Wood Mackenzie Reviews

Updated April 23, 2015
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  • Houston, TX Area
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2.8
21 Reviews
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Wood Mackenzie CEO Stephen Halliday
Stephen Halliday
15 Ratings

21 Employee Reviews

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  1. Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Manager in Houston, TX

    I worked at Wood Mackenzie full-time (More than 3 years)

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good benefits and work life balance. Great place to learn about the energy industry

    Cons

    A buddy system is in place. Very limited opportunities for advancement. Technology is slow and need improvement.

    Advice to Management

    They need to create more opportunities for advancement. They need to do research before moving into new areas or launching a new service.

  2. Good place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX

    I worked at Wood Mackenzie

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Research is very market savvy, relaxed pace. Analysts are very smart, work well independently, and have access to good resources.

    Cons

    Research areas can be very siloed. Culture is very strong - maybe too strong. Portal system for giving data to clients is poorly designed and clunky.

  3. Helpful (7)

    A decent place to work, but the future doesn't look bright

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Houston, TX

    I have been working at Wood Mackenzie full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    -Excellent benefits package (401k, health/dental insurance, vacation allowance)
    -Pretty casual work environment, filled with generally interesting and smart colleagues
    -Managers are flexible with what you do with your time. You can take time to do research or write a report on nearly whatever you want, as long as its related to your area and reasonably interesting. Though this isn't quite as good as it once was as we are getting saddled with more and more responsibilities (without any extra pay or thanks) and less time to do the research we want.
    -Adequate pay (once you take into account the benefits, relaxed environment and often 40-45 hr weeks)

    Cons

    -Management is a mess. Managers seem to be promoted based mainly on time served and having similar beliefs as existing managers, with qualifications taking a backseat.
    -Top management is totally focused on a near term IPO so they and other senior employees can cash out, at the expense of current work product. They are trying to do too much and do it too quickly in order to drive growth.
    -The company operates on an unspoken code of secrecy and things are often on a “need to know” basis and are passed to analysts only once decisions have already been made.
    -No analyst development programme. Also, goals in performance reviews are rather meaningless as ratings seem to be based on managerial preference and speed of progression between bands is inconsistent between a few chosen analysts and everybody else.
    -Research turnover has increased significantly in the past couple years which strains already overextended analysts.
    -Private equity ownership for the past few years has led to severe underinvestment in business processes, which results in inefficiency and an incredible amount of wasted time. The beyond awful IT systems fit in here. I feel bad for the guys responsible for supporting the unstable Jenga tower that is our IT system.

    Advice to Management

    -Pay the people that make this company run (aka, the analysts) before they leave, particularly in the competitive job markets outside the UK. Without the analysts, the product is worthless. Which really is too bad because the products are great.
    -Give people who don’t own shares an incentive to stay through the IPO.
    -Don't be afraid to let people go who don't add value.

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  5. Helpful (9)

    Not what I signed up for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Upstream Research Analyst in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Upstream Research Analyst in Houston, TX

    I worked at Wood Mackenzie full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    A couple cool, nice analysts. Decent for the resume. No internet filters.

    Cons

    Where to begin....this company is just not as advertised. They say they provide a third-party, independent view on the industry when in reality the firm is more concerned about regurgitating whatever the oil companies are saying in an effort to appease their clients. This leads to the viewpoints being safe and behind the curve. By the time Wood Mackenzie says something it is so blatantly obvious to everyone that it means nothing.

    The company has a serious management problem. The analysts are really the only thing holding this place together. Management is totally out of touch and does not even know how to solve simple problems. Maybe this is because upper management is more concerned about someone's race and gender when considering promotions, instead of intelligence.

    This company is political and corrupt. Secrecy is common when dealing with basic issues that would be open in any other office environment. My manager was routinely rude to me and would single me out for no reason, this was obvious to all of my teammates. I went to HR to discuss what was happening...and I was fired the next day. Clearly, this place is corrupt. Clearly, this place is not concerned about analysts and their development.

    Who should work here? Wood Mac is not a career destination, it is more of a stepping stone or resume filler, especially for someone without business experience (geologists, engineers, etc.). Working here straight out of school is a big mistake.

    There is extremely high turnover here, and if your read what I wrote above I think it should be pretty clear why.

    Advice to Management

    clean house

  6. Helpful (2)

    Summer Internship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Summer Intern in Houston, TX
    Former Intern - Summer Intern in Houston, TX

    I worked at Wood Mackenzie as an intern (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great working environment; very friendly. If you are looking to build a career and expand your knowledge of the energy industry, Woodmac is the right place.

    Cons

    The hour salary wasn't very good. The summer internship program is quite new so they haven't link the program to further job opportunities or offers.

    Advice to Management

    Link the summer internship program to full time offers after graduation.
    Increase the hour-salary

  7. Helpful (4)

    Unlimited potential constrained by senior management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Houston, TX

    I have been working at Wood Mackenzie full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Professed commitment to work/life balance--5 weeks of vacation you're expected to take, some flexibility on work hours otherwise as long as the job gets done, fabulous opportunity for industry exposure, collegial community. You couldn't do better as a

    Cons

    Prehistoric IT, glacial decision making, internally vs. client-focused management based in the UK, bad management in Houston in particular. Research is second-rate compared with sales and loosely-defined management.

    Advice to Management

    Leadership in North America is still too internal and Wood Mac-centric. Get client-focused leaders who understand business opportunities rather than the Wood Mac culture. Recent changes have been positive, but please stay the course. Understand that good research products generate sales, not the other way around.

  8. Helpful (8)

    Poor leadership, undervalues employees, hierarchical

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Managing Consultant in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Managing Consultant in Houston, TX

    I worked at Wood Mackenzie full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The firm places a high priority on benefits besides financial - 5 weeks of vacation, good health insurance. That is about the only good thing.

    If you are fresh out of university, this is a good place to learn and absorb content before moving on or returning to school. People who leave happy seem to be those who get out while the getting is good, usually less than two years.

    Cons

    Salary is well below comparable firms, there is always some excuse not to pay bonuses, they move targets mid year to avoid paying bonuses, leadership is quite poor, there is a disproportionate influence from Edinburgh (HQ) and from people who have never worked anywhere else, it is more important to spend time in place than to do go work, you get punished for doing too well and standing out, mid level management works very hard to defend territory and demotes managers who don't get with their program, the firm doesn't commit to anything fully and consequently never really does anything well.

    Best advice for applicants - read the review thoroughly. The number of starts I see in the reviews doesn't truly reflect the tone of the review. The stars suggest positive reviews, but read between the lines in the text and you'll see people aren't very happy.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the middle management layer who is holding the company back, allow people to advance based on ability instead of tenure, stop using the "we are a cheap Scottish company" as an excuse, create a transparent review process instead of one where we managers end up fighting for our team regardless of ability because we know centralized management takes the majority of the year's gains and leaves nothing for good performers outside of the UK.

  9. Helpful (4)

    Disorganized due to ego munching managers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Analyst in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Senior Analyst in Houston, TX

    I worked at Wood Mackenzie full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great Benefits with some leeway to handle life issues
    They hire smart guys who know nothing of the areas they are working in.

    Cons

    They have an uncompromising determination to achieve excellence in everything they undertake, but lack the support to get there.

    Advice to Management

    Someone should be the overall regional office head on location to ensure quality and take care of each units Head responsibility to produce results as requested by another Head, manager or senior analyst.

  10. Helpful (1)

    Current Employee

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

    I have been working at Wood Mackenzie full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits and good people. Good work/life balance.

    Cons

    Still very UK centered even though Houston office is as large and will continue to grow.

    Advice to Management

    Let go of "old" way of doing things and let the US management team manage.

  11. Helpful (2)

    Research Analyst

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Upstream Research Analyst in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Upstream Research Analyst in Houston, TX

    I worked at Wood Mackenzie full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The level of clients you interact with is unmatched, particularly relative to other junior roles. Your coworkers are extremely intelligent. You are constantly learning. Your presentation and analytical skills improve immensely through working there.

    Cons

    The work gets mundane after 18 months. The type of work does not change. The managers are not very encouraging. Their Scotish culture is very "glass empty". There is limited opportunities to transfer between research groups. The culture stresses work/life balance almost to a fault. Nothing ever gets done. The product outputs move at a snails pace. The technology that is meant to support your job is awful and forces tasks to take much longer than necessary.

    Advice to Management

    Be more upfront with junior analysts on where they rank amongst each other. You need end up wasting an employees career by refusing toe either fire them or allow them to transfer groups. You keep many junior analysts in career limbo.

    In terms of corporate strategy, have some sense of urgency, your competitors are putting out better products. Quite allowing everyone to leave by 4pm. Successful companies push their employees. You are allow your workers to become complacent and lazy.

    You need to have a rotational program for your junior analysts or they end up getting bored and leaving.

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