers completely lack the role of career mentor for their direct resources with the result that people feel “stuck” in a position without possibility of moving on to another functions
  As a result people burn-out and quickly move on to another companies when they can.

- Politics, rivalry and “prima donna” attitude common on some “empowered” managers (London office), are festering the company feeding anger, frustration and setting teams and offices against
each other.
- Top managers and officials are too distant from the life of the company as if they don't want to be bothered , and mid-level managers inadequately deals with the reports in a sort of antagonist (as opposed to a collaborative) way
- Managers fail to help and empower associates in doing their job: micro-managing and lack of delegation contribute to quick people’s burn-out.

Advice to Senior ManagementThe integration process with Riskmetrics and more recent acquisitions is showing by far more challenging than just consolidating office space and network links.
The integration of products is lagging and your promise of saving $50M in 2 years (2010-2012) in operational costs does not appear in the right course.

Clearly the strategy of the integration process is not executed well; sadly your inner circle of Morgan Stanley expatriates managed to cash in a hefty reward for a task having still uncertain outcomes.

It is time for you to reconsider the work of your COO since front and back office operations have been clearly under-achieving in spite of the many HR directors, product managers, and IT directors rotated in the last few years.

Others need to be held accountable (including the so called engineering team in Hungary) for badly copying and poorly implementing the Morgan Stanley IT model at MSCI (one size
does not fit all).

Give a clear signal of renovation to the market and sever your long-time ties with Morgan Stanley and your cronies: they are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

It’s time to slim down the management, you owe it to your investors other than to the people of MSCI; even Morgan Stanley will appreciate that.

You can’t keep MSCI’s balance sheet shining just with financial tricks and M&A’s; this will only buy so much time if you don’t start working on the consolidation and evolution of your products.

Recent FY10 filings show MSCI is less competitive Revs per employee vise (-35% of Operational Revs/employee, FY10/FY09, and -40% of Operational Income/employee, FY10/FY09: sluggish revenues over a ballooning headcount) and it is in way more debts then it was right after the initial IPO.
How are you going to address this?

How far you think you can go before the market comes back and gets you if you don’t start working on the real asset of your company: your people.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         

2 people found this helpful  

A lot of politics as the Barra side is not growing and keep losing clients

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Berkeley, CA

I worked at MSCI

ProsIt still have a reputation in the industry, a well-known firm

Consno career growth opportunity in the company

Advice to Senior ManagementFocus on revenue and growth, but not personal agenda

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         

1 person found this helpful  

It was one of the largest disappointments ever.

Senior Associate (Former Employee)
Berkeley, CA

I worked at MSCI

ProsSalary and benefits package were pretty good. Co-workers were very helpful and liked to share knowledge.

ConsMiddle to senior management left so much to be desired. Friends were promoted or favorites, instead of those actually working. Often times, junior members on the team were left on their own to figure out things instead of getting explanation or guidance from more senior members.

Advice to Senior ManagementI noticed most of the senior management that was in place when I worked there have left. Their job titles and apparent roles had changed quite a bit. I would advise the current management to value their employees and listen to their ideas.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         

3 people found this helpful  

Has Problems Keeping the Good, Eventually will downsize the Bad, expect the Ugly.

Analyst (Former Employee)
Berkeley, CA

I worked at MSCI

ProsAccess to Franchise Risk Models and Software used professionaly in Asset management..
Collegiate environement.
Develop knowledge of requirements for supporting Financial Quant Research.
Starting Entry level salary good with decent benefit package.
It had franchise value on the resume but not so much anymore.

ConsHigh Turnover rate due to
  Failure to promote.
  Top Performers rarely compenstated.
  Wallstreet Hours for non-wallstreet pay.

Inept Middle/Senior Management rarely fired and rewarded only for cost cutting rather than productivity improvement

Lack of Job Security given Mgmt pursuing cost-cutting outsource strategy.

Cultural difference stemming from MSCI buyout of Barra. Led to a mass exodus of people in Berkeley to other firms. The brain drain didn't help much in terms of morale.

Can't imagine what the RiskMetrics Buyout will be like.

There is only one Aegis.

Advice to Senior ManagementCreate a strategy to retain junior/entry level employees via Career Ladders or better compensation arrangements.
Possibly create a rotational program for entry level canditaes

Save money by laying off Senior Managers who don't understand the infrastructure and its requirements rather than Outsourcing.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review
RSS Feed Embed

Worked for MSCI? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.

Glassdoor is your free inside look at MSCI reviews and ratings in Berkeley, CA — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for MSCI CEO Henry A. Fernandez. All 18 reviews posted anonymously by MSCI employees.