Silicon Valley Bank
3.2 of 5 82 reviews
www.svb.com Santa Clara, CA 1000 to 5000 Employees

Silicon Valley Bank Reviews

Updated Apr 14, 2014

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3.2 82 reviews

                             

85% Approve of the CEO

Silicon Valley Bank President & CEO Greg Becker

Greg Becker

(26 ratings)

58% of employees recommend this company to a friend
82 Employee Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Good people, very focused on their employees and work life balance"
    in 11 reviews
  • "good benefits, interesting work"
    in 12 reviews
Cons:
  • "They've taken the "Client First" mantra to the extreme where there is no work-life balance"
    in 4 reviews
  • "Management doesn't really listen to those who don't fully drink the Kool-Aid"
    in 5 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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  • Approves of CEO

2 people found this helpful  

mixed experience

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Silicon Valley Bank full-time for more than 5 years

Prosgood benefits, interesting work. unpleasant culture.

Conspassive aggressive culture. dishonesty, little support.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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1 person found this helpful  

Learn a lot, work with high profile tech and life science deals.

Associate II (Current Employee)
Atlanta, GA

I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time for more than 3 years

ProsExciting to be working with fast growing tech and life science companies that are backed by some of the top VCs in the market. No deal is the same. You'll learn a lot about the role of debt and equity in Corp Finance and will get a lot of exposure to the local market.

Overall compensation and benefits were good, but not amazing. Salary was one of the weaker points as it was slightly below market, especially if you want to live in the downtown area of the nearest city rather than a suburb. Vacation, health, 401k match, bonus made up for it. Also, flexibility in work schedule.

Work load fluctuated with deal flow. Some days you'll work late and have to be plugged in responding to emails at all hours. Other times you can take a long lunch and focus on your own networking or career development.

The people are all good to work with.

ConsCommercial bank means you'll be fitting each deal into the bank's credit matrix. The deals are not as far out on the risk curve as one might expect, particularly for a bank working with companies operating at a high risk, high growth stage. Less strategic operating involvement with companies as well. Understand what you are getting into, as this is not a VC or PE.

Smaller offices in smaller VC markets might not give you the growth trajectory or career opportunities you are looking for. Boston, Boulder and Santa Clara are the big offices and it often felt like young employees in these offices got promoted faster and got more diverse opportunities than those in the other smaller offices. Promotions in smaller offices tended to be based on vacancies above.

Advice to Senior ManagementGeneric "do more" feedback during reviews was not constructive, particularly for junior employees looking to move up. Specific, quantifiable goals would be better and keep people more engaged.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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1 person found this helpful  

SVB is like family

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Tempe, AZ

I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time for more than 8 years

ProsI started as a contractor and was able to land a full time job. Throughout the years I was able to work my way up and be asked to relocate to the Tempe office and be a part of mgmt. I feel so honored to be working for such a great company. I see myself retiring from SVB as they have been on an upswing and growing with so many opportunities.

ConsWe are still learning to grow as a company yet keep that small company feel. Its a good thing but sometimes I wonder if they are biting more than they can handle.

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the good work as I trust and cherish their leadership.

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

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1 person found this helpful  

Great bank, subpar middle management

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
San Francisco, CA

I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time for more than 5 years

Pros- Get to work with great clients
- Great camaraderie with fellow co workers
- Good benefits
- Pay is competitive

Cons- Middle management is ineffective
- Lack of strategic direction for non lending units
- Does not pay attention to career growth

Advice to Senior ManagementDo something of the ineffective middle management

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

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Very Bro

Associate (Current Employee)
San Francisco, CA

I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time for more than a year

ProsCulturally very bro. The work is very simple.

ConsComp, hours, career trajectory, management clueless

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Excellent Company Culture

Analyst (Current Employee)

I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank as an intern for less than a year

ProsDedicated group of people who want to have a positive impact on clients. The senior leaders inspire teams to do great work. If you want to enjoy work and be involved, this is the place to work!

ConsNone. This company is constantly improving.

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1 person found this helpful  

A great company to work at

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank

ProsGreat benefit, compensation as well as 401k. Good ESPP since SIVB stock usually go up. Friendly work environment and have a lot of smart people.

ConsPolitic and favor. It happens in all of corporation. Some people don't know to play game and end up they don't get what they want.

Advice to Senior ManagementObviously you keep doing whatever you have been done, so far the business grows.

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not so friendly environment

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Silicon Valley Bank

Prosalmost stressless, light working load

Consunfriendly people and depressing environment

Advice to Senior Managementcheer things up a littles

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Great Company!!!!

Consultant (Current Employee)
Salt Lake City, UT

I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank as a contractor for more than a year

ProsWork Life Balance, Great Culture, Career Mobility.

ConsHard to get in as a full time employee.

Advice to Senior ManagementCreate a better structure for keeping internal contract employees

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

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6 people found this helpful  

Great place to learn, bad place to stay.

Mid Level to Senior Management (Former Employee)
Santa Clara, CA

I worked at Silicon Valley Bank full-time for more than 8 years

ProsIf your interest is the technology, life science and venture capital space, you can learn a lot here and gain great exposure to these sectors. Ability to learn an interact generally and specifically with these sectors is reason enough to work here. The bank has build up a tremendous amount of traction over the last 20 years, working here opens a lot of doors in these sectors. If you come here to be a 'banker', realize this is not a typical bank in a lot of ways. Their 'Guiding Principles' are a great thing to emulate anywhere you work, they focus on honesty, integrity, ethics, focus on the client.

ConsFor a long time I felt SVB was a meritocracy. The group you are in may be very siloed from other groups, but you can distinguish yourself with hard work and a little luck. I got to understand early that certain groups and individuals would be waiting for you to trip up, (and seeing how they could help make that so) but if you don't trip up, you would succeed. It's a bet I think many others would be willing to take.

Having decompressed from the culture for a few years I learned two things:
1) having to watch your back is not a normal work environment...it's just not
2) SVB wasn't large enough to be so siloed, that was just a consequence of the culture. Functional groups can actually work together willingly and collaboratively. They should.

I can only speak definitively to culture created by Greg Becker and his steering committee, but the meritocracy thing definitively and permanently ends once you are in the top 5-10% of the bank. At that point, up is down, black is white and personal politics drive a remarkable amount of strategy. HR is the executor of senior management's will, and great lengths will be taken to achieve that will.

Lastly, you will not find this a place where speaking up is terribly encouraged. Vision comes from on high and nowhere else. Very different from even 5 years ago. Those who don't buy in or feel compelled to question, they do so at their peril.

Advice to Senior ManagementAcknowledge to current employees that SVB's internally vaunted Guiding Principles have not applied to current management except when convenient. This is staff's perception today. It would benefit the bank long term to:
1) Work to elevate people who have actually emulated those principles,
2) Jettison those who have risen with behavior antithetic to those principles. There is no mistaking who these people are, and their rank within SVB causes a lot of cognitive dissonance when employees go back and read the aforementioned Principles.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Silicon Valley Bank reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Silicon Valley Bank CEO Greg Becker. All 82 reviews posted anonymously by Silicon Valley Bank employees.