Vanguard Reviews in Malvern, PA

Updated October 21, 2014
Updated October 21, 2014
707 Reviews
3.2
707 Reviews
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Vanguard Chairman and CEO William McNabb
William McNabb
424 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work/life balance is a priority as you don't work crazy hours and get a lot of vacation time (in 115 reviews)

  • Great benefits; was able to earn MBA and CFP with full tuition reimbursement (in 63 reviews)


Cons
  • The positions in AZ are largely call center support roles, or supervisory roles (in 50 reviews)

  • Good work/life balance for some people, but not if your on the phones (in 15 reviews)

More Highlights

240 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    The healthiest work experience for anyone interested in financial services, or even general business.

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

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The company culture is incredibly inviting. There are so many ways that Vanguard looks to get "crew members" involved - in fact, promoting crew engagement is one of management's top priorities. The fact that Vanguard operates at-cost (especially noticeable in a client-facing role) makes work satisfying, knowing with confidence that you are doing the right thing by other people and are not driven by ulterior motives. There are a number of new Crew Resource Groups (known as Employee Resource Groups at other institutions), encouraging a diverse workforce, as well as hundreds (more?) of people who have spent their entire careers here. Job security is taken very seriously, as Vanguard has never conducted a layoff in its 40 year history. An extensive benefits package (health, vacation time, dry-cleaning, etc. etc.) is extremely competitive, and Vanguard really believes in the work-life balance. As the largest mutual fund company in the world, you know you're working for one of the most reputable, ethical companies out there.

    Cons

    Because Vanguard operates at-cost (with few, if any, commission-based positions), salaries are not competitive for side-by-side comparisons with other financial services institutions; however, I personally believe that the benefits package really fills the void here. There are very few companies that match what Vanguard offers in that arena. Furthermore, advancement into leadership is a different game at Vanguard. In many cases, having tenure and years of experience in one area does not guarantee you for a leadership position, as Vanguard is really looking for those with specific leadership characteristics, some of which are difficult to really determine. Leadership is incredibly competitive, and beyond one's early career (as Vanguard has developed leadership programs, highly catered to those new to the company and toward the beginnings of their careers), it is a tough battle to get to that stage.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The culture as far as inclusion and doing the right thing by other people is unmatchable. I can't imagine another company that is on par with Vanguard as far as that is concerned. My advice would be to consider the way in which crew are hired into leadership; I feel as though the approach is far too close-minded, and this is the cause of the most discouragement among those I have spoken with.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great company.. they really care about you as an individual.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - College to Corporate in Malvern, PA
    Former Employee - College to Corporate in Malvern, PA

    I worked at Vanguard as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    industry leader, growth, great campus, leadership is accessible

    Cons

    risk averse, low salaries, slow with decisions, tenured employees, time-off

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    compensation should be increased

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    I had a good experience, and was treated well.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Malvern, PA
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Malvern, PA

    I worked at Vanguard full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    People are nice, great benefits.

    Cons

    Not all employees have the opportunity to work from home, is based upon job level.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    EPIC

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Fund Financial Analyst in Malvern, PA
    Former Employee - Fund Financial Analyst in Malvern, PA

    I worked at Vanguard full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great culture, Benefit, Highly ethical, Great work environment, 37.5 hr work week, low stress, good pay,

    Cons

    The positions in AZ are largely call center support roles, or supervisory roles

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Vanguard encourages a work-life balance and everyone seems to care about your well being.

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

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Benefits are great. Great for entry level to help build your career. Provides many tools for career building. The Campuses are really great. Most people are pleasant to work with.

    Cons

    The pay is low and there's pretty much no negotiation. If you stay in a particular role for a longer time (no matter what the reason is) it's harder to move on in the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Each manager is different but it would be nice to see career help across the board.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Once you know what you want to do, possibilities are endless

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Web Content Administrator in Malvern, PA
    Current Employee - Web Content Administrator in Malvern, PA

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

    Pros

    A certain amount of autonomy is provided as long as you stay focused on getting the expected tasks completed. Overall, friendly environment, excellent work-life balance, and plenty of opportunity to learn and grow. Leadership is hit or miss, as with any company.

    Cons

    YOU have to be in control. If you do not demand your goals, you will be left in the dust. Also, VERY conservative culture. You will struggle if you do not tow the line.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Use the tools that you have and make ratings more transparent. Reviews and personal ratings, salaries can be private, but be honest with promotions, bonuses, etc. Making everyone be open and responsible for showing their progress takes a lot of work off the managers to actually manage instead of spending so much time in January, June and November providing ratings and feedback.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Great Experience.

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

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

    Pros

    Great culture, positive people. A company I can be proud to say I work at.

    Cons

    Despite outside experience you often have to start at an entry level position.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 6 people found this helpful  

    Good place to work, hard to get ahead

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Malvern, PA
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Malvern, PA

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

    Pros

    Awesome job security. Even when the market crashed in 2008 they did everything they could to keep full-time crew (at the expense of contractors).

    The June Partnership payment (think profit sharing) is usually pretty good. There's an end of year bonus too, but it's usually less.

    Time off starts around 3.5 weeks/year and increases with tenure. By the fifth calendar year, you're up to almost five weeks.

    The 10% 401(k) benefit plus 4% match is awesome.

    A lot of training is offered, but I usually find the classes aren't as good as I would hope. I could learn a lot more from a senior developer who knows how we do things instead of a vendor who teaches the topic generically.

    I rarely work more than 40 hours a week.

    Like a lot of places, your experience will depend on the department, manager, and team you have. If you're lucky, you get a good fit and do well. Coworkers are generally nice.

    Cons

    The salary is on the low end of the market. (I was told by a recruiter they knew of at least one other place that paid less.)

    The raises are awful, usually less than 2%. They created this video for us explaining how the pay evaluations are done. They tried to make the viewers feel almost guilty for wanting a raise, because of course they means company costs go up. I find my rent goes up just about as fast as my salary, so I don't feel like I'm gaining any ground.

    I find recognition of good work to be lacking. I've had some good years and other years I didn't think were as good. But they were all rated the same in the final evaluation. On the team I'm on now, I find that I have to make sure my manager knows when I do something because nobody else is going to tell him.

    It is VERY hard to get a promotion. Vanguard wants its employees to stay long-term. The downside of this is that there are lots of people who have been there 10-15 years or more. So even getting the first promotion from beginning software developer to mid-level often takes 5 years or so. There are only a few pay grades, so you could work there 30 years and only get promoted once or twice.

    They say you can switch positions every 18 months. However, for the same reasons, it can be hard to do even a lateral move. You post for a position and find out so did a lot of other people. This is a real downer if you land onto a team and/or manager that you discover you don't enjoy. It is hard to get away, and even harder if your performance suffers and you get a sub-par rating.

    They took away our cubicles and replaced them with an open-air environment, which I would guess a grand majority of the developers did not want. So it's best to learn how to "tune out" all the crap going on around you. Many resort to iPods.

    There is a major emphasis on giving to charity at Vanguard. There are 2-3 drives each year. I get why the company wants to be seen as "giving back to the community." However, it does have a downside in that at least some of the employees wonder if they are being judged on whether they give the "suggested" amount. I personally find the drives tedious. If I wanted to work at a charity, I'd go work at a charity.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I personally wish there were more pay grades. Getting promotions every few years would really help workers feel that good work was recognized.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Comfortable, but stifling.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Rich Media Designer in Malvern, PA
    Current Employee - Rich Media Designer in Malvern, PA

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

    Pros

    Excellent job security
    Some folks are very talented
    Nice perks and bonuses
    Genuine love for the clients

    Cons

    Extremely slow moving
    Massive amounts of red tape
    Conservative to a fault
    Terrible IT support for designers
    Poorly-staffed IS department limits the available tools
    Management can be horrendous
    Their no layoff policy means you will work with people that are horrible at their jobs

    In my current position as a designer, I have 4 non-billable jobs (jobs related to improving your team or department) for every 1 real job. With initiatives for Best Place To Work, BHAGs, VUE, personal plans, and team activities and projects, I spend 80% of my time working on things that are not design. Some people enjoy it, but I wanted the job so I could use my degree.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your crew
    Stop approaching conversations with handbooks on corporate speak and "crucial conversations" and just talk with us.
    Get rid of the people that are bad at what they do.
    Completely rethink your IT and IS infrastructure, because they're beyond repair.
    Educate or fire all the tech support reps who refuse to learn Mac support because they don't like the platform. This makes designers' work infinitely more frustrating and wastes a ton of time and money.

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

    Not much of a career here

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Client Relationship Associate in Malvern, PA
    Current Employee - Client Relationship Associate in Malvern, PA

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

    Pros

    Most people work here for the PTO.
    Nice 401k matching plan
    They have nice gyms
    Its not a bad ho-hum job. (no long hours, while salaries are below average) Raises are around 1% or 2% at best. Everybody gets about the same yearly meager raises.

    Cons

    If your on the phones they are constantly micro-managing your day. It gets pretty stressful. Most of lower management is made up of "Yes men/women." Very few Team Leaders think for themselves.

    Management is overly concerned about winning best place to work awards. Beware of the short one sentence reviews on here.

    Networking is a joke. Upper management controls everything. Promotions consist of going to other phone jobs at the same salary.

    The company's goal is to lower the companywide expenses from .14% to .10% and that money has to come from somewhere. On a percent basis that's more then a 40% decrease. I'm afraid its only going to tougher on the average crew member. Including myself.

    They give you a ton of PTO but its almost impossible to take days off around the major holiday's. In three years, I have not gotten a day off around Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year's.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop trying to squeeze everything out of your employees. Value your people. Its not all about costs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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