AQR Capital Management Reviews | Glassdoor

AQR Capital Management Reviews

Updated December 21, 2016
51 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.7
Star Star Star Star Star
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Cliff Asness, Ph.D.
35 Ratings

51 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • The work/life balance can be difficult to maintain (in 3 reviews)

  • You will be a slave working unnecessarily long hours with no clue of what you are doing (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "Really smart people"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    I have been working at AQR Capital Management full-time

    Pros

    Senior leaders are very smart and are committed to creating a culture which is honest, intellectual, and thoughtful. They can be demanding but are also generally great to work for.

    Cons

    The commute can be very rough. Also I think it can be difficult for new people to integrate. I've seen people who are otherwise great and smart clash with the very academic culture.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure good Analyst / Associates / VPs don't leave because they are difficult to find and the culture that the firm was built on depends on the quality of employee being very high


  2. Helpful (10)

    "An academic environment where you'll learn nothing"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at AQR Capital Management full-time

    Pros

    AQR is a profitable company with many profit streams
    Generally, there's very low involuntary turnover--it's pretty hard to get fired although this is very team specific, as is the case with any company
    AQR has improved substantially since a few years ago (didn't even have a 401k program 5 years ago)

    Cons

    The lies start from day 1: job descriptions and work are sold as interesting and engaging but the truth is that every (front office) job function is effectively operations: researchers check reports, tech keeps the lights on and "portfolio managers" manage trade execution. Many reviews on this site have been added by current employees who were asked to write raving reviews of the firm. Evidence of this is clear in the clusters of good and bad reviews sorted by time.

    Being an "academic" environment, AQR is devoid of any and all forms of feedback, especially upwards feedback. Employees were unable to provide upwards feedback until this year in which the upwards feedback was two 1-5 selections and a brief comment section; that's a full 18 years of no upwards feedback. This is very much like being a research assistant in which your professor is always correct and you should listen to them no matter what. One result of this is that a large portion of your teammates and an even larger portion of people who have been with the firm longer than 2 years are sycophants.

    It's impossible to get anything done. If you're trying to implement some new ideas or technology, you'll be heavily hamstrung by the Windows first environment and the incredibly poor in-house tooling. Organizational changes are similarly impossible due to the highly political environment. AQR has somehow managed to introduce large company politics into a relatively smaller firm.

    Advice to Management

    Instead of making surface level changes like allowing casual Fridays every day, try to create a culture of giving and acting on feedback.


  3. Helpful (5)

    "Good name to leverage for exit opportunities"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst in Greenwich, CT
    Former Employee - Analyst in Greenwich, CT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AQR Capital Management full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Free breakfast, lunch and dinner
    Some of the academics are really smart and great to be around
    Located right on train station

    Cons

    Pay is lower than comparable firms
    Turnover is very high, some teams hit 30-50% easily at analyst/associate level
    Its maturing from an exciting cool place (back in 2011ish) to a large scale asset manager and that transition has been rocky at best for less senior employees

    Advice to Management

    Show up to the office and engage with employees


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "Great place"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Smart colleagues and good benefits.

    Cons

    Greenwich is a little isolated.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Great company to work for, lots of work to do!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vice President in Greenwich, CT
    Former Employee - Vice President in Greenwich, CT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AQR Capital Management full-time

    Pros

    AQR is a very friendly company, with many good people. Teams can be small to medium sized, so individual contributions are seen. The pay is competitive and sometimes above market, with excellent benefits, but you are expected to earn it. There's a lot of work to do, so you won't be bored. It's also a very tech driven environment and provides nice facilities.

    Cons

    If you are commuting from New York expect a 60+ minute commute (express trains are ~45 minutes from Grand Central to the Greenwich station), and if you drive parking is very over-crowded so you may have to valet your vehicle (free, but not recommended for other reasons). The work/life balance can be difficult to maintain. Recently there's been an uptick in internal politics, these can be very nasty at times.

    Advice to Management

    Reign in some of the politics going on with lower level and middle management. Terminate employees & contractors that aren't working out sooner rather than later.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Fabulous place to work and grow."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Vice President in Greenwich, CT
    Current Employee - Vice President in Greenwich, CT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Incredibly supportive and collaborative culture; the energetic enviornment and leadership team just seems to naturally fuel self-motivation and encourage continuous personal improvement across all levels and ranks; an open canvass for higher learning and career development; everyone works hard and is always at their best, but lots of emphasis on work-life balance and flexibility (people who are in the office longer hours are there because they want to be there); for those who seek rewarding, fulfilling and evolving careers in this industry, this is the one-stop-shop for it all.

    Cons

    None really. If I had to pick something, would be good to add plain granola to the breakfast cereals.

    Advice to Management

    Bravo. Keep doing what you are doing and stay focused on the fundamentals of what makes the place so great, and what has brought it so far in such a short timeframe.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "A growing firm with a commitment to its people and to talent"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer
    Current Employee - Software Developer
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AQR Capital Management full-time

    Pros

    very collaborative work environment. everybody is bright, motivated and has impressive academic backgrounds creating a work culture that values learning and academia

    Cons

    location being in Greenwich, ct (that is if you prefer urban life)

    Advice to Management

    Familiar with management in the technology space. Neal (CTO) and the rest of his management team are fair, trustworthy and they genuinely care about their employees.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Sharp minds, nice people"

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

    I have been working at AQR Capital Management (More than a year)

    Pros

    Smartest people in the industry who are also humble
    Doing great performance-wise while still a friendly and nice culture

    Cons

    Commuting from the city is a pain but easier than all other CT funds due to location next to train station

    Advice to Management

    Keep politics and bureaucracy to a minimum as the company gets bigger and keep the small company culture


  10. "Operations Analyst"

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

    I have been working at AQR Capital Management full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits, free food, fully stacked soda and chips, nice and smart people, good career development

    Cons

    same with all other bo jobs, just less stress.


  11. Helpful (4)

    "Nice company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Gss Quantitative Analyst/Developer II in Greenwich, CT
    Former Employee - Gss Quantitative Analyst/Developer II in Greenwich, CT
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Everyone is sharp smart and a lot of things to learn

    Cons

    Salary is a bit low, at least lower than industry average. Management are too academic.



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