TIAA-CREF Reviews

Updated August 28, 2015
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3.4
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TIAA-CREF President & CEO Roger Ferguson
Roger Ferguson
40 Ratings

Pros
  • Work-Life balance is a priority in most departments (in 38 reviews)

  • Good place to work Great Benefits (in 42 reviews)

Cons
  • Work/ Life balance is discouraged (in 24 reviews)

  • Senior Management is disconnected from the employees (in 26 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

66 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Great Organization

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    TIAA-CREF was founded by Andrew Carnegie to provide for the retirement of teachers and other people who devote their lives to serving others in 1917. Almost 100 years later, this service mentality persists among all the employees here. TIAA-CREF is unique among financial services firms in NYC in that there really are no mean-spirited people. It is a remarkably stable company with advantages that are unreplicable in the marketplace ensuring it will be around for a long time to come. Managers are genuinely interested in your career growth and there is tremendous effort placed in making sure this is a great place to work. Employees are encouraged to take all of their PTO every year (which is a lot), as well as when I had my child, I took my full paternity leave of two weeks and actually got questioned if I had enough time off. This spirit actually inspires people to give more of themselves to the company, and those that can manage the unique culture become intensely loyal to the firm with many people having very long careers.

    Cons

    The organization is very bureaucratic and consensus driven such that it can take a long time to get things done. Similarly, it has grown very large which results in overlapping teams in different departments pursuing the same thing, often in conflict with each other. Individuals generally avoid taking personal accountability (which is ironic because it is one of our values) to spread blame for things not going well among as many people as possible. The is a big logjam of middle managers who appear to have first priority for anything approaching a senior level job, which limits career opportunities up to a certain point. I will say that there are initiatives underway to address all of these issues, but whether or not they work remains to be seen.

    Advice to Management

    Rationalize the company to remove duplicate functions and hire more highly intelligent people who will be capable of taking this company to the next level. Stop wasting so much time in never-ending IT projects that can cost hundred of millions of dollars, and please please please stop asking management consultants their opinions. We spend way to much money on them and all it does is waste time in analysis paralysis.


  2. TIAA-CREF

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    Benefits are great and average starting PTO is 21 days.

    Cons

    Difficult to move up internally. Leadership is primarily sourced from other companies.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Senior Administrative Assistant

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Administrative Assistant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Administrative Assistant in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TIAA-CREF full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Overall this is a good company. Decent benefits. The pension plan is a definite plus. Great salary.

    Cons

    My position lacks the challenge that I need to stay engaged. The department I work in seems very unorganized and not well managed. The work life balance isn't what it is perceived to be. The company systems and IT department could use a revamp.

    Advice to Management

    Better organization is needed. A team's performance is only as good as the management. There is overlap of certain positions. These positions could have provided the challenge work needed for admins to learn, grow and be engaged.


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  5. Developer

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

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

    Pros

    Good working environment. Great benefits

    Cons

    Very behind the times technology wise


  6. Great place to work!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Terrific culture! Very high on integrity and focused on doing what's right for the client, as well as the staff.

    Cons

    As a not-for-profit, expenses are tightly monitored. Benefits of properly controlled T&E are not appreciated as a result. This is not material in my overall assessment of working at the firm however; as the pros substantially outweigh this one con.

    Advice to Management

    Keep a close eye on culture to ensure that it isn't lost in the recent accelerated growth mode of the firm.


  7. Helpful (4)

    Possibilities aren't translating in to opportunities under poor management.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at TIAA-CREF full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The company is shifting its business model from being almost entirely B2B, to embracing a B2C strategy. As such, a new brand identity and marketing positioning comes with it. So there's a ton of possibilities to do really great things. At TIAA-CREF, possibility does not equal opportunity.

    Cons

    Very poor senior management in the digital marketing group. (Stronger, more competent leadership in other areas of the marketing organization). A strong focus on the superficial without a strong understanding of the broader strategic needs. Poor relationships with other areas of the business. Not ready or mature enough to truly compete with the big boys in the B2C market. Too much of a focus on things that aren't important. No focus on talent retention. Poor to very poor management oversight. Employee morale within digital marketing is fairly low.

    Advice to Management

    Focus of quality people in leadership positions. These aren't always the loudest people in the room.


  8. Product Management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TIAA-CREF full-time

    Pros

    Vey professional working environment, even when things aren't perfect, everyone takes ownership and responsibility for improving our processes. Management is engaged, the organization's strategic plans are realistic and in line with market forces. They fund projects and initiatives to compete at a high level. People are very very nice...very inclusive working environment.

    Cons

    The organization could stand to ramp up its marketing and advertising strategy. Most people don't know what the organization is about or does. The NCAA sponsorship advertising campaign did indeed work...need more of it.

    Advice to Management

    To compete with other larger firms and widely recognized names in the industry, I suggest more and broader marketing efforts to enhance our brand, our communicate mission and elevate our profile.


  9. Helpful (10)

    Mission-driven organization with boundless opportunity but poor HR and heavy bureaucracy

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Director in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    * The corporate culture is very strong -- people are proud to work here, believe in the mission * Very talented colleagues,much more intellectual and less alpha-male dominated than other financial services organizations * Quickly evolving means lots of opportunities to contribute * Very flexible work arrangements * Outstanding benefits, especially retirement plans * Collaborative, friendly environment * Strong commitment to diversity * Premium on work-life balance

    Cons

    * HR here is a nightmare and that seems to be a fact of life. They are constantly requiring managers to jump through hoops for very basic things, getting new staff on board is a real challenge when you have to work through their bureaucratic processes,there is constant pressure to rein in bonuses and salaries and HR seems obtuse to the realities of the market (and if I am forced to reduce salaries/bonuses to meet revenue targets I will lose some fantastic employees to our competitors). And HR seems completely dense to what the market really would reward, especially in corporate functions * The bureaucracy here for employees can be really grating. Not sure if anyone is trying to cut through the red tape but it's everywhere and enormously frustrating, slows me down all the time in my job. * For the largest owner of commercial real estate in the US, the office space is not attractive. It's embarrassing actually, HQ looks like a government office building (ugly carpets and furniture), not a Fortune 100 financial services company. And they are always pushing people to work from home (getting a desk in NY is a huge challenge for instance).

    Advice to Management

    * Reconsider HR strategy, from compensation (the current approach is destined to drive people away) to reviews. Things are a little better now with HR business partners but HR is still a constant source of frustration for managers here. Establish formal mentoring programs. * Redesign NY office space for the benefit of employees but also our image * Explore more opportunities for career growth of managers below SLT, especially in corporate functions (training programs, mentoring programs, internal promotions)


  10. Helpful (4)

    Senior Manager

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

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

    Pros

    Flexible work arrangements (work from home). Intelligent and committed colleagues. A company that is true to its mission and values - not just lip service. Believes in doing the right thing. An example of how a company a company can be highly successful without sacrificing ethics.

    Cons

    See advice to management.

    Advice to Management

    No boundaries. No expectation of work / life balance. Workload is daunting and I learn and work quickly. After many years in top financial firms, this is the place that almost broke me - but it didn't. Really talented people are beginning to leave - remains to be seen if I will join them. I hope they figure this out because it feels good to work for a company I can be completely proud of - but balance is necessary for a healthy, happy life.


  11. Helpful (18)

    Get a Life...not!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Wealth Management Advisor in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Wealth Management Advisor in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at TIAA-CREF full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Incredible clients that truly value what TIAA CREF has helped them accomplish. Great reputation from the clients perspective. Not for profit, mission based financial services company with a solid nearly 100 year reputation.

    Cons

    Work life balance in IAS is non existent. Job is a total BURN OUT.

    Advice to Management

    A great organization with a proud history. Within Individual Advisory Services there is a total lack of respect by Senior Management for realistic goals and a healthy work life balance. You are ruining a great heritage because it's all about "production". Sad indeed



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