Harris Williams & Co. Reviews | Glassdoor

Harris Williams & Co. Reviews

Updated October 5, 2017
38 reviews

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3.5
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Harris Williams & Co. Executive Managing Director Ned Valentine
Ned Valentine
19 Ratings

38 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Great people, great company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

    I worked at Harris Williams & Co. full-time

    Pros

    I loved working at Harris Williams. Banking is often a horror show in terms of work/life balance, but at the Associate level and above, there hours are decent. The Company has a solid culture and people are treated much more respectfully than I have seen at other banks. Harris Williams is the kind of place you can build a long-term career and live a decent life. I really recommend working here.

    Cons

    All the cons I remember are related to issues you would face at any bank (demanding clients, busy schedule, occasionally insane hours). That said, I think they could do a better job of mentoring junior talent with the intention of promoting high-performers internally. The attitude towards junior talent is just to assume that they will all leave after two years, which doesn't have to be the case.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on identifying high-performing junior talent early.


  2. "Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

    I worked at Harris Williams & Co. full-time

    Pros

    HW&Co. is a good place for analysts for compensation, deal experience and private equity placement. The place to good for middle market M&A.

    Cons

    You will get absolutely crushed. You work long hours given the deal volume that runs through the shop.

    Advice to Management

    Don't waste analyst's time on marketing and administrative tasks. They have enough on their plates executing M&A deals.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Former Employee"

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

    I worked at Harris Williams & Co. full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great deal flow, primarily from PE firms

    Cons

    Harris Williams culture has changed and not for the better. Complete disregard for junior staff personal life or career development. Unless you are "one of the boys" you will be disrespected and thrown aside. Attrition over the last year should be a warning to anyone considering the firm. Pompous and self-congratulatory, senior management does not seem any closer to addressing real issues. Management has continued to change the promotion requirements without explanation in an effort to weed out those employees that aren't blue blood, white Darden good ol' boys

    Advice to Management

    Stop playing favorites. Make an effort for diverse thought and employees. Treat your junior staff with respect and stop the complete disregard for personal and family time. Be honest about promotions and invest in career development.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Great Shop"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Harris Williams & Co. full-time

    Pros

    - Lean deal teams; lots of exposure to deals and all stages of them.
    - Good people; collegiate mentality; no one takes themselves to seriously.

    Cons

    - Same cons as all investment banks--little regard to junior bankers' time.


  5. "Associate in a satellite office (Tech team)"

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

    I worked at Harris Williams & Co. full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great deal flow. Work with quality companies. SOME great people to learn from (MDs are very strong). Small deal teams so you get a lot of responsibility (vs. bulge brackets). Very strong reputation within private equity universe. Strong collegial atmostphere between associates and analysts (at least when I was there. For analysts, great placement options post-Harris Williams. Pay was very competitive.

    From my experience, compared to other banks, HW didn't win deals based on tech industry connections. It was all about the private equity relationships/referrals and crazy over-preparation for everything vs. the competition. But at least you didn't spin your wheels on wild goose chases pitching "M&A Ideas" that most other banks do.

    Cons

    Satellite office cultures were very different vs. the home Richmond office. Some satellites have good cultures. Some not. Home office seemed to be more about sweet-talkin, southern, good old boys feel. If you're one of them (e.g. UVA frat bruh), you'll love home office.

    No real reputation outside the private equity universe. If you plan to work in middle market banking or private equity, HW is a great brand name to have on your resume. If you plan to work outside these industries, the HW brand name is worth nothing.

    Work/life balance at the junior level is always miserable at any bank. HW is no different. Directors/VP's were completely useless and ultimate micromanagers. Basically everything is shoved down to the Associates and Analysts.

    HW uses a "database" of every industry/private equity contact. It was the most antiquated, slowest POS I've ever seen + impossible to work with and added unnecessary hours upon hours of work. Maybe they've updated this since then.

    HW deals are very process based. Every deal is almost exactly the same (that's why they have such a high success rate on deals). Unfortunately, for junior bankers it means your learning curve is capped pretty quickly.

    Advice to Management

    Similar to most other reviews: need to treat the junior guys with more respect. Pls use their time more wisely. Everyone expects long hours, but doing absolutely menial tasks that add little value to the deal doesn't help anyone. Make your mid-managers (directors/VPs) do MORE, take more responsibility, mentor junior bankers, etc - currently they are just gloried typo checkers.


  6. "Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Richmond, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Richmond, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Harris Williams & Co. full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    GOOD! Big fan of the culture

    Cons

    None that are noticeable. Hard work

    Advice to Management

    NA


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Okay"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great pay, good office perks.

    Cons

    Hours, office location (richmond is HQ)

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Great spot if you want a career in IB"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Harris Williams & Co. full-time

    Pros

    Unbelievable culture. Great folks that generally care about their employees.

    Cons

    LIke any investment bank, the hours can be tough.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Managing Director"

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

    I have been working at Harris Williams & Co. full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Harris Williams has a very collegial culture. Many who come from other investment banks remark how positively different it is from previous places where they have worked.

    Cons

    If you are not willing to work hard and put in long hours, HW&Co. and investment banking would not be a great career fit for you.


  10. Helpful (9)

    "Harris Williams - The Downward Spiral"

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

    I worked at Harris Williams & Co. full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You will constantly be staffed on live deals and will have to learn how to work with terrible managers.

    Cons

    This place has lost all sense of any culture that it once had. The CEO recently extended the promotion timeline for associates (right before a major round of promotions) and even made the requirements for promotion more vague and subjective to reduce the number of associate promotes. He then lied to everyone and claimed that it wasn't a change in policy. They also had an MD sit down with all the associates to review their responsibilities and he told us it is our job to clean up buyers dirty plates at management presentations. None of the senior bankers (VP and above) actually do any execution. Most of the VP's I worked with never opened a single PPT or excel document. They are all focused on marketing and push all of the actual work down on the associates and analysts. Yet, the Company continues to promote lazy, terrible leaders into senior positions who perpetuate this problem. This is also why all the associates and analysts feel that the place is a sweatshop with zero work-life balance. It's no wonder that people are running for the exits at this place. The founding partner left in December, and over the past few months they have lost another MD, two D's, two VP's, and a wave of associates. I will also echo something else that has been mentioned in other posts about the company. It is definitely a "Good-Old-Boy's" club. If you are from Richmond or went to UVA, you will be taken care of and included as part of the firm. If not, you will likely be considered an outsider and brushed aside. Not once did I ever feel that anyone cared about my career progression, or development. For anyone seriously considering a job a HW, I would recommend that you reconsider and join a different bank. Anyplace would be better.

    Advice to Management

    Stop promoting people who get terrible reviews from their subordinates. Wake up and realize that the culture has completely changed. If you continue to operate as a UVA frat-house, and abuse good associates and analysts, they will all eventually leave.


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