Vanguard Reviews

Updated August 30, 2015
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3.2
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Vanguard Chairman and CEO William McNabb
William McNabb
553 Ratings

Pros
  • Fairly easy to maintain good work/life balance (in 120 reviews)

  • Great benefits (PTO & Healthcare) (in 67 reviews)

Cons
  • most employees are complacent in this call-center environment (in 53 reviews)

  • This can make work life balance impossible since their can be mandatory overtime or the inability to take earned vacation (in 16 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

945 Employee Reviews

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  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (19)

    Didn't Appreciate what I had until I was gone

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    As you get older, you appreciate the 'total compensation' package even more. The health benefits are steller as is the PTO and retirement. I have not seen a company even compare. No mass layoffs

    Cons

    Some Depts are great, some aren't. It all depends on the dept that you are in. If you are not in a dept that you enjoy, then post out to another one. A bad dept is not a reflection on the company as a whole.

    Advice to Management

    Appreciate your employees and offer more flexible scheduling for work life balance.


  2. Helpful (2)

    Client Relationship Specialist

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

    Pros

    Easy job with low to 0 stress. Plenty of opportunity to make yourself known and develop tools and software are easy to use and pick up

    Cons

    Typical shift is 9:30-6pm Cube Farm Call Center environment, with little time off the phone


  3. Helpful (20)

    Financial Advisor

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time

    Pros

    Healthy 401(k) contributions (4% match dollar-for-dollar, additional 10% of salary contributed regardless of employee contributions). Good health insurance with an HRA-like contribution and ability to earn additional credits through healthy living and biometric screenings. Disability insurance (pre- or post-tax). On-site gym. Retirement health insurance benefits. Lots of PTO starting out and it gets even better with more years of service. Vanguard has a client-focused ownership structure that makes it a consciously-comfortable place to work. You're never trying to sell a particular product or service to earn a commission. Most, if not all crew, including brokerage associates, are paid a salary only. The company's mission tends to attract people who are good-natured.

    Cons

    (1) While the ownership structure keeps us client-focused, I'm beginning to recognize a more "sales-y" push in their new Personal Advisor service product. A lot of R&D went into this product and we're getting more push than normal from managers to enroll clients into the service, presumably to increase revenue generation. Management seems to sincerely believe that virtually every client can benefit from the service and that simply is not true. Not every client needs the full suite of services we give, or they need more than we can realistically give, but we're still being pressured to fit them into our mold. (2) The management in this department seems to be much more metrics-driven than in other roles and is pushing to look good on paper. How we look on paper seems to have a stronger bearing on our year-end performance bonus than other, less-quantifiable ways of making an impact in our roles. (3) Technology is lacking significantly. We're working on old hardware and software and it's incredibly slow to make any changes in this big of a business. Our main system for client services frequently and spontaneously shuts down on us in the middle of the work day. Because resources are already dedicated towards other long-term projects, updating our technology seems to have been put on the backburner. It's really challenging to serve our clients efficiently when we don't have the equipment to work quickly. Many crew members' performances are measured by the second, and our poor equipment is impacting their metrics. We can work faster, but our systems won't let us. (4) Our executive leadership has an aggressive goal to reduce our average fund family expense ratio by several basis points. Because of that, belts are cinching. Simple things like inexpensive team lunches and tokens of appreciation are being cut back to try and "bend the cost curve" (a frustrating piece of Vanguard jargon for many of the crew here). I don't feel as valued. I wish leadership would focus less on cutting costs and focus more on improving our technology, rewarding the hard work of crew members, and staffing sufficiently. (5) The team leaders, particularly recent college grads, seem to fit into the exact same mold, particularly those who graduate from our VADP program. They all use the exact same kind of jargon and I have little confidence in their sincerity. Some seem overly focused on metrics, less focused on addressing the behaviors that drive the metrics, and overlook inconsistencies in how crew members report their metrics. (6) Vanguard claims that they value input on process improvement or technology enhancements. However, most suggestions just get filed away and leaders come to us instead to try to make us maximize the dysfunctional resources we currently have. My opinions seem like they carry very little value and it's discouraging to even try to make myself heard. (7) Hiring managers need to be more transparent about job duties and time commitments. They tout that Vanguard wants their crew to ideally work a cushy 37.5 hours per week. Even in exempt roles, they still want you only working between 37.5-40 hours. I am in an exempt role now, and because of our understaffing, I'm consistently working 50 hours a week. I get in early, leave late, and work through lunch. This is normal in the financial services industry but it's contrary to Vanguard's portrayal of their emphasis on work-life balance. Hiring managers need to be more forthright about the demands of the job. (8) Although you get lots of PTO, it's difficult to get time off on the days that count; times like days around Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's and other major holidays. Someone always has to be here to man the phones, and so a small population of people actually get to enjoy the holidays with family. This is particularly challenging for employees working a long distance away from family. Forget trying to get home for the holidays if a road trip is involved. You'll rarely get time off both before and after the holiday to be able to enjoy some quality time with family before you have to turn right back around and come back. (9) Internally-promoted crew are not treated equally with external hires. Except for very high-level positions, an internal promotion receives a non-negotiable 10% raise. If an external hire has past experience, they have a good chance of negotiating for a substantially higher salary. When I was newly hired into Vanguard, I found out that I was getting paid more than the person who was training me. The trainer worked in the exact same role as me and was fully proficient in his job, and yet I was getting paid more. I later found out that I was getting paid more than some people, working in the same role as myself, who have been with Vanguard for more than 15 years. These were excellent, hard-working crew members. Currently I'm being pushed to move on into a new position that requires the CFP designation. That position could merit $75,000-80,000 in annual salary for an external hire. I know of one who is making much more than even that. If they got me to take the job, they would only have to pay me $60,000. This is pandemic in the company. There is little incentive to apply for more-demanding, higher-grade jobs because the pay does not adequately follow suit. This is why a lot of people come to Vanguard to get started and then ultimately leave to other firms.

    Advice to Management

    See above.


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  5. Human Resources Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Human Resources Manager in Malvern, PA
    Current Employee - Human Resources Manager in Malvern, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vanguard (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Career development and opportunity to move throughout the company and manage your career path are what make Vanguard a great place to work. The integrity and quality of the senior leaders is fantastic! If you want to work for an organization that has high standards and you can be proud to work for, Vanguard is the one. Great total rewards package!

    Cons

    It is important to manage your career and move around early. Work life balance is great but more flexibility is needed in some of the departments.

    Advice to Management

    Continue the great work that you are doing to make Vanguard a great place to work!


  6. Manage HNW client relationships, proactively outreach clients about new products and services.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assigned Representative in Scottsdale, AZ
    Current Employee - Assigned Representative in Scottsdale, AZ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great company to work for who really values their clients. This role has flexible hours and you recurve a yearly bonus based on the past three year performance of Vanguard as a company, which you do in any role here unless you're a contractor. Overall there is a good amount of opportunity for growth if you would like to advance your career. Licensing is paid for by the company in addition to MBA, graduate, CFP, CFA degrees/certificates either fully paid for or reimbursed by Vanguard.

    Cons

    Pay is not competitive considering the workload and metrics expected of each employee. Management is not opened to feedback.


  7. Fixed Income Senior Trader

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    great co-workers and management is very supportive of your career growth and providing educational opportunities.

    Cons

    sometimes hard to break out of your career path if you want to go somewhere else inside of the company.


  8. Great company!!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Scottsdale, AZ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Scottsdale, AZ
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Vanguard is a stable company and if you want a career in financial services, you can definitely advance your career. They also have great benefits, and other perks. They care about their employees.

    Cons

    None. You can advance if you want or not.


  9. Great for getting your foot into the financial industry right out of college.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Brokerage Investment Consultant in Charlotte, NC
    Current Employee - Brokerage Investment Consultant in Charlotte, NC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Work-live balance, friendly-easy going atmosphere

    Cons

    Reactive not proactive, loss of focus on employees because too much focus on clients.

    Advice to Management

    Invest more into crew engagement


  10. A great place to start or continue a career

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Vanguard full-time

    Pros

    They offer pretty good work/life balance, and it's rare you'll ever have a bad teammate. Overall, the company does give pretty good structure and a sense of purpose. Great company culture, and benefits. Overall, you will feel very appreciated as an employee.

    Cons

    Your job enjoyment is often tied to your supervisor and what they want from you.

    Advice to Management

    Spend more time learning the business before making changes, and actively recruit your direct reports into helping you make those changes. Let them see the benefits of the changes, and they will buy into it more.


  11. Helpful (3)

    Great place to either start or finish a career.

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

    Pros

    Great culture with a wide-variety of opportunities to change positions. Very well-rounded, down to earth colleagues. A lot of PTO.

    Cons

    Pay is adequate but not competitive. HR is unresponsive. You end up with a lot of people leaving because of lack of upward mobility.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees. Pay your good employees more and your bad employees less, instead of paying them equally.



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