FHLB Boston Reviews | Glassdoor

FHLB Boston Reviews

Updated September 5, 2016
21 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

2.4
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Ed Hjerpe III
19 Ratings

21 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "A great place to be"

    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 FHLB Boston full-time

    Pros

    Overall, the pay and benefits are very competitive. People work hard, but there is a consistent emphasis on maintaining a good work-life balance. The bank is strong and stable and that's not an easy accomplishment considering the recent recession. I've never worked at a company with so many employees who have stayed for 10, 20 or even 30 years. Senior managers are very accessible, friendly and smart. I find them to be approachable, insightful and open to new ideas.

    Cons

    While having so many employees who have been employed for so long is a positive thing overall, I think there are some people who have been at the bank for so long that they are resistant to change or new ideas. I certainly feel like

    Advice to Management

    I recommend continuing to strive to provide employees of all levels a voice within the organization. There are a lot of hard-working, knowledgeable people with great ideas about how we can grow and prosper and serve our members and communities better.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Best Career Decision Ever!"

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

    I have been working at FHLB Boston full-time

    Pros

    Pension Plan (Non-Contributory too!), Tuition Reimbursement, 50% MBTA or Parking, Compensation, Bonus, Work & Home balance, Training Opportunities, and above it all...a culture that has evolved into one that strongly supports its employees. I've worked there for almost 3 years and experienced very positive changes with a re-organization of IT, engaged leadership, making sure the right people are in the right positions. New leadership in IT, now known as Bank Technology, has unified us in a singular vision that empowers staff, allows for mistakes, assigns accountability, and strongly encourages collaboration above all, which was a problem for us for some time, mostly due to previous leadership and staff not having this type of mindset. Thankfully that has all changed! After having a banner year the CEO and our Board rewarded every employee with an additional, and significant, bonus. This, being in addition to the standard bonus compensation that is part of most employees compensation package.

    Cons

    No place is perfect and we certainly have our pockets of challenges as can be seen by reading some of the more negative reviews here, but take those with a grain of salt. It is a small workforce and as such there are limitations around progression, depending upon your goals. I've worked in some very challenging places such as a major retailer, and working at the Bank has been one of the best choices I've made. I'm looking forward to a long career with them.

    Advice to Management

    Stay the course! Keep empowering employees and recognizing great performers.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Excellent place to work overall"

    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 FHLB Boston full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    In the short time I have been back at the bank (yes, I am a "boomerang"), I see open mindedness to make real and positive change at all levels of the organization. The business and technology teams are collaborating for results. We have a specific strategy for technology that is transparent for all to understand. Transparency does not stop at the strategy of the bank - The CIO has a blog and today posted recent survey results - both good and bad; the CEO does quarterly town halls. Silos are getting windows supporting more communication and collaboration across disciplines. Roles are being looked at more broadly and overall skills (both soft and hard) are being considered when filling positions. Some recent examples really knocked my socks off because they challenge the status quo and support skill and career advancement for those involved.

    Cons

    The bank is small in the number of employees and we have a fairly flat organizational structure making career advancement difficult.

    Advice to Management

    Keep challenging the status quo - both perceived and real. This advice is for all employees.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "great place to work!"

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

    I have been working at FHLB Boston full-time

    Pros

    I LOVE my department and team. Great, friendly and supportive atmosphere. The work is also very interesting and exciting. HR makes a great effort to ensure employees are happy and succeeding. All around great place to work.

    Cons

    Not a lot of opportunity for upward mobility, however hard work and successful productivity is always rewarded with both acknowledgement and bonus compensation.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what youre doing! My direct manager is fantastic, encouraging and supportive. I have had a 100% positive experience with management.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Potential to be a great employer, but misses the mark"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at FHLB Boston full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Work/Life balance is good. Benefits are leaning towards generous. Compensation is livable, but positions are priced very low compared to the market. The pace of the workload isn't typically overwhelming, with the exception of the IT department. Most of the employees below the senior management level are genuine, smart, and capable. These people are the best part about FHLB.

    Cons

    Leadership is lacking, and there is little to no opportunity for advancement. The turnover rate is extremely high, and instead of looking within to develop and promote the existing staff, management hires from the outside. Years’ experience and institutional knowledge is extremely valuable at FHLB and is overlooked time and time again by those making hiring and staffing decisions. Those who stick around typically do so for the pension, the tuition reimbursement benefits, or the guaranteed 9-5 that they couldn't get elsewhere. The culture is reflective of that.

    Advice to Management

    It’s not 2008 anymore. The Bank is performing well, and the job market has drastically improved. The offerings at the Bank are no longer competitive enough to keep talent here long term. Other companies have far surpassed what FHLB offers employees in terms of compensation, benefits, opportunity and culture. Boston has the lowest glass door rating of all the FHLB Banks. Perhaps management should head over to the other FHLB's that are getting 3 and 4 star ratings to see what they can do to make FHLB Boston a better place to work.


  7. Helpful (10)

    "Not a smart career"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at FHLB Boston full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Bank has a fading work/life style balance that was once strong. Overall, most employees are not expected to work 60 hours a week or pull extra duty on Saturdays and Sundays (IT may be the exception). However, a strong work ethic will go unnoticed or rewarded.

    Cons

    Leadership is lacking at senior levels. Most managers are Peter Principal technicians without a clue on mentoring, developing, or team work problem solving. The recent crop of Department heads in the past 18 months have glaringly weak leadership skills and are solely interested in advancing their careers at the cost of their staff. Good staff have left in a mass exodus by finding more challenging and rewarding jobs or taking early retirement. This is clearly apparent in four struggling department including Information Technology / Information Security, Credit / Collateral, Internal Audit, and Human Resources.

    If you are even vaguely considering a position in one of these departments and have a job offer elsewhere you would be crazy to join one of these teams based on these department heads' leadership skills and abysmal management styles.

    If you desperately need a job and have no other choice plan on a short tenure at the Bank, but ask four questions during your interview process.
    1. What is the turnover rate during the past 12 months?
    2. What positions have turned over in the past three months and why?
    3. As a department head how long have you been in this position and what happened to your predecessor?
    4. As them to update you on the long term viability of the Boston Bank and the merger of other FHLBanks. It would behoove you to do a bit of on line research in this area based on declining growth and out of district mergers.

    Most importantly, insist on speaking with two staff members in the department that you are interviewing with that have more than a years tenure. Ask them the same questions and what career opportunities they have had during their tenure.

    If they will not arrange for these staff reviews. Run, do not walk away from a career mistake at FHLBBOSTON Boston.

    Advice to Management

    Come on guys, you need a focus group to tell you what the staff needs and wants. You are supposed to be managers of a 200 person Bank. Are you too busy ensuring you meet your ICP goals and bonuses to have you hands on the pulse of your departments?


  8. Helpful (3)

    "Good employer offering great benefits"

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

    Pros

    The bank's mission makes many employees feel good about going to work. The bank really plays an important role in economic development of the New England area. 10% of income set aside each year to supports many development projects including homes for veterans, seniors, and lower income households.

    Given what I know about other places, the work life balance here is a dream. You might check email once or twice but there is almost never work on weekends. Most of the employees take the commuter rail so the place empties out around 5 pm.

    Plus some of the people here are GREAT to work with--professionals who know their stuff and are genuinely kind and caring. It’s not the kind of competitive environment you see in some other places. People genuinely care about the place and in my experience love to help when asked.

    For its huge financial size ($50 billion plus in total assets), it’s amazing how small the place is in terms of staffing – just over 200 people to support all of the finance, operations, IT, risk management, regulatory, customer-facing, and other needs. This means lots of potential opportunities to interact with senior management on high level issues.

    The benefits are among the best I've seen/heard of. This place offers a defined benefit pension plan based on years of service (does that even exist anymore?) This is above and beyond 401k savings programs where they match contributions. Vacation days are comparable to generous. Insurance benefits are comparable to elsewhere. My manager has said yes to every educational opportunity/seminar I've wanted to attend, which was fully paid for by the Bank.

    To be sure, no one gets Wall Street level salaries here. Salaries are maybe slightly lower than financial institutions our size that are completely private? But this partly reflects a work life balance tradeoff. If you convert everything to an hourly wage, I would not be surprised if FHLB came out comparable to other companies. (That said, I think larger salary increases would help improve morale.)

    Overall a good, family-friendly place to work where the self-starting, driven, and detail-oriented person can take on significant levels of responsibility fairly quickly.

    Cons

    A difficulty for FHLB is its size. With only 200 people, it is difficult to have a clear career path for some positions. The management is aware of this and is trying to improve. I’m not sure what they’ll come up with given that career progression is inherently challenging for a small company. If the company wants to retain talent over the long haul, this has to get addressed somehow.

    There seem to be a couple of departments with higher turnover where employee morale is an issue. This does seem to be something the management should really put resources into improving.

    This place has to deal with an amazing amount of regulations. I don’t know if anyone really enjoys this part of their job but it’s something everyone learns to live with, given what FHLB is, as a quasi-government, quasi-private entity. This does create a somewhat conservative, slow-moving culture.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Once good employer, now not so much"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at FHLB Boston full-time

    Pros

    Like others I believe the bank's mission is important to the regional economy. Also, ten% of profit goes to affordable housing. You would think this would be a great place to work, you would be wrong.

    Cons

    Upper management trusts or respects no one, including each other. Everyone is micro managed including them. Staff with advanced training and degrees have to deal with officers sticking their noses into technical subjects they know little about. Toxic atmosphere is made worse by salaries and bonuses heavily weighted to corporate officers,
    To make things worse HR is clueless about how to treat professionals. They cant even retain their own department staff. They treat everyone like children and are deceptive when it comes to things like announcing benefit reductions. Worse, they think no one will notice. (Note to management: everyone knows). Things got so bad that HR & management made a big deal about an employee engagement survey last year. Very negative results, but the only change they made was to allow jeans on Friday starting in 2015 as long as the board is not meeting. Wow.
    This used to be a good place to work. It hired smart people and promoted up the ranks. For the last 5+ years corporate officer positions have been filled from the outside, usually by those who know somebody in management. Once here, all they do is what they are told. Other opinions are not welcome. You are expected to leave after a few years because there's no career paths here. That is why more than 50 of the 185 employees have left in the last 2 years and why there are always openings.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your employees. Treat them with respect.


  10. "Don't stay long"

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

    I worked at FHLB Boston full-time

    Pros

    great education benefits. Pay more towards education than I've seen most companies do as well as pay up front. Also have a pension, which not many places have left.

    Cons

    Management doesn't get to know you or even care. They only seem to want to talk to people in their committees.
    No work from home on days where the weather is bad. If you can't come in, take a vacation day. What company in this day and age does not have remote access?????

    Advice to Management

    Learn who the people are below a VP level. It isn't a big place and won't take that long. The tone from the bottom is that all management cares about is their bonuses.


  11. "Disgusted"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at FHLB Boston full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Most of the people are cool, there are a few difficult ones. The job isn't that bad if you are allowed to do it properly.

    Cons

    Management will not let you forget something you've done or said once months/years ago. No reward for a job well done. Questionable hires over the last year or so. A lot of in-fighting over minor crap. Major babying to the staff. Good people have left or they make some excuse to let them go.

    Advice to Management

    Get off your high horse and get a clue as to what goes on the "trenches".



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