DC Energy Reviews

Updated Jan 31, 2021

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3.3
69%
Recommend to a Friend
42%
Approve of CEO
DC Energy CEO Dean L. Wilde (no image)
Dean L. Wilde
14 Ratings
  1. Helpful (2)

    "An awesome first job"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at DC Energy full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Intelligent and friendly people, stimulating quantitative problems, team-based approach to investing, great way to build skills across many disciplines (data science, finance, energy). Self-driven workplan teaches you to really think critically and own the analysis. Very little busy-work. Flat structure, approachable managers, fair opportunities to present to upper management and make impactful change

    Cons

    High turnover rate means loss of institutional knowledge, less room for skill development after 3-4 years, long commute if you want to live downtown

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  2. "Good Quantitative Prop Trading Firm"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at DC Energy full-time

    Pros

    Smart people and good management. Hours are good, especially for finance. The work is fairly interesting and the deregulated power markets help to allow more renewable energy to come online which I believe makes this a relatively socially beneficial part of finance.

    Cons

    The most interesting problems seem to have been worked out 10+ years ago.


  3. Helpful (3)

    "The best at what they do, but what they do is very specialized"

    4.0
    Former Employee - Janitor 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at DC Energy full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    * Excellent exposure to analysis, systems, trading, investments * Small team structure gives good exposure to what's going on * Less pigeonholing than other trading jobs / more generalist approach * Senior management is excellent

    Cons

    * Their primary trading focus (congestion) is extremely niche. The amount of traded electricity is far smaller than other commodities, bonds, or equities * The volatility in their primary market is declining (cheap generation and transmission build-out have decreased volatility and opportunity) * Efforts to expand trading into other markets / commodities have largely not done well. Management has pulled the plugs on these efforts after 1-2 years (perhaps abruptly) when either the individual effort has struggled or the entire firm had difficulty * Non-competes limits the ability to go to competing shops. Niche product trading makes moving to other investment shops a tough sell (i.e., your experience won't match). * Location (DC) is the not the primary market for power / investments (Houston, NYC, Boston, SF). Management knows this and understands that it can be a deterrent for trying to leave. It somewhat limits salary / compensation growth. That said, DC is still a better place to live. * Growth / advancement is internal. Don't try to join with too much experience. The firm prefers to train their more senior folks "in their own methods / world view" & promote from within.

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  4. "Disappointing"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Investment Analyst in Vienna, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at DC Energy full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Above-average pay Smart people Interesting financial market

    Cons

    Some bad managers Analyst development is not a priority Bad work/life for the compensation

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  5. "Great first job out of college"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Investment Analyst 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at DC Energy full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    DC Energy had some of the smartest and friendliest people I've worked with. Everyone knew their stuff and didn't hesitate to help each other out. Comp and benefits were decent as well.

    Cons

    Hours could be unpredictable and is heavily dependent on which team you get placed. The turnover rate is also on the high side.

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  6. Helpful (8)

    "Loving it so far"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Investment Analyst in Vienna, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at DC Energy full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    So this has been my first gig out of college and it's been about as good as I could've hoped for especially when I've compared my experience to friends'. The work is challenging (something that I'm glad for). You'll be coming in every day and be expected to actually think. This is aided by the fact that the work is interesting, but unlike research it stays fresh because you don't just work on one project all the time. You get trained well. They take you on a crash course of everything you need to know in the first 3 weeks (it's intense), but afterward you come away with a strong set of analytical skills backed up experience with coding in R, querying with MySQL, and giving presentations. Since it's a pretty small company (~50 people), you're given a decent amount of responsibility from the get-go. This is in contrast to a lot of jobs my friends have at places like Deloitte, Capital One, etc, where they have to do a lot of boring and trivial tasks and then hopefully pick up more interesting stuff later on (but maybe some people like that). I can't speak to my coworkers' experiences but I like my boss and the team that I'm on. We get on pretty well and everyone contributes to the work - collegial is the word for the environment. Which brings me to my next point: just about everyone at the company is exceedingly intelligent. Getting an offer here is an opportunity to work with some really bright individuals who are driven and take their work seriously. The culture is also something I'm fond of; while everyone is extremely smart, the competitive spirit is focused outwards and not inwards. What I'm trying to say is that DC Energy goes out of its way to assemble people that work well in teams (its an actual part of the recruitment process), to the point where I can feel comfortable (after doing my own due diligence), with asking a Principal/Director/anyone about their analysis if I'm running into problems with it. I haven't run into any sort of cut-throat individuals or people with huge heads that can't accept being wrong sometimes. The last thing I'll mention is Work/Life balance. A lot of the old reviews on here talk about some pretty hairy hours (I think I read 60-70 hours from one person). That's definitely an artifact of the past and not the case anymore. I work about 45-50 hours a week (the most was maybe 55 one week). This is pretty amazing considering compensation is around investment banking level. It's flexible enough that I can leave early one night and just work later some other nights that week. And most people get into the office between 9:30 and 10:00 each day. And before I forget, there are also some pretty cool company events. Some great dinners. We're all going to a Capitals game this winter. And bowling like a month ago (food and drink included so it was actually fun) But this is all just my perspective. Everyone is going to feel a little bit differently about what it's like.

    Cons

    There are definitely some downsides to working here. It's my understanding that they've scaled down their team budgets pretty significantly from the past (no more $1,000+ tasting menus), which just means I can't experience how nice that must have been in the past. There is a non-compete, although it's only meant to restrict trading the same set of securities that we work with (and it's a pretty niche market). I can't say that I would stay in the line of work if I moved on to other things. From where I am at the bottom of the company, upper management seems to have reached saturation point. Most of the people (even those at the very top), are in their forties or younger. That means that guys like me who start later aren't likely to have the room to move up (unless the company identifies some new opportunities and expands). In effect, this means that at some point I'll have to make a decision between trying to make a career out of working at DCE or decide that the opportunity isn't there and move somewhere else where progression is clearer. In the long term, this is my biggest concern (beside the ever present threat as a trading firm of bankruptcy). There's a decent amount of turnover each year. This isn't a huge surprise given that this is just about everyone here's first job out of college, but it's a bit sad to have to say goodbye to so many folks all at the same time. It also makes me worry about the consequences of any bad recruiting years ; when there's that much volatility in the number of employees, there's the potential that we suffer and can't handle all of the work.

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  7. Helpful (3)

    "Mostly satisfied with experience at smart and growing but pragmatic company"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Investment Analyst in Vienna, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at DC Energy full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The culture of the company reflects the people who work here: young, smart, motivated, and friendly. Management in general does a very good job in the recruiting process, and so you feel surrounded by (on the whole) very competent people much like yourself. Perks on the job are great - expensable dinners if you stay late, and on average once-monthly company events at very nice venues. Most are happy coming in to work in the mornings. Work-life balance is pretty good compared to other companies expecting similarly high-performance - it's no govt job. 50-60 hours per week (some teams may need to spend more occasionally), but hours on a daily basis are pretty flexible and "facetime" isn't a huge issue here. Feedback from direct managers is frequent and constructive - feedback is emphasized. DC is a fun town - like the company, very young and energetic. Starting salary higher than most anybody else. Company performs very well compared to competitors. Exit opportunities are good - the kind of work we do is looked on very favorably for its analytic/quant rigor. The coding skills that you pick up on the job are also quite valuable. Caveat: see non-compete below.

    Cons

    Bonuses seem to vary a lot, and without a lot of explanation on the part of management. Overall, transparency on the management's behalf seems a bit excessive, and it weighs on a lot of people's minds. Noncompete is pretty binding, and can be quite disadvantageous if you're not looking to go back to school after you leave. Mentorship at the company, while not bad, is not great. More frequent formal meetings with advisers would be nice so there's not as much pressure to interact on a casual basis. (On the plus side, upper management that has a lot of cumulative experience in a range of areas is approachable and friendly, and willing to talk.) Staffing on teams seems arbitrary at first, although most people are able to move into roles that suit them after putting in a year's work.

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  8. Helpful (3)

    "Overall a positive experience"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at DC Energy full-time

    Pros

    The analyst cohort was generally pretty easy going and fun though sometimes a bit nerdy. My managers seemed to care about how I was progressing and gave frequent feedback. Work was fairly interesting and highly analytical.

    Cons

    The location isn't ideal and the commute is annoying unless you live in Tysons, but then you live in Tysons. Some people had problems with their managers, but this was a minority. There also were no clear exit opportunities with a two year non-compete.

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  9. Helpful (3)

    "Pays well, amazing co-workers, good professional development, hours can be difficult"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Analyst in Vienna, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at DC Energy full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Intelligent Co-workers High pay, commensurate with other finance jobs Constant learning in your first few years; good professional development and skills

    Cons

    Hours can be bad depending on the team you're placed on, well above the 55 hr/wk they tell you about

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  10. Helpful (2)

    "Extremely smart company focused on the fundamentals of good finance.."

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at DC Energy full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Very young and extremely smart company with a lot of energy; this is the firm's strongest point. Good base salary that scales quickly with experience. Office environment is professional and quality; everyone starts in an office. Very flexible work hours - leave in the middle of the day for an hour or two if you want - just get your work done for tomorrow's meeting. i.e. face time is not an issue. 3+ weeks paid vacation each year, and it rolls to the next year. Most lower-level (analyst & associate) employees readily engage with each other outside work (sports, trivia, nights out, etc.). Very friendly group. Frequent company events, team dinners, etc. Bagels, fruit, snacks, etc. available in the mornings. Expense accounts.

    Cons

    Office in Vienna, VA seems needlessly out of the way (although across from a metro stop and large mall). Management, while in touch often with employees, may seem secretive. Pretty harsh non-compete must be signed. Regulatory environment of industry forces various of the teams through ups and downs - employees can get shuffled to new teams/restaffed relatively frequently. Health insurance is a bit wonky.

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