Interactive Brokers Reviews | Glassdoor

Interactive Brokers Reviews

Updated April 8, 2017
65 reviews

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Current Employees

3.1
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Interactive Brokers Chairman, President, and CEO Thomas Peterffy
Thomas Peterffy
37 Ratings

65 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Free lunch from area restaurants is a nice perk (in 28 reviews)

  • no nonsense" philosophy & no politics / red-tape (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • Work from home option almost non-existent (this has to do mostly with security concerns and the nature of business) (in 4 reviews)

  • little to no usage of third-party products (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "great place for computer geeks wanting to branch into finance"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Greenwich, CT
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Greenwich, CT
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Opportunity to advance for doing good job, little or no politics

    Cons

    If you stack off, it will be noticed and reflected in (lack of) bonus

    Advice to Management

    none


  2. "simply wonderful place to work"

    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 Interactive Brokers full-time

    Pros

    great place to work. righteous mgmt. challenging stuff.

    Cons

    not much to speak of

    Advice to Management

    keep doing what you are doing


  3. Helpful (2)

    "A Meritocracy for Programmers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Programmer/Business Analyst in Greenwich, CT
    Current Employee - Programmer/Business Analyst in Greenwich, CT
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I've been at "IB" for roughly two years after a rather tortuous journey at several large banks. There are basically two primary businesses at IB : 1. The market maker (electronic trading) and 2. The automated brokerage. I work for the latter. Probably the greatest feature (as a programmer) working for this company is that management, and management's management, are all programmers. As a result, the intricacies and difficulties of writing good code are understood by higher-ups and rewarded. For example, you will never have to waste your time explaining to a panel of bureaucrats the differences between Java and Excel at IB.
          In terms of "culture", IB is certainly a for-profit business and as a result, management does expect their employees to contribute to the business while at work. It is generally frowned upon to shop for clothes or view Facebook during the day, although I must admit that we do (gasp) discuss non-work related topics along with taking the occasional afternoon stroll down Greenwich Ave. without the least fear of managerial reprisals. At IB, There is not much emphasis on team-building field trips or pinball-matchine break rooms like some companies have, although this is not what I personally look for in an employer, especially not when the economy sours. My impression is that IB's philosophy is to reward their employees with higher salaries and bonuses, rather than the aforementioned corporate perks.
          In contrast to some of the criticisms I have read below about management being intransigent, I have found new business ideas and technology to be readily embraced here... HOWEVER, be ready to make a business case for them. The utter absence of bureaucracy means decisions are made based on risk and potential profit, i.e. rationally.

    Cons

    There are a multitude of very smart people at this company, with a wide variety of different skills and knowledge. I think that it would be beneficial to have monthly presentations on different aspects of the business or different technologies people are using. Nothing like this is ever discouraged, it's just that no one is particularly proactive about it. We are a bunch of computer nerds so we like this stuff (or at least I do).

    Advice to Management

    See Cons


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  5. "True meritocracy"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - UI Developer in Greenwich, CT
    Current Employee - UI Developer in Greenwich, CT
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Interactive Brokers full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Interactive Brokers dispenses with office politics and maneuvering, and presents the opportunity to work for a true meritocracy. If you are a senior developer ready to bring coding expertise and elbow-grease to the table, this is the place for you.

    Cons

    It would be great if there was a greater variety of free drink choices for people who don't drink coffee - do there really need to be 12 different blends of coffee?


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Exciting, Fast Moving, Not for Slowpokes"

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

    Pros

    Intellectually challenging, Fast paced, Solid comp., Growing, successful business

    Cons

    Not fot hose who like a lot of structure and handholding and bureaucratic processes


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Challenging and Rewarding - Where Developers Are The MVPs"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Greenwich, CT
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Greenwich, CT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Interactive Brokers full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    - once you proved yourself, you have utmost freedom, only your output matters
    - compensation grows fast after a few years to a _very_ competitive level
    - most importantly, the company is evolving, most of the critics here have been listened to and are already being addressed!
    - hard work is valued
    - IT team is not a service department, but the driver of the company -- developers get the attention they deserve
    - only the most intelligent people (developers) are hired, creating an inspiring environment
    - you can use personal mobile internet anytime (it's up to you if your work suffers)
    - recently raised vacation days

    Cons

    Culture: introverted people, you have to actively look for opportunities to socialize
    HR team: not helpful and lots of mistakes
    Being among selected smart people lowers your own ego :)

    Advice to Management

    Revise HR team - otherwise keep on ;)


  8. Helpful (6)

    "Great Place to Work for Someone Who Works Hard and Wants to be Challenged"

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

    I have been working at Interactive Brokers full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    High growth company
    Little politics, advancement based on achievement
    Best of breed broker technology
    Outstanding place to learn and to be challenged

    Cons

    Interactive Brokers would not be a good place for a person who is most interested in doing the minimum, collecting a salary, and spending the majority of their time engaging in water cooler talk.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Only Place that is stable"

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

    Pros

    This is one if not the only place on Wall Street since the financial crisis that is stable and expanding. Stock Price has tripled, AUM has Grown, Company has no Debt. They have never laid off. What Firm on wall street can make that claim, ZERO!!!

    Cons

    The only downside risk is that you don't do your job to the best of your ability.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to Reward people who do well, and provide guidance and mentoring for ones that could be struggling.


  10. Helpful (9)

    "The grass wasn't greener!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Greenwich, CT
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Greenwich, CT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Very-unique culture suited for programmers (the company is run by the programmers)

    - You can see the immediate impact of your work

    - You have a chance to work on the best brokerage platform

    - The CEO is interested in getting feedback from new employers

    - There are no unnecessary meetings or conference calls

    - Very good medical benefits and the premium paid 100% by the company

    - Free lunch delivered directly to the kitchen for you (fine print: you eat in front of your computer :)

    - Free soda (not good if you want to loose weight!)

    - For those, who trade on the side - unlike other regulated financial companies (especially investment banks), IB doesn't force its employees to move investment accounts to some "approved" (and often expensive) brokers or prohibit frequent trading

    My story:

    Like the subject says "the grass wasn't greener" (on the other side). Long story short - I resigned and came back to work for IB again after working just a few days for another company. I had resigned from IB because I felt that I had found it difficult to innovate (by means of bringing new open source software). I moved to work for a large financial company (good benefits and modern technology stack). However, what I immediately started to dislike was a typical bureaucratic culture of a financial firm, where IT employees are treated as resources (not the drivers of the company), and where you have meetings upon meetings and status reports and endless work about work. Coming from IB culture that was a huge difference and I started having second thoughts about whether it was the right place for me and whether I had made the right decision to quit my job. I finally made my mind and contacted the Director of HR at IB and asked if it would be possible for me to come back. He then contacted the President of the company, who was very kind to allow me to return...
    IB like any other company has its pros and cons and it takes time to appreciate its specific culture. There are opportunities and rewards for those who want to work hard.

    Cons

    - Difficult to bring new software onboard

    - Too few sick days

    - The HR department is understaffed

    - Many flavors of coffee in the kitchen but not so good quality


  11. Helpful (4)

    "> 10 years of positive experiences"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Greenwich, CT
    Current Employee - Manager in Greenwich, CT
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Interactive Brokers full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The company is run by a highly intelligent and capable management team who has built the company from scratch. There is something to be said for a company where the average tenure of the executive team is > 25 years, and the next tranche of managers' tenure is > 10-15+ years.

    Working at IB may not be for everyone, but for someone who wants to learn a lot, be exposed to a number of various groups / processes, and become an "owner" of a series of functions/responsibilities will do well here. People who want to show up, work 9-5, collect a pay check and go home may not find this work environment suitable. Managers demand a lot from employees given the lean structure. People who are intellectually curious, want increasing responsibility, will treat the company as if it's their own will typically flourish.

    The compensation structure is geared towards longevity. It is not meant for fly-by-night two year, get rich and get out career layovers. With the amount of internally developed software and unique processes cultivated over the approx. 40 year history, training new people takes time, and it does take time to have people running on all pistons. That does not mean people can not immediately add value.

    The company is growing in all directions, including head count, but it is still run as a small business. Management, having the benefit of multiple decades of experience, are able to meet and make quick decisions to continue the process of moving the business forward.

    The overall comp and benefit structure is great. Free lunch from area restaurants is a nice perk.

    In summary, it's a place where the right people have made amazing careers and it's a place where I believe people can continue to make amazing careers.

    Cons

    The days can be long, but in the long term this is more a function of a growing business than inefficient processes, most of which are highly automated.


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