Working at Financial Engines | Glassdoor

Financial Engines Overview

Sunnyvale, CA
501 to 1000 employees
Company - Public (FNGN)
$100 to $500 million (USD) per year
Financial Engines (FE) currently offers personalized advice to millions of workers nationwide for saving, investing and living in retirement. In February, 2016, FE acquired The Mutual Fund Store® and together we have become America’s largest ... Read more

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Financial Engines – Why Work For Us?

Helping people make informed decisions toward a better retirement is what we do.  Making a difference in people’s lives is what we love.

We’re an independent investment advisor hired by some of the biggest companies in the US to provide personalized retirement advice to their employees.

Our products and services help people make the most of their investments no matter their goals, salary, or investment style. We believe everyone deserves personalized retirement help, and we’re looking for people who share our values.

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It’s an exciting time at Financial Engines as we shift to a more customer-focused company. It’s a time where we’re trying and building; reaching and experimenting. It’s a chance to help shape the direction of a 20-year-old company, and put your own personal hallmark on your contribution.

We’re looking for talented, diverse people who code or write or design or communicate or manage or build or advise or sell or everything and anything in between.

Visit our Career Center to learn more about our opportunities and benefits.

Financial Engines, Inc. is committed to equal opportunity employment.

I’m Larry Raffone, CEO of Financial Engines. Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback about your experience as an FE employee. I joined FE 14 years ago because I believed in Bill Sharpe’s vision to help people who could not get help any place else. In leading our next phase, I’m focused on engaging and developing our people, creating and nurturing a dynamic culture,and setting the course to help millions of people who desperately need our help.

Earlier this year, we began to build an ambitious plan for the future. This is how we’ll get there:

We’re becoming a customer-focused company.
We don’t know enough about our customers. We’ll get to know them to learn about their ambitions, their needs, and their aspirations.From customer visits to interviews to research, we’re trying new things and learning from them. They’re the reason we exist.

We’re challenging our competitors.
FE wants to make sure we’re the ones who win. To do this, we have to out-innovate and out-execute. We have to search every day for the innovations that can make our vision become reality.

We’re leading a transformation.
We need people who can help with our new direction, point us to powerful technologies, and embrace disruptive innovation. It’ll take all of us working together to make this transformation happen, and we couldn’t be more excited.

This is the future we’re here to build: A company of significance that makes it possible for millions of Americans to retire well.

To our future employees: We can’t wait to have you aboard. To our past employees: Thank you for your feedback. We’re listening.


Larry Raffone

President & CEO

We are reinventing the way we build things and are rapidly moving into AWS Cloud. If you are excited about building enterprise grade applications as a network of inteligent, self-deployable microservices, check out our Tech Blog.

Financial Engines Reviews

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Financial Engines President & CEO Larry M. Raffone
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40 Ratings
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    Helpful (25)

    "20-year-old company with a great mission, a great business...and some legacy issues"

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    I joined Financial Engines in 1999. At that time, it was still a startup trying to find its footing. Its product, revolutionary in those days, was an online retirement investing self-help tool powered by algorithms that were pretty sophisticated for the time. That product never really did catch on; however, the company made a very successful pivot in the early 2000s toward 401(k) management and today is the largest independent registered investment adviser in the country.

    Now the 401(k) side of the business manages over $100 billion of assets, with over 900,000 individual customers. Revenue in 2015 was over $300 million.

    We still have the sense of mission that founded the company: use technology to deliver premium-grade financial services to people who otherwise would be unable to afford them. We still have a number of people with 10+ years with the company who were instrumental in building it. We have very solid financials. We value each other's dignity and respect. I've had my own frustrations working here over the years, but the mission and culture of the company are why I still come to work each day energized to do better.

    The acquisition of The Mutual Fund Store adds a network of branch offices and human advisers specialized in face-to-face financial planning. Now we're traditional retail plus 401(k) workplace. It's no sure thing that we'll be able to harmonize the two organizations, but it seems like a bet worth taking. It's not too hard to imagine Financial Engines becoming a household name in a few years.


    The downsides of working here are what you should expect at a 20-year-old profitable company: technical debt, disagreements over priorities, and an ongoing tension between trying new things versus investing in what has worked before. And I'll add one more downside, which is why I'm writing this review in the first place: we do not seem to do a good job managing the expectations of new coworkers.

    "Technical debt" sounds like a bad thing and, sure, usually it is a bad thing. However, realize that it's the price you pay afterward for decisions made in the past. We didn't aggressively modernize our tech stack over the years because it wasn't necessary to grow. How we grew was to become the dominant 401(k) managed account provider--that meant making our code base complicated enough to service 600+ different retirement plans. But that code base generated over $300 million in revenue in 2015, so cut our execs some slack when you read complaints about seasoned technologies. As for the criticisms that we have no strategy, I don't quite believe that we got to be the managed account provider for 600 retirement plans by accident.

    Working at a startup can be very exciting and engaging (and stressful). A startup is always trying out new things. There's no existing business to protect, so big risks are justified and there are no legacy systems to trip over. When you move fast and break stuff, there's very little to break so fixing the breakage is easy.

    FE is not a startup. We're regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Breaking stuff can cause real damage that doesn't always fix easily. So, like other 20-year-old companies, there’s a tension here between trying out new things and being careful not to endanger the existing business. There are a lot of people here whose jobs are to make sure the existing business runs smoothly. New ideas that don't accommodate their concerns will fail. And newcomers who can't navigate the organization will fail.

    One of my biggest frustrations is seeing newcomers (from individuals to executives) arrive with big plans to change everything without understanding the business or the organization. They typically flail for a year or two and then flame out. And write critical reviews of us, some of it justified, without ever seeing the big picture.

    Sorry, this is not a “greenfield” place in certain ways—greenfields generally don’t make $300 million in revenue. If you read the most negative reviews, they seem to be written by people who experienced a switcheroo between what they expected their jobs would be and what ended up happening. It seems to me we could do better at setting expectations up front. Especially in Product Management and Engineering, on the front lines of that tension between trying new things and managing the existing business, we need to do better.

    We welcome new energy and ideas. We need people to show us how it’s done in other places. Just be understanding, okay? The mission here is to help regular people manage their investments and plan for retirement, not to prototype some sick new disruptive technology and sell out to Facebook. If the mission doesn’t speak to you, this may not be the best place for you.

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Financial Engines Interviews



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    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Sunnyvale, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview


    I applied online. I interviewed at Financial Engines (Sunnyvale, CA) in May 2017.


    Hiring manager phone screen followed by onsite with 5 people.
    Interviewers were pretty nice and the team in general seems pretty friendly. Good Environment.Interview was for about 5 hours.

    Interview Questions

    • Array Manipulation, Palindrome, Anagram, System Design of a simple user registration, Db queries, Spring features   Answer Question
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