Interactive Brokers Reviews | Glassdoor

Interactive Brokers Reviews

Updated April 8, 2017
102 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. Helpful (1)

    "My Experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Database Administrator in Greenwich, CT
    Current Employee - Database Administrator in Greenwich, CT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Interactive Brokers full-time

    Pros

    Supportive working environment
    Great Place to learn and grow
    Knowledgeable management
    Knowledgeable staff
    Free Health Care
    Free parking
    Grest location
    FREE LUNCH

    Cons

    Greenwich is Very Cold
    Very Competitive hiring process
    Interview process was very long
    Not a whole lot of negatives, its a decent place

    Advice to Management

    Higher limit on lunch.
    Dental Care
    More colrfull decorations would be nice


  2. Helpful (3)

    "awful work culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - New Account Specialist in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - New Account Specialist in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    salary is decent for work performed
    not very stressful
    upward mobility

    Cons

    if office environment was improved this place would be loads better

    Advice to Management

    modernize


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Customer service rep"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good health care, free lunch, good job, year end bonus

    Cons

    No up to date material training, no potential to move up the latter, promotion thru favoritism; managers are bullies (lacking managerial 101 skills); toxic employees rude to customers won't get fired and because they're managers favs. HR personnel are untouchable (can't do no wrong)

    Advice to Management

    Promote from within base on skills & potentials not likability. Stop throwing customer rep under the bus by announcing last minute system updates & policy. You can't increase great customer reputation when manager perpetuate rudeness!


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  5. "Excellent and progressive IT Centered Company"

    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
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    System Development and process improvement .
    Inclusive culture
    Competitive compensation
    Free lunches

    Cons

    Upward mobility is somewhat limited because most people don't leave their jobs.


  6. 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


  7. 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.


  8. 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.


  9. Helpful (16)

    "Dysfunctional"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Greenwich, CT
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Greenwich, CT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    - Good salary. The pay for programmers is excellent, with year-end compensation reflecting your project output.

    - Rarely asked to work weekends/holidays. This does seem to vary from group to group, but my experience here is that the eight hour work day is respected and weekend/holiday work is unheard of.

    - Job security

    - Free lunch. Eating similar meals from the same group of restaurants every day does start to feel a bit dismal, but not having to pay for it is a great perk.

    - Flat org structure. Not being drastically separated from upper management allows for visibility opportunities to make your achievements known to those above you.

    - Very little red tape. As a developer, red tape is almost non-existent at this company. This is useful when emergency code changes are needed. This can, and does, backfire at times, but when responsible people are at the helm it is an effective luxury.

    Cons

    If you are looking to advance professionally and gain real experience, this is not the place for you. If you are looking to stay comfortably in the same role for an extended period of time, this place is perfect.

    Despite respecting weekends/holidays, this company does not respect natural disasters. Whether there's a hurricane, a blizzard, or a legal ban on driving in your state as a safety precaution, the office is open and you're expected to show up if you don't want to lose a vacation day. This can be easily corrected if the company was more accepting of VPN access/working remotely, but they are inexplicably stringent on letting people work from home.

    The management structure at this company has serious problems. Management most visibly fails at:

    1) Project planning.

    There are no "true" project managers who are solely responsible for the success or failure of a project. The primary results of this are: you don't know who is responsible for a project, and you aren't given an adequate functional specification. Any specs that you do receive are usually written by someone with limited technical knowledge. Instead of requirements gathering being a cooperative process between people with business knowledge and people with technical knowledge, it is often a one man process written in a silo and then dumped to the programmers. The result is that most projects are implemented incorrectly, incompletely, or abandoned.

    The concept of planning out projects at the start of the year and assigning timelines months in advance is foreign to this company. It is commonplace for projects to be created out of thin air, making it difficult to gauge your day-to-day work. Additionally, projects are rarely given enough time for testing, and never have a test plan created with the specification.

    2) Measuring success.

    This company truly believes that the amount of time you spend at your desk is directly proportional to how much work you are getting done. The idea that someone could get as much done in 6 hours as someone else does in 10 is met with incredulity. The idea that someone's productivity might taper off after doing the same task for hours is met with similar disbelief.

    This translates directly to your annual review, where you are usually told "you did good" or "you did bad." You aren't given real feedback to help you grow and mature professionally.

    This weakness is also apparent when launching a new product or idea. There is a rush to finish the project, but management rarely collects statistics to see if their ideas worked. They celebrate the completion of the project, without measuring whether anything was actually achieved.

    3) Learning from mistakes.

    After you spend enough time working here, you begin to notice cyclical behavior from upper management. The executives do not believe that their ideas may not work, and as a result, even if their ideas have failed in the past (which they won't know due to issue #2), they will continue to come up with ideas that do not work.

    4) Delegation.

    Despite groups having teams dedicated to a specific task or responsibility, management insists on injecting their own ideas or thoughts into things that really should not concern them. Teams that specialize in a particular discipline are commonly overridden by superiors with no experience in that discipline. This ties into issues #2 and #3, with the result being a cycle of teams producing a decent product, and then having that product be brought to a mediocre level by an executive playing the rank card and feeling the need to impose themselves. This results in a reduction of ambition and motivation, since ideas do not hold weight based on their merit, but instead based on who is suggesting (demanding) it.

    5) Communication & training.

    New hires are given very few, if any, resources to learn about the company, their role within it, or job expectations. New hires are literally left at their desk and told to figure it out. The result of this is inconsistent and unpredictable performance between people that share identical titles, and inconsistencies between peers in the same group. The wheel is commonly reinvented.

    Communication is discouraged and looked at as a time-wasting activity. This further compounds the difficulty of acclimating for new hires, and issue #1. Unsurprisingly, this also results in massive communication gaps between teams that need to coordinate closely, to the point of being laughable.

    Advice to Management

    Buy a copy of "The Mythical Man-Month." It explains lessons in software project management learned 40 years ago that are still absent from your company.

    Let your employees do the job you hired them to do. Your input is not needed in low-level decisions.

    Be more accepting of VPN/remote access. Your employees will not have to sacrifice sick days or risk driving in dangerous conditions if they could work from home when appropriate.

    Invest time training new hires so that they can learn to do their job as effectively as possible, as quickly as possible. People are not robots.


  10. "Good starting point"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Accounting Analyst in Greenwich, CT
    Former Employee - Accounting Analyst in Greenwich, CT
    Recommends

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

    Pros

    Improvements to tasks are encouraged, good compensation and benefits.

    Cons

    Culture is not for everyone. Must be a self starter as new hire training process is weak. Poor work/life balance.

    Advice to Management

    Improve work/life balance.


  11. Helpful (7)

    "Not a very creative place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Java Developer in Greenwich, CT
    Former Employee - Senior Java Developer in Greenwich, CT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Free lunch. Lack of office politics. Programming tasks are clearly defined. There are virtually no meetings or unnecessary talk. You are expected to come in and perform the tasks assigned to you and leave. Anything more or less is frowned upon.

    Cons

    Can't realistically work from home. This is a big quality of life issue. Supervisors and Managers tend to micromanage and not allow new ideas. The Java stack is 7-10 years old, so you will learn very little. You are expected to work very hard and are intensely monitored. HR is terrible. There is absolutely NO upwards mobility. I am told that the same group of managers/supervisors has been there since the early 2000's.

    Advice to Management

    Update the infrastructure to accommodate modern Vpn. You are competing with firms that provide comparable or better salaries and much better work-life balance. Hire more HR people, they are overworked. Give non-management programmers more autonomy. Provide new hires with a more structured orientation. The orientation is completely upto the supervisor and most do not do a good job.

    If you are going to stock the fridge, atleast to it in reasonable quantity. The food runs out thirty minutes after arrival in the morning. Currently it looks more like a token effort for recruitment boasts. Increase the lunch allowance by 20%, most people end up going over and paying for the overage out of pocket.


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