Promontory Financial Group

www.promontory.com
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Promontory Financial Group Reviews

Updated February 27, 2015
Updated February 27, 2015
30 Reviews
3.7
30 Reviews
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Promontory Financial Group Founder and Chief Executive Eugene Ludwig
Eugene Ludwig
22 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    I accepted a one-year long contract position with the flexibility to not accept a project based on my preference.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Special Consultant
    Current Contractor - Special Consultant

    I have been working at Promontory Financial Group as a contractor

    Pros

    Niche consulting but not boutique; very strong presence in the industry/immediate brand-name recognition; power players and top performers in financial services advisory with immense knowledge willing to mentor as much as possible; good compensation offered and flexibility to work remotely so do not have to relocate but may be necessary at a later point; growth potential and learning and development opportunities are definitely present

    Cons

    None; I wish I had known about the special consultant program given the advertisement stated full-time positions but being able to be paid overtime after 40 hours is very attractive.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Golden Parachute for Old Regulators

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

    I worked at Promontory Financial Group full-time

    Pros

    -Salary/bonus and benefits are top of class (though heard these are in decline)
    -Travel to interesting places (NYC, LA, usually large financial centers, sometimes abroad). Unlike many consulting firms, you don't go to the middle of nowhere (mostly).
    -High Impact work with hours that are acceptable - sometimes can get a bit long (70-80 hours), but most projects about the 50 hours range and when it's slow you can even work remotely when you like. DC office is very relaxed.
    -Smart co-workers who often have interesting experience - typically government, some top law firms. Some of the MDs have very impressive resumes (though whether this translates to business acumen is another story). A lot of the people are really nice and do care about public service. It's a collaborative atmosphere.
    -Exit opps in the industry are great - many people get poached by rival firms or clients, and often at higher levels and great pay. If you want to stay in the financial regulation space then everything is open to you.

    Cons

    -As noted below, most administrative functions are a disaster. HR is clueless and so is resource management, so staffing is random and often hectic. The major Managing Directors (MDs) basically run their own shops within PFG and have complete control, which is good if you work for one you like and awful if you have a rough one.
    -Management is typically from government or law, so they often have no clue how to run a business. Some are inept while others are extremely self-absorbed. Some of the high ups in DC are notorious for their poor people skills.
    -No long term development path for younger staff. As the title notes, PFG is basically a golden parachute for old regulators who put in the time at SEC/Fed/Treasury/etc and got into the "Friends of Gene" (the CEO) club. The "training" is haphazard and a bit of a joke, and you can expect promotions to be completely arbitrary and not at all correlated to actual ability. The Denver office is infamous for basically being a dead-end analyst sweatshop.
    -Basically, your success at the firm comes down to how well connected you are. If your dad is on the board at Citi, congrats, you're headed to the top. If you've worked in regulatory work/financial services 10+ years, this place is your cushy landing pad before the next opp/retirement. If you're a recent college grad, work here two years and if the MD loves you, stick around for the pay, but don't be surprised if you randomly get axed anyway.
    -Projects tend to be repetitive - i.e., once you've worked on one AML project, you will get staffed on those until you leave or you make a lot of noise.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Develop a functional HR (i.e. replace the current staff), better resource management/staffing (especially if billable rates are going to be a big factor in reviews), do more to show appreciation for younger staff, management training for higher-ups. More review over the powerful MDs, who often abuse staff (i.e. requiring 5 day travel weeks on all projects).

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    General

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

    I have been working at Promontory Financial Group

    Pros

    Great salaries
    Great Benefits
    great team
    Great career opportunities
    Great locations

    Cons

    Not real cons to list

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  5.  

    PFG Staff are very knowledgeable and professional

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

    I worked at Promontory Financial Group

    Pros

    Salary, smart people in upper management, great CEO

    Cons

    Back-end regulatory work can be boring/monotonous after a while

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work more on developing a specific culture

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Not all that it seems

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

    I have been working at Promontory Financial Group full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    They pay well and sometimes more than their competitors to get people they really want. Beautiful office (DC) which museum quality art work. There are some very smart people that work at PFG and overall the majority of people that work there are friendly.

    Cons

    The culture (or lack of) is awful. They talk about culture but they don't live it. A lot of this stems from the mid-level leadership. The CAO manages by fear and is a gossip, she's been called by many as a "mean girl". Majority of experienced hired employees leave within 2-3 years due to misled promises in the interview, culture and lack of direction when it comes to managing engagements. Be sure to ask how you will be reviewed with regards to your chargeable hours. The internal controls are a bit of a mess. They outsource their benefits and payroll to Ambrose. There was an issue with the IRS due to time & expense issues. There is no real development training. The growth and development of entry level employees rely on the engagement, MD/Director they are assigned to. The CEO is an amazing person, however sometimes it feels like he collects big name hires the way he collects art. He doesn't seem to really have a feel about what's really going on in the office. PFG is a big company and yet it runs like a mom & pop shop. When he's gone, who will take his place. The IFRs brought in a lot of money and people but the infrastructure was not and is still not up to speed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve communications, policies and procedures. Create 360 reviews for upper management. Employ more corporate, professional services employees to balance the high number of federal employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Summer Intern

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

    I worked at Promontory Financial Group as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Great coworkers, good pay, and lots of opportunities for interns to do client work.

    Cons

    Hours can be long, and managers are sometimes quite disorganized. The work seems pretty redundant; all projects I was exposed to were very similar.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Really great internship experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Intern - Intern in Washington, DC

    I worked at Promontory Financial Group as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Promontory pays very well. Coworkers were all very friendly. Lots of opportunities to learn about banking regulations and how consulting firms operate in general.

    Cons

    The hours were very long, especially if you are working on-site. The work can be very dull sometimes. Internship had a lot of travelling. Not many coworkers hang out outside of the office.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offer more training for new hires.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Amazing firm to learn from top people in the industry

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

    I worked at Promontory Financial Group full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Everyone is there to do the right thing
    - Amazing senior colleagues with wealth of knowledge and credibility
    - Given the nature of the work, exposure to senior management from the client side is great.

    Cons

    - Ambiguity is common among projects and BD work--sometimes inevitable given the topic may be new; one has to strive to get clarification or ensure the team has a set goal
    - The firm is focused on the substance delivered to clients so at times form may not be the best which unfortunately is what clients look at. PFG needs to hire more graphics professionals to help the professionals present info.
    - Harder for mid-level/younger professionals to develop a career path in this firm.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Just one year in...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Systems Administrative in Washington, DC
    Former Contractor - Systems Administrative in Washington, DC

    I worked at Promontory Financial Group as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    -Low stress, easy going team members
    -Great team, teamwork, employees get along well and are all on the same page (Technology side)
    -Decent work life balance
    -Flexible with hours

    Cons

    -Management: poor decisions, very stubborn, very passive aggressive
    -Obvious favoritism (even when you're the one being favored)
    -The employees do not come first.
    -Contractors get treated like the help.
    -Lack of training.
    -Promises made by management during interview and throughout employment, but never delivered.
    -Meaningless concern about appearance

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide both employees and contractors with equal opportunities for education & training if equal expectations of work performance and results are required

    Educate management on better employee relationship and treatment.

    Value your contractors.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Excellent Client Facing Reputation. Culture and leadership void.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Director in Washington, DC

    I worked at Promontory Financial Group full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Market leadership, high market demand, brand recognition.

    Cons

    No defined culture, vision/strategy and leadership.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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