Zacks Investment Management

www.zackswmg.com
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Zacks Investment Management Reviews

Updated March 18, 2015
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2.3
12 Reviews
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BEN ZACKS
3 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. My role at Zacks has been a tough road but the work is rewarding.

    Current Employee - Wealth Management Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Wealth Management Associate in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Zacks Investment Management full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great team environment that promotes development and success. This is a role that can develop into greater financial positions and increased financial knowledge.

    Cons

    As a Wealth Management Associate their are common challenges as it is a sales environment. If you cannot do sales over the phone, then don't apply.

    Advice to Management

    Consider increasing commission to promote greater sales. The more I get paid the harder I work, that's any salesman.

  2. Wealth Management Associate = Cold Calling

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Wealth Management Associate in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Wealth Management Associate in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Zacks Investment Management

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

    Pros

    Pro's: Will pay for you to take S65
               Develop sales skills through cold calling 8+ hrs a day

    Cons

    Con's:
    Management - Management has no idea how to treat their employees
    Compensation- 30k base salary with $75/appointment. Average WMA makes 35k/year.
    Over Promise - Management will promise promotions to WMA's who excel (over the year that I was there not one person got promoted).
    Atmosphere - The office setting at Zacks is very depressing, every hates the job and is unmotivated.
    The Job - Your only responsibility as a WMA is to cold call for an external RVP for 8 hours a day, they will say that the leads are "warm" when you an in the interview process but that is couldnt be more of a lie. If you take longer than 1-2 minutes between calls, you will be logged off the dialing system and likely get an email from your supervisor.

    Advice to Management

    It was my first job out of college so i knew that it wasn't going to be my "dream job". I couldn't imagine doing this job over the age of 23 or for longer than 12 months. The only positive from this job was that I was able to gain communication skills through calling for 8 hours a day, that aside I would not recommend this job. My advice to management would be to value your employees and treat them well (pay/respect). Cold calling for 8 hours a day gets old and no matter who you are, you will get burnt out of it. Stay away from ZACKS, you have been warned.

  3. Sales at Zacks Investment Mgmt

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - OUTSIDE SALES in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - OUTSIDE SALES in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Zacks Investment Management full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Zacks has a fairly good reputation due to the history of the research side, not the investment mgmt. side's history. That;s the only positive thing I can say.

    Mgmt one level below the Zacks family is good. Nice people.

    Cons

    Where do I start? For such an "intellectual" firm, their quant models are sophomoric. One factor? Two factor? The rest of the quants in the industry have waaay more factors. Add to that that there is zero fundamental research, despite what Ben Zacks says, leaves you very little to talk about as far as process and approach. Ben and Mitch Zacks do not know the definition of fundamental research. They have no clue.

    This firm is the cheapest firm I have ever worked for. I'm only here still, for three years, because I made a mistake of joining a start up which didn't work out and then the next firm was sold, so I have two firms in a row on my resume which have 1 year stints. That is the only reason I'm still here. Mgmt views a penny spent is a penny out of their pockets and they want as many pennies as they can get.

    Upper Zacks Mgmt will look you in the eye and lie to you. They have no problem lying, changing deals, not honoring deals, etc. Do not trust them and realize that the level below them will fall victim to this problem and you will be part of the trickle down effect.

    Advice to Management

    Sell the firm. None of the upper mgmt. (Zacks family) is happy. You have a nice firm with surprisingly a nice reputation (probably because you have done a horrible job of marketing yourselves) but you are miserable people. You have plenty of money so sell and go have fun. Unless your goal is to have plenty of money and whine and complain and make other people miserable, then stay the course because you are doing a great job.

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  5. Temp to Full-Time employee.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Wealth Management Associate
    Current Employee - Wealth Management Associate

    I have been working at Zacks Investment Management full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Great working conditions and group of employees/management. Employees @ Zacks are very friendly in & outside of work. Made friends with many of the employees @ Zacks. Warm leads are great in sales and Zacks gives employees plenty to work with on a daily basis. Good work/life balance. I started out as a temp and Zacks made me full-time.

    Cons

    We should have more feedback with WMA/RVP. WMAs should understand the stock market/vocabulary.

    Advice to Management

    More meetings with management.

  6. Fun and rewarding place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Wealth Management Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Wealth Management Associate in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Zacks Investment Management full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Worked as Wealth Management Associate for 1 year until being promoted to wholesale division. Learned a lot about investment management industry and got the opportunity to take Series 65. Once I passed the Series 65 I was able to use that for advancement internally within the company. I started in this job with no financial services experiences and 2 years later I feel like i've learned a lot and am able to transfer that into knowledge both on the phone and in person. Great manager who taught me a lot about the industry.

    Cons

    The health benefits are decent but they could be better in terms of out of pocket expenses.

    Advice to Management

    Keep promoting from within. Push people to get Series 65 license so they can have more opportunities internally to move up within the firm. Keep the great culture that you have!

  7. Good starter Sales job

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Wealth Management Associate
    Current Employee - Wealth Management Associate

    I have been working at Zacks Investment Management full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    working with warm leads, b-grade insurance runs $100/month

    Cons

    Poor management, lots of employment churn in wealth mgmt division, unprofessional

    Advice to Management

    Get professional mgmt

  8. Wealth Management Associate

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Wealth Management Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Wealth Management Associate in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Zacks Investment Management full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Job Security, Not much competition, Easy

    Cons

    Rare opportunities to move up in the company

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent with you initiatives.

  9. Helpful (3)

    Horrible, no room to grow

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

    I have been working at Zacks Investment Management full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Get exposure that you wouldn't get at a larger company. Good work/life balance.

    Cons

    Everything, no grow, horrible managers, you just feel the negativity while walking through the office. Lots of office gossip, the managers are normally the ones who spread and feed the lies. Think of the worst company you could work for and then double that and you have Zacks.

  10. Helpful (2)

    Promise High - Deliver Low

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Regional Vice President (RVP) in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Regional Vice President (RVP) in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Zacks Investment Management full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Zacks provided "warm leads" to RVP's in their assigned geography. Other RVP's were generally sharp professionals who were competant. You were able to build up a sizeable stream of recurring revenue if you stayed at Zacks. Most RVP's who have stayed are doing quite well...

    Cons

    Bad management and very poor communication between RVP's in their home geographies and the team back in Chicago.
    We were charging clients almost 2% for management - however, that could not buy the response of Ben Zacks responding to legitimate questions as to why we were violating our stated investment discipline. "Wealth Management" consisted of an Investor Profile Questionaire - which one of the portfolio managers reviewed before making an allocation of a mixture of Zacks strategies. No estate planning, no tax planning, no insurance recommendations. The strategies had extremly high turnover which meant very complex taxes for clients and almost all short term capital gain treament for taxes. They also retroactively changed these allocations (against their "philosophy") in the midst of 2008 problems to be more conservative - which of course KILLED returns for clients when markets recovered in 2009.

    Advice to Management

    Listen and don't promise what you can't or don't intend to deliver on.

  11. Nearly impossible to sell this investment company's products when underperforming S&P

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Adviisor/Sales in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Adviisor/Sales in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Zacks Investment Management full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    The Limited Partnership 2:1 Market Neutral was a great investment, wish I could have just worked on that product

    Cons

    Management was boiler room-esqe. Fees were off the wall and the SMAs were way way way underperforming the S&P... The leads provided were very weak and passed out in strage and suspicious ways

    Advice to Management

    You guys dont have the managing director I worked for anymore so - step in the right direction!
    Now beat the market.

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