D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm Reviews | Glassdoor

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D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm Reviews

Updated December 20, 2017
95 reviews

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4.1
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D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm Chairman David E. Shaw
David E. Shaw
56 Ratings

95 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Exceedingly careful to make sure each employee is happy with their work/life balance (in 13 reviews)

  • Decent comp, generally nice and mostly smart people, trusted to get on with the job (in 17 reviews)

Cons
  • narrow scope, limited exposure, long hours (in 6 reviews)

  • sometimes work pressure is more so keep your health in check (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (7)

    "Smartest people in the world"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vice President in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Vice President in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    You get to work with the best thought leaders in the field, in a true meritocracy.

    Cons

    Imposter Syndrome is common. Most new hires are used to being the expert at what they do. It can require adjustment to get used to the impressive peer group in the firm.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Amazing company with extraordinarily interesting people!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Recommends

    Pros

    The environment and the benefits. D.E. Shaw places a high value on recruiting the best talent which creates a workforce of bright, curious, academic-minded employees. It's a very collegial atmosphere where collaboration on both work and extra curriculars (e.g. green initiatives, running club) is encouraged. The company hires interesting people so many people have creative hobbies (everything from writing to acting to stand up comedy) so it's not your typical financial investment firm!

    The benefits are great -- they include $2/month health insurance, free snacks, subsidized gym memberships, games dispersed around the office (foosball, Wii Guitar Hero, etc...), and great company parties. Work/life balance is generally good and most of the admin jobs are created to appeal to artists from Ivy League schools who need to support their craft with a well paid 9-5 job with a flexible schedule.

    Cons

    Because of the rigorous recruiting policy, it can take months to be hired or hire new employees into your group. The later can cause work overload. Also, some departments have limited opportunities for growth/promotions, but I do feel the selection process is fair.

    DE Shaw has an open vacation policy, which initially sounds great, but it can make some employees feel guilty about taking vacation days.

    Advice to Management

    More interaction with employees in the remote offices (non-NY)

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Good place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Finance and Operations in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Finance and Operations in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    good package except bonuses
    people are great to work with
    learn a lot about hedge fund operations
    can do this coming form liberal arts

    Cons

    more limited exit opportunities coming from this group
    very long hours the first 6 months - 1 year
    no formal training program

    Advice to Management

    It seems that there should be more opportunities for liberal arts students to gain employment with de shaw ... maybe expand company operations to accommodate this


  4. "Great experience as a quant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Quantitative Analyst in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Quantitative Analyst in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Interesting people to work with
    Interesting problems to deal with
    Great culture
    Good pantry

    Cons

    have to wait long for the decision from management

    Advice to Management

    see above


  5. "Fun!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vice President in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Vice President in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Briliant people, good compensation, great work environment.

    Cons

    None! I am now retired!


  6. "Vice President Financial Operations"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    The people are extremely intelligent and qualified. Casual work environment and the company is always investing in technology enhancements.

    Cons

    The company has become overly bureaucratic in the past few years. They have also been eliminating staff in the US and relying on their team in Hyderabad.


  7. "Phenomenally brilliant colleagues; exceptional compensation"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Member Technical Staff
    Former Employee - Member Technical Staff
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Brilliant colleagues. Hard-working culture; they interview specifically to improve the team.

    Cons

    Intensely competitive field, lots of secrecy (most of it justifiable)

    Advice to Management

    Understand the size of risks of the portfolio. Don't let LTCM get you again.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "D.E. Shaw was a great place for me to begin and finish my career in finance."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Proprietary Trader in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Proprietary Trader in New York, NY
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    great culture, smart people--very smarty people. learn a lot; get much more experience and responsibility than one would get at sell-side.

    Cons

    worked there during the financial crisis so I didn't always get the information and help I needed. much more institutional and "corporate" than they want you to think.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great people, perfectionist work environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Manager in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Focus on learning; challenging work; great colleagues with interesting backgrounds. This place is full of non-finance folks who know their stuff. The ecletic backgrounds make it a fantastic and interesting place to work. Upper management does a lot to make it a great place to work, offering lots of great perks and depending on the department, lots of room to grow, both personally and professionaly.

    Cons

    Some groups far more intense than others. Some managers very difficult to work for and it can go unnoticed or purposefully unnoticied. Most employees are very friendly, however it can be a bit snobby/elitist.

    Advice to Management

    Keep focusing recruiting and retaining amazing talent.


  10. "Unique culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Analyst in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Financial Analyst in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at D. E. Shaw & Co. - Investment Firm full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Crazy smart people. Very thoughtful and engaged management. Strong, consistent culture. This is the Google of Wall Street.

    Cons

    Doesn't pay as high as other firms. Slow to embrace change. Management can be a bit too hands-off.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out how to encourage more innovation structurally. Currently, new ideas are too easily stifled.


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