Vanguard
3.1 of 5 595 reviews
www.vanguard.com Malvern, PA 5000+ Employees

Vanguard Reviews

Updated Apr 16, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.1 595 reviews

                             

80% Approve of the CEO

Vanguard Chairman and CEO William McNabb

William McNabb

(357 ratings)

58% of employees recommend this company to a friend
595 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "They also strive to give you a work/life balance and are very liberal"
    in 96 reviews
  • "The company offers great benefits, work life balance, and retirement package"
    in 53 reviews
Cons:
  • "site locations offer very little job growth opportunities outside of basic call center positions"
    in 39 reviews
  • "Good work/life balance for some people, but not if your on the phones"
    in 11 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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  • Approves of CEO

 

Great benefits, lots of opportunities to develop yourself.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Vanguard full-time for more than 5 years

ProsGreat tuition reimbursement and other opportunities such as CFA and CFP programs.
Good overall benefits; both health and retirement.
Security of a strong, stable company with incredible growth.

ConsTypical office politics that are present with any company, starting pay is typically relatively low for anyone not in their early twenties.

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

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Vanguard

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Vanguard

ProsVanguard is a great place to work

ConsLittle room for upward movement

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Great company

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Scottsdale, AZ

I worked at Vanguard full-time for more than a year

ProsGreat company values. Successful, transparent, low cost structure.

ConsCall center. Little growth opportunity. Compensation is low for the industry.

Advice to Senior ManagementProvide more growth and development opportunities for high performing associates.

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

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Leadership Issues

Investment Professional (Current Employee)
Scottsdale, AZ

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

ProsOvertime, retirement benefits, education, over all compensation

ConsAdvancement, weak leadership, unfair pay based on experience.

Advice to Senior ManagementStop allowing weak leader to control real leaders career path. Stop trying to put people in positions because you're trying to meet government standards for diversity. Hire and promote based on experience.

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

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2 people found this helpful  

good people, low pay, lots of red tape

Brokerage Associate (Current Employee)
Malvern, PA

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

Prosgood people, friendly, hands on managers

Consmanagers micro manage, to many projects to do outside of your regular job duties, to much kissing butt to upper management to get ahead

Advice to Senior Managementlook at people who work hard and don't ask for the "pat" on the back mentality

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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1 person found this helpful  

Great company that puts clients first

Investment Consultant (Current Employee)
Scottsdale, AZ

I have been working at Vanguard full-time for more than 8 years

ProsVanguard is a great place to start a career, and gain valuable insight and experience in the financial services field. Honest and hard workingpeople are abundant in the company.

Great work life balance. 401k is great. Overall benefits are great.

ConsThe best person doesn't always get the job because of an overcomplicated interview process that does not always have relevancy to the task at hand.

In certain positions, Vanguard will make you earn every last cent by stretching employees too thin and adding heavy workloads during stretches in the year. Many employees do not feel as they are rewarded enough financially and morally.

The compensation structure is enough to satisfy the average person looking for stability, but not enough to allow you to divulge in the finer things in life.

Advice to Senior ManagementPay tenured crew as much as new hires relocating from other companies. Quite often, employees with identical resposibilities, will earn 20-30% more because they were promoted externally. Thus not rewarding long tenured employees, that are more impactful in their jobs.

During interviews, promote based on character and on the job performance instead of asking overcomplex questions that are usually not as relevant.

Management tries to connect with individual contributors, but are sometimes out of touch.

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

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Great coworkers, little mobility

Client Service Associate (Current Employee)
Charlotte, NC

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

ProsGood job security, know what is expected of you, leave work at the office, good work/life balance, quality people

ConsPay is under industry average, little room for promotions, little time off phone, randomly change assigned lunch times from one day to the next,

Advice to Senior ManagementIncrease pay!

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Respected company, process-oriented

Marketing Manager (Former Employee)
Malvern, PA

I worked at Vanguard full-time for more than a year

ProsVanguard has a terrific reputation and its employees are living reflections of its brand. There are lots of training programs and opportunities to attend conferences. Vanguard's commitment to its clients is the driving force of everything they do, and it's a company you can be proud to work for.

ConsIt's an incredibly process-oriented culture, largely due to regulatory issues, but it seems that sometimes process gets in the way of innovation. Many of the employees have been there for 15+ years, and there seems to be a bit of a lazy culture, where people are set in their ways and unwilling to try new things. While there are opportunities for advancement, it often felt like Vanguard was driving your career path, rather than allowing people to chose it. Because the company is so "process driven," each person's individual role is fairly confined, so it is easy to get painted into a corner as an "expert" in something which would not apply beyond Vanguard's walls and could be career-limiting.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Great place to start your career

IT Project Manager (Current Employee)
Malvern, PA

I have been working at Vanguard full-time for more than 10 years

ProsExcellent benefits. Great retirement fund choices for all employees. Bonus payment in June and December

ConsCeiling comes very quickly for strong employees. After 8-10 years you can find yourself without promotion possibilities.

Advice to Senior ManagementAdd more levels to the job categories to provide for promotion possibilities. People work harder and are more productive when they are trying to attain promotions

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12 people found this helpful  

Client Service Associate

Client Service Associate (Current Employee)
Charlotte, NC

I have been working at Vanguard full-time for more than 5 years

ProsPay for you to take the series 7 and 63 licenses. They offer a 401(k) and good insurance options. If not working a lot is a "pro" for you, then you'll work 37.5 hrs per week. The biggest pro about this company in Charlotte is that the avg age for an employee hovers most likely around late twenty to early thirty year olds. For coming into this job out of college, it was nice being around peers for most of your day.

ConsLet me start by saying this: Any individual who has rated this job at Vanguard's Charlotte office above 2 stars has lowered the bar for success tremendously. If you're accountable, responsible, outgoing, aspire to be somebody/do something in finance, or have any sort of personality whatsoever, you will hate working this job at Vanguard. If you're literally the exact opposite of the traits fore mentioned, discontinue reading this and apply to work here.

Vanguard is a great place to INVEST. It is a terrible place to WORK. First of all, Charlotte office (all 5 buildings) are call centers. Enjoy saying that you're on a recorded line and asking security questions 40-60 times a day. And that's if the company is fully staffed. If not, like in 2012-2013, then your looking at taking around 75+ calls per day. A lot of talk on here about Vanguard being ethical. You will be lied to in order to get you in the door and start answering phone calls. They promised countless new hire groups including my own that there would be "tons of projects and opportunities to take advantage of off the phone." Nothing could be farther from the truth. Once you are on the phones taking calls, you stay there. Your time at Vanguard will be spent explaining to clients the definitional difference between an exchange and a sell transaction. You'll generate temporary passwords for at least 25% of your calls. You'll help fill out self explanatory forms ("yes client, you sign your name in the signature field"). THE most mind numbing work that a FULLY LICENSED individual in the industry can do, you accomplish.

You are "managed" by individuals who really have no business being in supervisor roles. You are micromanaged to the point that you are fearful of doing basic tasks wrong. Furthermore, these "managers" will not know nearly as much about investments or how to relay their topics than you, or work as hard as you. Yet, they are still entitled to criticize you on how you're handling calls. The constant monitoring and evaluations are enough reason to quit. What's worse is that the company hires college graduates as managers when they have no experience talking with clients on the phone, or Vanguard systems or what its like to work in a call center. They hire them because its cheaper than promoting an individual who has faithfully worked on the phones for 3 + years in the trenches. You know, someone whose earned a supervisor role.

Question: When you have a job, do you prefer to be paid in monetary standards, or with compliments and many thanks? When you work really hard and go beyond company expectations do you prefer a bonus check, or a goodie bag with candy? If you prefer the latter options, again, you're a perfect fit to work this position and many more at Vanguard. Why? Because they hate paying you what you're worth. Your merit salary increases barely beat inflation. Someone on this site said that all Vanguard cares about is a warm body to answer the phones. Nothing could be more factual than this statement. "Oh, but they contribute to your 401(k)....and the benefits!!!!" Benefits don't pay the bills tuts.

"We are the Walmart of mutual funds"--said by all managers and those idiots who drink the Vanguard kool-aid. "This company is really going to take off." Too bad none of us will ever see our fair share of the profits. I went to Walmart recently and every employee there had that expression on the face and that tone in their voice--they hated their job. Then it hit me....in that moment. Vanguard is Walmart. If I had a choice between a lifelong career at Vanguard and the electric chair, I'd be like "so where do I plug this thing in?"

Advice to Senior ManagementNo advice for managers, but I will give advice to those reading this site and especially this review. Think twice about taking this job, or thinking about making a career out of Vanguard. If you take this job, take it for the right reasons--get your licenses and get the heck out. If you get your licenses and decide you are then under moral obligation to perform some type of service for the company, keep and exit strategy in mind. Its the only way to stay sane.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Vanguard – Why Work for Us?

In 1975, a small but uniquely structured mutual fund company came into being. More than a quarter-century later, Vanguard is internationally known for exceptional client service and the highest-value products in the… Full Overview

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Vanguard reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Vanguard CEO William McNabb. All 595 reviews posted anonymously by Vanguard employees.