Harris Williams & Co. Reviews | Glassdoor

Harris Williams & Co. Reviews

Updated May 11, 2017
36 reviews

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

36 Employee Reviews

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  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (2)

    "Great spot if you want a career in IB"

    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

    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.


  2. "Analyst"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Managing Director"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


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  5. Helpful (6)

    "Harris Williams - The Downward Spiral"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Boston Office"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Analyst in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Harris Williams & Co. full-time

    Pros

    Good exposure to management teams, small deal teams where you get a sense of everything that's happening in the deal from start to finish, some good people.

    Cons

    Beware of false reviews. Looks like a negative Boston review was quickly responded to via 2 great reviews with no cons in Boston office...and these reviews lack attention to detail and a clear understanding for what the job actually entails which implies they were written by HR.

    Terrible work/life balance (worse than BB in my experience). Some really horrible micro managers, and some bad bankers generally. I know that people in some of the other offices like the culture/experience, especially the southern frat stars who are in Richmond. But, Boston is pretty horrible and I'd rather do almost any other job before that again.

    Advice to Management

    Do a deep dive into why most junior people (analyst/associate) I've talked to in the Boston office hated it.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Analyst"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst in Richmond, VA
    Former Employee - Analyst in Richmond, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Great firm culture, and opportunities for promotion. One of the most active middle-market M&A advisers focused on sell-side. Very strong placement into middle-market PE for analysts. Very competitive compensation. Excellent group of people who work hard and generally enjoy being around each other.

    Cons

    Working 100+ hours per week, not being able to plan social events on weekends without stressing about having to cancel, constantly working on projects with seemingly impossible deadlines.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing. The tough work / life balance is common for investment banking, so keep doing things to make it as enjoyable as possible for your employees, like funding quarterly social events, bringing everyone to Richmond for the summer party, mandatory week vacation, etc.


  8. "Analyst: Boston Office"

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

    Pros

    The Boston office has a great culture at the junior and senior levels, definitely a place where you work hard but have a great time in the process. Analysts get a lot of deal reps, usually from pitch to close, as well as consistent, one-on-one exposure to management teams and buyers. You're given a lot of responsibility and definitely get to do more than just grunt work. Great exit opportunities and support from senior bankers.

    Cons

    None that come to mind


  9. "Analyst - Boston Office"

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

    Pros

    Tier 1 culture for an investment bank, especially within the analyst and associate ranks

    Lean deal teams gives you lots of responsibility, opportunities to learn, exposure to senior individuals of your deal team / buyers

    Senior bankers will strongly advocate on your behalf for prospective PE opps and constantly have an open door policy

    Significant deal reps on high quality assignments

    Frequent travel relative to other analyst programs

    Reasonable hours

    Cons

    None that I can think of

    Advice to Management

    Keep rolling


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Analyst in Boston Office"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Analyst in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Harris Williams & Co. full-time

    Pros

    You do learn a lot...unfortunately a lot of what you learn is how to deal with bad personalities, bad management, long hours, etc.

    In fairness, you get decent exit ops here. And you see deals from start to finish. I still keep in touch with some of the CEOs we worked with. And you definitely build a bond with the other analysts/associates as you are all in prison together.

    Cons

    The people who run this office are just terrible, and have hired some really bad associates/VPs in the past with no respect for analysts time nor brain power. I've heard that people in other offices don't mind the long hours because it's a decent culture, but everyone who's working in the Boston office at the lowest levels would agree - it was the worst job they ever had.

    Advice to Management

    If someone gets berated time and again by junior people, fire them. Boston probably needs a management change, even though many of the bad apples I worked with are gone by now.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Analyst"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Virginia in Richmond, VA
    Current Employee - Virginia in Richmond, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    If you want sell-side M&A experience, there is no better firm. In two years, analysts will get a tremendous amount of deal experience and close ~4 deals on average, which is unheard of at other banks. There is great exposure to the M&A process and plenty of opportunities for client interaction given the significant responsibilities of the analyst. On top of that, the culture is phenomenal. There is a ton of work to do, but the senior guys are family oriented and genuinely great people so as long as the work gets done, there is no "facetime," aspect, pressure to be in on weekends, etc. Richmond is not always viewed as an ideal city for young adults, but working with ~30 other analysts your age is awesome and there is a huge focus on culture fit when hiring, so everyone becomes very good friends by the end. Mandatory one week vacation totally "unplugged."

    Cons

    Given the focus on sell-side M&A, analysts do not necessarily get the breadth of financial modeling experience compared to bulge brackets. This, along with the lack of a New York office, can be a disadvantage when it comes to recruiting at the larger PE funds, but this can be overcome as we work with those same funds more than anyone so there are plenty of opportunities to network with clients and buyers. Hours are certainly long but that is expected.


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