Morgan Stanley Reviews | Glassdoor

Morgan Stanley Reviews

Updated November 19, 2017
310 reviews

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Morgan Stanley CEO James P. Gorman
James P. Gorman
109 Ratings

310 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • This division specifically offers great work-life balance (in 343 reviews)

  • Work environment with other industry veterans (in 303 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "What goes on at ms is what makes people hate corporate America"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Registered Sales Assistant in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Registered Sales Assistant in New York, NY
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Morgan Stanley full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    There are two good things about working her, It looks good on a resume and the the day you leave.

    Cons

    Terrible compensation packages, the way the firm treats employees is what makes people hate corporate America. The CEO James Gorman gives himself raises and bonus' numerous times a year, millions upon millions of dollars, but they lay off tons of people making low salaries and expect people to do the job of two people. They rob from the advisors putting a portion of their revenue in a differed comp plan. They use that money to buy Morgan Stanley stock moving up the price of the stock which makes Gorman stock options more valuable. They treat support staff like the own them, no bonus, years go by without raises, then when they give you one it's less than 1 percent of your salary. I repeatedly got high ratings on my performance reviews and the big raise would be less than one percent, some people got nothing. This is the worst firm on Wall Street. The culture is negative and counter productive. They couldn't give a hoot about their employees.

    Advice to Management

    Get a new CEO open your eyes and appreciate employees and you wouldn't have the turn over you have.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "No compensation for unused leaves at termination"

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

    I worked at Morgan Stanley full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good work culture and vacations.

    Cons

    HR did not disclose at the time of policy change that they no longer compensate for unused vacations. Did not give any compensation for unused leaves.

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Seven Month Background Check, misleading statements."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor Associate in Bellevue, WA
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor Associate in Bellevue, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Morgan Stanley (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The company made this seem like a great career move, decent benefits, okay salary. They promised a trip to New York. They make some enticing promises.

    Cons

    The company misled me about the duration of the background check, telling me in March it would take 2-4 weeks. Then they said it in June, July, August... I passed background, however they starved me for months on false promises, and they were doing background checks well past the employment offer date. Then they acted like I was at fault. This is the most dishonorable company I have ever had the displeasure of working with.

    Advice to Management

    Fire Management in the Bellevue, WA office. Fire HR at corporate. Compensate me for the false promises and the several months you stole from my life.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Not a meritocracy, questionable decisions made at sr lvl"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vice President in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Vice President in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Morgan Stanley full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Interesting work, some smart people you can learn a lot from. The benefits - free access to museums, etc are on par with industry.

    Cons

    Long hours, more than happy to work you to the bone without compensating that (it’s expected) or even a thanks, penny pinching (e.g. no means to formally recognize an individual or team, no holiday parties, etc), raises and bonuses small/non-competitive. Also, you need to be very ok with grey areas, doing things you’re uncomfortable with for wrong reasons.

    Appearance/politics most important - for example, on a regular basis, mgmt would rather make a wrong decision quickly without accurate info or enough facts and even when better decisions are proposed at the same time by the team or by an individual behind closed doors. Why? Mgmt would rather appear to be decisive, save face, stand by their decision, and have the team waste time by following that bad approach/decision...inevitably, when it’s beyond clear the bad decision is bad, mgmt proposes a “new” (I.e. original suggestion by the individual/team) decision as their own, doesn’t apologize or admit their mistake (ever) and the team starts all over again. In spite of that, mgmt still wants the work yesterday and demands the team meet the same deadline (even though they caused several days to be wasted already). This is almost always announced at 5 or 6pm even though they’d already changed their decision that morning!

    Similarly, mgmt is more comfortable with communicating incorrect info both internally and externally for appearance (rather than getting back with an answer - because then it doesn’t appear as if they’re all-knowing) and so they can take the opportunity to “look good” in front of peers and those more senior.

    Employees I worked with at the time and former employees I’ve since met have the same gripes.

    Advice to Management

    1. Have mgmt provide a rationale for their decision esp when it’s completely contrary to what their team and SMEs recommend. At least their coworkers can understand why and maybe apply that rationale to future decisions.
    2. Make it clear to mgmt that completely writing off empls and making a conscious decision not to help them develop (and advising others not to) is completely inappropriate and not the mark of a true leader.
    3. The right answer to a questionable decision is never “I’m willing to own that decision.” If it feels wrong, it almost always is.

    Also, see the above.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Wasted 5 years of my life here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Vice President in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Assistant Vice President in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Morgan Stanley full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Big name, easy job

    Cons

    Terrible pay for the industry. Excuses every year when it comes to bonus time. Awful middle managers that have no power or ties to compensation. No training or opportunities for advancement. Layoffs pretty much every year around Christmas time regardless of company performance. A truly soul less company that treats their employees like a number on a sheet. 6 out of the 11 people on my team have quit in the last 2 months. I came in to MS as a bright eyes optimistic analyst and am leaving depressed and hating people and corporate culture.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees like human beings. Have training programs for managers. Compensate fairly. Don't tell employees that if they don't like something they should leave.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Worst of Corporate America"

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

    I worked at Morgan Stanley full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Strong brand name. Not much else.

    Cons

    Meritocracy doesn't exist. Promotions are given to those who don't threaten upper management, not to those who work hard or produce innovative ideas or who put the client first (which is ironic, since this is a stated company value).

    The company claims to be a thought leader but proposing or fighting for new ideas is the best way to limit your career at the firm. Group conformity is encouraged over the desire to genuinely help the company and its clients.

    In my experience the least talented people were the first to get promoted, which is the complete opposite of the meritocratic culture I experienced in every other culture in which I worked in which hard work and innovative ideas were valued.

    The culture is toxic. Meritocracy doesn't exist. Conformity is valued over "doing the right thing." Over time your skills, drive and ability to develop new ideas will diminish due to the pressure of the organization to conform to standards of mediocrity (at best). After working there I'd never recommend the firm either as a place to work, as a partner with which to do business or as a place to manage my assets.

    Advice to Management

    Reward meritocracy. Value those who have a strong desire to make the company better, even if their ideas are new and different. Break up the "old guard" that simply promotes friends and those with little ambition or skill and allow innovators, hard workers and those with new ideas to thrive and have long-term career progression.


  7. "company with no direction"

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

    I worked at Morgan Stanley full-time

    Pros

    I can not find one

    Cons

    There were just too many

    Advice to Management

    keep the good people around

  8. "Wealth Management Quant"

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

    I worked at Morgan Stanley full-time

    Pros

    "Morgan Stanley" Name. Can't think of anything else.

    Cons

    The hours are long. Chat with colleagues discouraged. Only 5 minutes allowed for bathroom. Not a place for innovative ideas.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Another "big bank", nickel & dimes clients"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor in Detroit, MI
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor in Detroit, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Morgan Stanley full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I learned a lot in the process of becoming an Financial Advisor. Taking something so overly complex, and being able to simplify for my clients. I can now do that with my own finances, and happy to help friends and ensure they are not getting ripped on commissions.

    Cons

    Terrible FAA program. Does not set their team up for success, unrealistic expectations. Nearly all advisors solely focused on padding their own pockets and not concerned about fees being charged to clients. It was really eye opening for me and disappointing. I left the industry, but if I had stayed - I would have gone to Fidelity or Betterment, companies that actually care about their clients whether you have $1000 to invest, or 5MM.

    Advice to Management

    Stop nickel and diming your clients. Incent your people by actually helping clients, not just ripping commissions.


  10. "Never Encountered a More Incompetent HR/Support Staff"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in New York, NY
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Morgan Stanley as an intern (More than a year)

    Pros

    CEO provides great leadership for the firm

    Cons

    Never in my life have I had to deal with so many incompetent HR recruiters when applying for and getting the job. Unresponsive, uncooperative men and women who truly cannot get their acts together. Perhaps it's because I was applying to a junior level position that they felt it was ok to ignore my emails. I imagine the people recruiting executives aren't as incompetent as those hiring junior level analysts and associates.
    The support staff (in my experience) was also unhelpful. Seems to me that they just hired the first person who walked in the door and as a result have lazy employees.

    Advice to Management

    Hire better HR people. Recruitment for off-cycle analyst roles was a nightmare. The few interactions I had with HR after recruitment were also negative. I expect that for a bank of this reputation, MS can do better.


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