FINRA Reviews | Glassdoor

FINRA Reviews

Updated February 17, 2019
433 reviews

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3.0
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FINRA President and Chief Executive Officer Robert W. Cook
Robert W. Cook
23 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Work life balance unmatched in Finance" (in 99 reviews)

  • "Great benefits for employees and lots of decade employees" (in 48 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (8)

    "Meaningful work, great environment, opportunity to learn and grow"

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

    I have been working at FINRA full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    FINRA offers opportunities for people in a broad range of professions - data scientists, compliance examiners, enforcement attorneys, other regulators, investor educators, etc. - to grow and develop within their respective areas while doing very meaningful work: helping to protect investors.
    Challenging work that is personally and professionally rewarding. Collegial environment where others are happy to share their expertise to help you learn. Competitive compensation and benefits. FINRA is renewing itself with a comprehensive review of its organization and operations, with an eye toward being the most effective and efficient organization it can be. FINRA is fully committed to a diverse workforce and inclusive work environment, offering a number of programs and benefits along these lines. Senior leadership is actively engaged in advancing diversity and inclusion goals.
    Overall, an expectation that you have an opportunity to contribute your individual perspective and expertise to the success of the organization, and your ideas and views will be heard.

    Cons

    If you think that a non-for-profit, self-regulatory organization would be sleepy and slow-paced, this is not for you; performance expectations are set very high and the work can be intense.
    The organization is in the midst of very positive changes, and if you're not flexible, adaptable and willing and able to reinvent your work, this is not the place for you.

    Advice to Management

    Keep reinventing yourself. Change is of course difficult on many levels, but essential to remaining vibrant, relevant and an attractive choice for people who want to make a positive difference in our markets and economy.


  2. "Current Employee"

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

    I have been working at FINRA full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Work Life Balance, Work From Home Policy, Casual Attire while in office,

    Cons

    Close minded management that is reluctant to change with the times.

  3. "FINRA does not put up a fight"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Principal Analyst
    Former Employee - Associate Principal Analyst

    I worked at FINRA full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The company offers a lot of training opportunities
    Holds town hall meetings to inform employees of the company’s happenings

    Cons

    Too many layers of management makes it difficult to get things done
    Lot of backlogged work makes it frustrating for the member firms it tries to regulate
    For an organization that prides itself on investor protections, FINRA should do a better job fighting for it
    employee morale is low when hard work doesn’t lead to much


  4. "meh"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at FINRA full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    interesting work, great co-workers.

    Cons

    work from home is lacking compared to others in the industry.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "HR Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at FINRA (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Company Mission. Working with great people.

    Cons

    Politics can get in the way of moving things forward.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Don’t do it!! You’ll regret it forever."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    None. There are no good reasons to work at FINRA. It is the absolute worst job I have ever had.

    Cons

    Where do I start? Everything is a con. It’s just a bad place to work. The pay is much lower than all other places in the industry. The bonus is supposed to make up for it, but the bonuses actually suck and they get lower every year. I was told that working here would look good on my resume but it has actually worked against me. It has been very had to find another job because nobody wants a former FINRA employee. Most companies think FINRA employees are below average. They are not completely wrong. I am surrounded by people who had been here for twenty years and have not learned anything new. Some of them can’t even operate a computer properly. The pay sucks, benefits are mediocre at best. There is absolutely no opportunity for advancement. They dangle promotions over your head to make you do more work, but people rarely actually get promoted. Even when people do get promoted, it’s not even worth it. The raise you get is minimal (maybe 3%) and then your work doubles. The work itself is tedious and boring and more difficult than it should be because the technology is from the Stone Age. Management is dictatorial and bureaucratic. People get promoted because they have been here a long time, but they don’t actually know how to be managers. Every manager I’ve had was just following directions from up above. It’s definitely not the place to come to learn and grow your career. It’s a good place to come if you want to find somewhere to just march in place until retirement. That’s what most of the employees are doing.

    Advice to Management

    Move into the 21st century. Get some decent technology. Allow some new ideas to permeate the culture. Stop relying on “the mission” to motivate employees. Most people don’t really care about your mission. They just want a challenging work environment with decent pay and opportunities for advancement. If you provide that, people will work hard for you.


  7. "Good job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Counsel
    Former Employee - Senior Counsel
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at FINRA full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Job security was a plus

    Cons

    Slow to change, fear of making a mistake

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Lack of Decision Making, Underappreciated and Underpaid"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Examiner in Rockville, MD
    Former Employee - Examiner in Rockville, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at FINRA full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Free water, coffee and tea. Work from home if you're in the right department and your manager allows you, i.e., likes you enough to take advantage of it, otherwise you're out of luck and really should leave; decent benefits (medical, dental and vision and 6% 401k match).

    Cons

    Underappreciated; underpaid; lack of communication from management; too many levels of decision makers none of whom actually makes any decisions; lots of finger pointing.; very into customer service pleasing, i.e., the big broker dealers who complain to management rather than protecting the investors.

    Advice to Management

    Trim the fat at the management level. A typical examiner would be reporting to a manager, associate district director, senior director, senior vice president, executive vice president of a department, executive vice president of a larger department, who reports to CEO, who is ultimately reporting to the SEC.

    Decision making paralysis throughout as none of the managers actually want to make any decisions placed in front of them. They will point the finger at their subordinates and another department. Job is about saying the ball is in someone else's court.

    Management is very inflexible. They can only work as predetermined process no matter how time-consuming and inefficient it is. Some of the working procedures not only increase burden of employees but also make no sense as an organization (such as excessive administrative tasks, lack of use of working technology, or running internet searches on 300+ entities and individuals just to check the box). Also, when issues appear, the team leaders always think first of how to rid themselves from the decision making process (i.e., did the examiner do anything wrong that I can pinpoint them on? Did they send out a request to further extend the deadline so I don't have to make any decisions until later? Did they ask someone else's input on fundamental questions I should also be thinking about? Did the examiner follow the script/template and check the box so there is no room for creativity or thinking outside the box?)

    All surveys which ostensibly are set out to address these issues are computer-based. If you do not complete the survey, management sends you an email asking why you didn't complete the so-called anonymous survey. This fools no one.

    People keep their heads down waiting to retire (for those with pension pre-merger days with NYSE) or leave very fast (extreme revolving door), using the job just to get their foot in the compliance door and leave as soon as training is over.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "I can’t recommend working here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Dispute Resolution in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Dispute Resolution in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at FINRA full-time

    Pros

    Benefits good
    Flexible hours if needed

    Cons

    Management bad. They are not well trained management.
    Favoritism from managers.
    Too much work and no help or even OT offered. We were always stressed and busy but management doesn’t help and even leaves early everyday
    No appreciation
    Focus only on negatives and never positive things I did to help

    Advice to Management

    Get trained in management because it is bad. Appreciate and encourage people instead of picking on them. Be more active in helping your people or else why are you even needed as a manager if we managed ourselves.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "good place to start a career, toxic environments if not in tech"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Investigator in Rockville, MD
    Former Employee - Investigator in Rockville, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I worked in the Office of Fraud Detection and Market Intelligence for several years and have spoken with many employees in many departments. Here is my analysis of my time there:
    - good place to launch a financial career
    - reasonable work hours
    - work exposes you to the broker-dealer industry and is a great way to learn
    - solid benefits. remote working available after 1 year.

    Cons

    - toxic culture that starts at the top and trickles down. management gaslights you into believing it's a "relaxed" place to work and it seems that way, but it's a frat house environment. There are a lot of big and fragile egos there.
    - toxic environment seems to extend throughout most of the financial (member reg, ofdmi, etc.) groups. Tech seems okay.
    - management has no accountability. They can and will blame every mistake on the investigator.
    - minimal room for growth and upward mobility
    - to succeed you must "play the game", become buddy-buddy with the bosses, worship the ground they walk on, and become a peon. There is no room for dissent. So either keep your head down or fall in line.
    - pay well below industry standards

    Advice to Management

    Clean house starting with the Vice Presidents and the Directors, and take a HARD look at your managers. Listen to the investigators. Pay your investigators more if you demand such high quality and output. It is hard to justify working at a place that pays their essential staff below industry standards, often cuts employee benefits/services for budget reasons, but pays their executives exorbitant salaries.