MSCI Reviews

Updated June 8, 2015
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2.5
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MSCI President, CEO, and Director Henry A. Fernandez
Henry A. Fernandez
12 Ratings

Pros
  • Great work-life balance - all-nighters are uncommon; (in 24 reviews)

  • Some very smart people at the top of their games doing some great work (in 16 reviews)

Cons
  • Very-very weak middle and senior management (in 16 reviews)

  • Aggressive offshoring to emerging market cost cutting strategies with no evaluation in its effectiveness (in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

36 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Great and growing company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Financial Software Engineer in New York, NY

    I worked at MSCI full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Working with a global team.
    Good benefits.

    Cons

    Lack of internal career mobility.


  2. Helpful (1)

    MSCI

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

    I have been working at MSCI

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

    Pros

    good work life balance
    people are friendly, flat structure

    Cons

    Very poor
    comp
    Terrible managers
    Too lean
    CEO is not respected/not a good leader


  3. Helpful (1)

    Worked as VP in the firm

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

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

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

    Pros

    Process driven company, strictly managed, solid index business

    Cons

    Way too much outsourcing to overseas, high tension in the firm, poor management on the analytics business lines.

    Advice to Management

    Less outsourcing, value the employees, give the life back to the employees


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  5. Too much politics

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

    I have been working at MSCI

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Smart and hard working employees,

    Cons

    politically motivated management. Condescending supervisors

    Advice to Management

    Rid itself of inside politics


  6. Helpful (4)

    Don't work here

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

    I worked at MSCI full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Decent salary, bonus and benefits

    Cons

    Lousy management team, cheap, unproductive work space, smart people who should stick to their jobs and remember they are not qualified to tell other people how to do their jobs.

    Advice to Management

    The CEO should clean house -- starting with his direct reports.


  7. Opportunity to work with knowledgeable people in a fast paced environment, but at a cost.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I worked at MSCI full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    There exists the ability to grow your role within the firm. Managers within the firm recognize talent and people who think outside the box, and have the patience to teach and train which opens the door to greater responsibilities and promotion along with comparable compensation.

    Cons

    High pressure and demanding environment that can erode a good work-life balance, also, upper management with a keen eye to the bottom line looks to transfer what jobs they can to less expensive markets overseas.
    At times management does not examine thoroughly long term effect with respect to some of the decisions that are made including those in personnel. A more reactive than proactive environment is often the case here.

    Advice to Management

    More thoroughly evaluate choices about staffing changes with respect to how it will effect the company long term, especially when integrating acquisitions. Knowledge is a key component to success. If you remove people with great knowledge of process and products, overtime erosion will occur in performance and quality. My advice is be proactive rather than reactive. Take more time to review before making choices.


  8. Working for RiskMetrics was one of the best employment experiences of my career.

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

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

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

    Pros

    RiskMetrics had a culture that promoted and rewarded competence, and strong hiring practices that ensured you would be working alongside people who were good at what they did. Senior management promoted an egalitarian culture that is uncommon in the finance industry, and put real effort into making everyone feel valued. Risk-taking was encouraged, and failure was generally seen as a learning experience that wouldn't necessarily cost anyone their job or seriously damage their career. The best part for me was being surrounded by smart colleagues who were strongly committed, challenged me and helped me raise my game, no matter what the context. It wasn't always fun, but it was always worth the effort.

    Cons

    RiskMetrics was never a very large company in terms of headcount, job turnover was relatively low for the industry, and opportunities for advancement were consequently few. Management structures were reorganized frequently, but never to very great effect. Sometimes it seemed like they were just reshuffling chairs. There was a core group of people with a lot of equity who were effectively a protected class, and over the years a few of them were warehoused in ineffective roles just to keep them around. There was a lot of gossip and back-biting, which could sometimes amount to a meaningful distraction.

    Advice to Management

    I still consider Ethan Berman the smartest and most effective senior executive I've ever worked for. He cared about every employee of the firm, and demonstrated it by his actions in matters large and small. He treated everyone with respect and integrity, made sure that the overall mission of the firm was clearly communicated, and that everyone understood how their role fit into that mission. Moreover, he made sure that everyone shared in the firm's financial success at least to some extent, so that every employee felt that they had some skin in the game. I wish more companies were like RiskMetrics in that respect, and that more CEOs were like Ethan.


  9. Helpful (3)

    Greed yand hectic culture

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

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

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

    Pros

    Some smart people around.
    Competitors aren't much better.
    Dynamic culture. Lots of aggressive managers, male and female.
    It's like Wall Street without the big bonuses

    Cons

    Too much greed. Comp doesn't reward hard work nor results. Or is it only top management who gets well paid?
    Career upside is only for sales people
    Hectic. TOO MUCH politics.

    Advice to Management

    Stock price isn't a culture.


  10. MSCI Killed the RMG Star

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

    I have been working at MSCI full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Riskmetrics was a start-up inhabiting the body of a publicly traded financial firm. It was a magnet for people who loved finance but weren't big fans of Wall Street's cultural rot. Working there was a privilege.

    Cons

    - Compensation was not good, and they often renegged on compensation promises.
    - MSCI snuffed out many of the best aspects of the culture when they made the acquisition. It became less innovative, and people who were once empowered entrepreneurs were turned into drones.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your people, don't just enrich yourselves from their efforts.


  11. Good company, weird culture, YMMV

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

    I have been working at MSCI full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    some interesting work being done, flexible work schedule, low stress

    Cons

    weird culture because of many acquisitions, terrible computing infrastructure, business is facing tough competition, internal politics is huge and firm really needs to be structured to align different business groups.

    Advice to Management

    my managers are pretty good for the most part. by your mileage may wary since there are some bad managers that i have heard about



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