RiskMetrics Reviews in New York City, NY

Updated May 25, 2014
Updated May 25, 2014
47 Reviews

3.6
47 Reviews
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Approve of CEO
RiskMetrics Chairman & CEO, MSCI Henry A. Fernandez
Henry A. Fernandez
2 Ratings

14 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

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

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

    I worked at RiskMetrics full-time for more than 5 years

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    MSCI Killed the RMG Star

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

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

    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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Good company, a real growth company in the old fashioned Wall Street world

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

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

    Pros

    Lots of young professionals, like a summer camp

    Cons

    Almost no cons, the growth of the company is under question right now.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    A place where you can find smart, driven and successful colleagues.

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

    I have been working at RiskMetrics

    Pros

    Hard working individuals supporting solid products. Competitive benefits and salaries offer great balance.

    Cons

    Hard work breeds long hours which makes work/life balance difficult to achieve.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    A solid place to work

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

    I worked at RiskMetrics

    Pros

    RiskMetrics had a great, laid-back culture, nice people and very good benefits. Compensation was fair compared to other companies, and management generally showed respect for workers. The company seemed to promote a very strong work-life balance.

    Cons

    While the people were very friendly, the culture was sometimes dry--mostly because a lot of people lacked social skills. While I think it was a good place to work, there seemed to be few opportunities for advancement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think management should work a bit more on continued training and development of current employees and also offer more opportunities to younger, less experienced workers.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    Acquisition by MSCI is a bid culture clash. It's much more rigid, less entrepreneurial, more bureaucratic and less fun

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

    I have been working at RiskMetrics

    Pros

    The people are extremely smart, dedicated, curious, and humble and relaxed. That is changing with MSCI merger, but that legacy won't die too easily.

    You are given the opportunity to run with your ideas.

    Th culture is flat, and fun and relaxed, even thought it's Wall St.

    Cons

    Cost cutting is so aggressive and arbitrary that it canibalizes growth in business lines that really ought to be growing.

    Lots of big promises that are consistently broken.

    The pay is significantly below average.

    Flat structure often means there are too many cooks to move things forward.

    Emphasis on being respectful and empathetic, means that incompetent, conniving people who are also pretty nice guys, get promoted.

    MSCI does not and will not recognize how much the culture keeps us loyal, and there is a massive exodus of talent which has begun and will not abate anytime soon

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay people better. Judge businesses by their results rather than their mangers' charm offensives.
    And ensure that MSCI doesn;t do to RiskMetrics what they did to Barra, (gut the culture superimpose a one-size fits all strategy, and subsequently trigger a year-on-year reduction in revenue and earnings.)

    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    RiskMetrics, before acquisition, was a good place to work but accountability should have been more of a priority.

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

    I have been working at RiskMetrics

    Pros

    RiskMetrics culture is one that allows employees to develop through collaboration with other teams. There is no division between groups, but more of a group effort to deliver a product. All offices have an open office layout, making management of all levels completely accessible.

    Cons

    RiskMetrics has historically suffered from a lack of focus in delivering superior products. The company has not been good about enforcing accountability. If a project fails, repeatedly, changes are slowly (if at all) effected.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's too late to offer advice to management as RiskMetrics has now been acquired by another firm. One year ago, it would have been relevant to say that the company needed to focus on delivering new products that are superior to what has been pushed out for the past several years and that management changes needed to be made.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Was a great place to change the world, have fun, and make money.

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

    I have been working at RiskMetrics

    Pros

    Great people, great atmosphere (for now), ability to work on projects not related to your area of expertise.

    Cons

    Being bought by a company that does not place as much value on their employees. Limited work/life balance as people are let go with no new hires coming in. Morale is also headed South based on all of the new rules and restrictions being put into place by MSCI.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    MSCI needs to understand there is a reason there was such low voluntary turn over at RMG and try to replicate some of the culture we had with RMG. MSCI has not made a very good impression on staff so far and you will not keep the really high quality employees by stifling what they can do.

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Flexible growing company

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

    I worked at RiskMetrics

    Pros

    Good work and life balance
    Nice people

    Cons

    Management has a lack of execution

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on execution

    No opinion of CEO

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