Interactive Brokers Reviews | Glassdoor

Interactive Brokers Reviews

Updated June 24, 2017
108 reviews

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Pros
  • Free lunch from area restaurants is a nice perk (in 31 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)

  • Under appreciated by upper management (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Senior managers are the 1%, everybody else treated like plebs"

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

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

    Pros

    If you are hired into senior management, you can make a lot of money and have a lot of fun. If you like to crush your subordinates' ideas under your heel you will love this place.

    Cons

    Company decided to recalculate bonuses after Swiss franc disaster in January 2015. Employees left hanging, the mood is really bad, another month waiting for managers with big egos to throw down some pennies for the rest of us.

    At least half the bonus is paid in shares that vest over a 6 year period. This has an insidious effect, people who are not happy or not productive stay with the company longer and longer because they have a big pool of unvested shares that they don't want to lose by going to another job. If you are a programmer, you will find yourself working with programmers who have been in the company for more than 15 years and never had 1 day of external training, still using legacy technologies like SCCS version control or Java 1.4.

    The CEO, Petterfy, talks a lot about his love of the Republicans and giving people opportunity (as opposed to communism) but the reality is that he has built a horrible culture here where somebody who has been here 10 or 15 years without keeping their skills up to date has acquired a lot of shares in the company and acts like they are superior to a can-do developer who just came in from a successful startup.

    The only way to get the unvested shares is by waiting for retirement, waiting for redundancy or hoping that you find a new job where the next company agrees to give you an up-front allocatiion of unvested shares to compensate for the shares you forfeit by resigning from IB. This is only possible if you plan to move to another company with similar characteristics.

    When you try to value your bonus shares, look at the cashflows: if shares are $25 each on the market and your bonus is 600 shares and 100 vest each year then it is more like the company has agreed to a pay rise of $2500 per year for 6 years. If you can find another job that gives an initial annual salary that is $2500 higher than the Interactive Brokers salary then it completely offsets the value of the unvested IB shares you are giving up.

    As an extra burden, the shares vest in May or June, 6 months after the bonus round. So if you don't like your bonus in January and you resign in February then you won't get any of the shares that vest that same year, including the new shares from the bonus round.

    Advice to Management

    You need to bring in a new generation of IT skills, both by training existing staff and bringing in new staff. This needs to be applied in every team and office in the company. You need to get these skills to propagate throughout the company, if you think that productive developers with modern skills will work side-by-side with the existing dinosaurs entrenched in the company then you will be disappointed.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Narcisissm is a company value"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Budapest (Hungary)
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Budapest (Hungary)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Free lunch. I.e. it's part of the compensation.
    The fellow programmers are very smart. Sometimes compenetent too.

    You can learn how to deal with legacy code.

    Cons

    In some teams it's expected to pull 50 hour weeks. Too bad that I was working in such a team too. That team was wickedly infelxible when time came to personal issues, like visiting my wife in the hospital.

    We had to use ancient technologies. We had to reimplement the world 'cos it was extremely hard to use 3rd party software. We had to request the library first, and experiment with it later.

    All the managers are ex-developers. Too bad that most of the good developers are bad managers. Command-and-control and micromanagement are the mostly used tactics. It's also common that managers tweak the code a little, mess it up, and then balme their underlings.

    Time-pressure is high most of the time. Quite often this pressure is a false negative, but ppl still work long hours.

    The CEO of the Hungarian subsidiary just won't say hello to the coworkers.

    Advice to Management

    Accept that developers are people too.
    Create a HR department.
    Trust the employees and be flexible when they are in need.

    Estabilish 360 degree reviews so you can get some decent feedback about the leaders.

    Hire real managers who can talk to people. Define some company values otherwise the management will be full of narcissists.

  3. "Worst employee ever"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There are no pros, company treats employees as idiots

    Cons

    There are too many contras which are not even possible to mention here

    Advice to Management

    Get rid off your employees and run your company on your own


  4. "Worst Company"

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

    Pros

    No Pros for this company

    Cons

    No training provided to freshers
    bunch of liers sitting in HR Department
    Too much pressure from day one

    Advice to Management

    Stop speaking lies and be honest and helpful


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Es gibt kein kostenloses Mittagessen"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Employee in Zug (Switzerland)
    Current Employee - Employee in Zug (Switzerland)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    (Translated from English)

    Pros

    Man musst keinerlei Geld in die Hand nehmen fürs Mittagessen. Erleben Sie wie es sich anfühlt, gebraucht zu werden.

    Cons

    In meinem Vorstellungsgespräch erzählte mir der Mitarbeiter vom Personalwesen, dass Mitarbeiter ein kostenloses Mittagessen erhalten, wenn sie durch Mittagspause hindurch arbeiten. Auf dem ersten Blick klang das großartig, aber nach einer Weile ist es nur noch anstrengend und mühselig. In den meisten anderen Jobs habe ich manchmal die Mittagspause hindurch gearbeitet, weil ich so motiviert war, aber die meisten Mitarbeiter hier sind nicht so motiviert oder glücklich, und das Unternehmen erfindet ständig neue Regeln, um die Leute zu kontrollieren. Die Manager sind ebenfalls Kontrollversessen wenn es darum geht, dass Mitarbeiter Urlaub nehmen oder irgendwas anderes tun wollen, das dem Chef kein Geld einbringt. Es gibt keine Zeit für Fortbildungen, niemand vertritt sich die Beine in der Mittagspause, es ist wirklich wie ein Schritt zurück in die autoritäre Ausbeutung der Arbeitskräfte im 19. Jahrhundert. Im Büro in Zug in der Schweiz, gibt es viele ehemalige Mitarbeiter, welche glücklicherweise keine Ahnung davon haben, dass das Mittagessen in den meisten anderen Unternehmen bezuschusst wird oder ganz kostenlos ist, ohne diesen Unsinn, dass man den Schreibtisch nicht verlassen darf.

    Advice to Management

    Nichts - ich glaube nicht, dass sie erwachsen genug sind, um sich zu verändern. Sie sind völlig versessen darauf zu beweisen, dass autoritäre Managementstrukturen funktionieren.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Don't Do it"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Free Lunch & decent bonus

    Cons

    No work life Balance, Consistently understaffed and overworked. Pay is not for performance.

    Advice to Management

    Work Life Balance ever heard of it?


  7. Helpful (1)

    "It's not at all a social place to work !"

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great salary and benefits recession proof .

    Cons

    No social life and team culture.

  8. Helpful (8)

    "Show Me The Money"

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Interactive Brokers full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The money is pretty good. They pay programmers very well and they pay managers very well, but everyone else is paid just okay, but you get annual bonuses and stock options. There is little or no bureaucracy, and very few meetings. This place is not bogged down in process. The non-management people who work here are very nice. The business can be interesting. If you're lucky, you get to work on interesting projects. Medical insurance premiums are paid for 100%.

    Cons

    You work here for the money. That's the bottom line. They pay for lunch, but not because they're nice, it's so you stay at your desk during lunch. They pay for medical benefits, which are ultimately insufficient if you have a major medical issue. You get 15 days off per year for personal, sick and vacation time, then an extra two days at five years. And you are discouraged from taking too much time off. It is for many employees, a sweat shop. The structure of the company is based on silos: each department is competing with other for the CEO's attention and favor; that is the sole motivator behind all day-to-day decisions. Only management is allowed to create projects and come up with creative solutions, in spite of their lack of real experience and training in many areas, such as software project design, marketing, user interface design, and so on. There is no career growth, no annual reviews, no promotions.

    If you want to come and make money and work a lot for a few years, this can be a decent place to be. But it will not be personally or professionally satisfying in any way, and you will get cynical and burn out fairly quickly.

    The CEO has surrounded himself with a bunch of long-time associates, most of whom are all from Eastern Europe like himself and have all become millionaires. If you're not in that club, you are simply a lowly employee treated disrespectfully.

    Advice to Management

    These guys are hopeless. It all flows from the CEO's benevolent dictator management style. Until and unless he changes his personality, it will continue on this path. They really need to bring in people from other companies and allow them to challenge the status quo. And give employees better work-life balance.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Intense, originally challenging but later depressing and even debilitating"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Interactive Brokers full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - A few of efficient business processes, most well-automated
    - A handful of worthy technologies to learn and think of.
    - Fair-n-square business practices as far as I can say (not to confuse with "nice to clients")
    - Acceptable pay; almost-guaranteed "raises" for raising cost of living
    - Keep to the letter to their side of your contract (which does not include much good; but still)
    - Free lunch that you usually eat at your desk (if you consider that a pro)

    Cons

    - Self-righteous and rigid high management; initiatives and comments are effectively discourages
    - Antiquated and ineffective-to-stupidity software governance (do not confuse with 'inefficient').
    - Non-existent work/life balance (total 16 days for vacation, personal and sick days; you are mostly treated and managed as a resource rather than human being)
    - Not only are free information and idea exchange not promoted but in many ways strongly discouraged. As an example, you won't even have an Internet access at your desk unless your function needs it. As one of the results, the company is stagnating technologically.
    - No training/learning programs I am aware of.
    - People are discouraged from talking

    Advice to Management

    Not that I think they would take any, but: consider formally training yourself in ethical people management (maybe try reading Stephen Covey's books?).

    On a side note: I had to rank CEO "disapprove" for his failure to keep the management effective and adequate to the company''s scale. This is not at all intended to deny his technical and financial genius and ethical business practices that made this company possible. I would have selected "both approve and disapprove" if the Web side provided this choice. (I did not want to select "No opinion" because I certainly had one)


  10. Helpful (13)

    "Hope You Like Working Under a Dictatorship"

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Acceptable Pay, Good Benefits, Job Security

    Cons

    Minimal pay increase at the end of every year, 22 days MAXIMUM vacation and sick time combined even after several years of service, no job growth, no time to yourself during the work day or lunch break, you can never work enough hours to satisfy management requirements, your opinion will never be valued. If you are OK with being micromanaged, being told what to do, how to do it, and to do it immediately on a daily basis while realizing you will never get anywhere in the company then this is the place for you.

    Advice to Management

    Welcome to Interactive Brokers where if you aren't on top, you mean nothing to no one. Senior management is severely out of touch with today's technological advancements and what customers are looking for from a brokerage company. This company seems to be frozen in the early 90s with little to no improvement in the trading platform, its design, or ease of use. Progressive movement to create original ideas to keep the company in business are consistently shot down. Customer service is also lacking to say the least. Management does not promote from within and hires individuals from outside sources who are not qualified for doing the jobs that are asked of them. Basically, if you know nothing of the position you are applying for, then you are perfect for the job! Culture is cut throat with senior management constantly fighting with each other over who gets to play in the sandbox with the president, with their behavior childish at best. Constant insults and name calling are common place at this establishment at all levels; where sophisticated dialogue utilizing every swear word in the English language are terms used on a daily basis to define a coworker or their performance. President of company also likes to force his political views on his employees to further his own agenda for the Republican party. Most senior management are from foreign countries and do not speak English very well, this makes it very difficult to understand phone calls and emails from them.


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