Motif Investing Reviews | Glassdoor

Motif Investing Reviews

Updated May 3, 2017
24 reviews

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2.7
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Hardeep Walia
18 Ratings

24 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "Great experience. Great company. Awesome product."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Motif Investing full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Some very talented people building a product I was proud to be a part of. An inspiring CEO with a dedicated leadership team. Fast paced with opportunity to work on many high-profile, impactful projects. A mid-sized startup but small enough to give a sense of ownership. Relaxed office environment and a friendly/open team. Located in downtown San Mateo, close to many good restaurant options.

    Cons

    Business is tied to the stock market, which can be unpredictable. Previous office had seen better days, but I hear the new space is a huge upgrade.

    Advice to Management

    Inherent with any business, strategy and direction change frequently. Unfortunately, this can take a toll on team morale if the people impacted are not aware of the constant challenges of running a business - it's all too easy to complain from the sidelines. My advice is to share more of the reasoning that goes on behind the decisions with those directly impacted by the change.


  2. Helpful (7)

    "A profile in hubris"

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

    I worked at Motif Investing full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Salary was decent. Made a few solid colleagues. San Mateo is quaint.

    Cons

    Culture of rampant arrogance and petty competition for status in a hierarchy that fails to produce any value for the customer or shareholder. If anything, a learning experience in how not to run a company and first hand experience with personalities and industries you are better off avoiding.

  3. Helpful (5)

    "Best Place I've Worked"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Motif Investing (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Most of the people who work at Motif really like Motif. (They can't really express that here, however, because FINRA regulations prevent all sorts of online interaction, which is a real bummer. The average rating should probably be quite a bit higher.)

    My favorite aspect of Motif is the smart people. I got to work closely with the CTO and his team of chill, competent, senior-level platform engineers using a respectable agile process. For a financial company (which is often not free to take engineering risks), Motif has shown a desire and ability to grow and change in a healthy way, like when we changed clearing firms, or transitioned from Subversion to Git, or refocused onto a subscription-based business model, all without major problems. Pretty impressive.

    If you are more of an engineer and not very financially inclined, you may benefit (as I did) from working in such close proximity to the top-shelf investing folks at Motif Capital. Go to lunch at one of the many lovely restaurants in downtown San Mateo and pick their brains. It might make all the difference in your retirement, just sayin.

    (As for things you should probably not care about: the foosball culture is the real deal, and I am seriously going to miss that espresso machine.)

    Cons

    The challenges Motif employees face are mostly symptoms of the FinTech industry as a whole, not Motif specifically. Motif's product is more complex than the competition (but undeniably better, once you figure it out), and bridging the communication gap is difficult, especially with FINRA compliance. This affects nearly every aspect of the work experience.

    Motif is not without its faults. As a US Citizen, I was not affected by the visa process, so I'm not letting it affect my 5-star rating. However, I do know it to be a serious area of concern. If you interview with Motif, you may want to ask what steps they have taken since 2016 to improve their visa process.

    There's not a lot of room for junior engineers. The complexity of the system and the seriousness of the job at hand requires engineers who can get the job done without a lot of hand-holding or idealism. Still, if you are a senior engineer who wants to be around competent people, this would not be a problem for you.

    (As for things you should probably not care about: if you rely on the snacks in the kitchen, there is a good chance you will end up eating too many chocolate-covered almonds and ruining your diet.)

    Advice to Management

    I think the levels of technical debt are livable for now, but resist the urge to develop a bunch of new features before rewriting some of the old code. Nothing in the codebase should be so difficult to understand that a junior engineer couldn't learn it and own it within two weeks.


  4. Helpful (11)

    "Terrible culture and poor leadership is sinking this ship"

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

    I worked at Motif Investing full-time

    Pros

    Location. Some engineers are good and mostly they pull all the weight.

    Cons

    There is no transparency on how people are evaluated. Most of the decisions(including performance ratings) are made behind the doors.You also don't get a chance to speak about whether the evaluation is accurate.

    They just make use of the skills of employees without focusing on how to coach/guide them and help them evolve. They fire people with or without any cause - even the VPs who helped build the company for the last several years. That's terrible.

    They are burning cash very fast and pretty close to burning all their reserves.

    Its a sinking ship with pathetic revenues(lower single digits). Its an outcome of how they treat their employees.

    The company doesn't have a vision nor the management has the guts to radically change the way investing is done.

    I think the company just got lucky with the initial idea of thematic investing and its pretty much stuck there for the last 6+ years while the new players are doing well.

    Advice to Management

    Do something that works.


  5. Helpful (10)

    "Lots of potential if you can handle the sweatshop conditions"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Motif Investing full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The product is really amazingly genius. There is so much potential in the idea of it. The pay was outstanding.

    Cons

    Constantly shifting priorities, abusive leadership that is in a constant state of fear of the CEO, lots of promises made in the interview were broken almost immediately, lack of engineering process that was constantly changing, no real downtime everything was always on-fire.


  6. Helpful (8)

    "A bad company to work for."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Motif Investing full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Location and the near by restaurants

    Cons

    1. Company lacks vision
    2. They don't take care of employees well.
    3. Parking
    4. Attrition - its too much for the size of the company it is.


  7. Helpful (11)

    "Stay Away"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Motif Investing full-time

    Pros

    great idea. lots of passionate employees. lots of great lunch options in san mateo

    Cons

    Constant changes in leadership. Very cheap company won't even provide parking. Lied about bonus. very high turnover. zero loyalty to employees. no career development. CEO only seems to care about getting himself on TV.

    Advice to Management

    Honesty really is the best policy. People can see through the constantly changing stories. It's time to figure what value you are providing for your customers instead of what value you can take from them.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Amazing experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous in San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous in San Mateo, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    1) The company treats you like a family.
    2) Laugh, Play(foosball), and work. This company has it all.
    3) Open minded environment where I can walk up to anyone and ask them questions (Enhances engineering thinking and learning).
    4) The people are very smart and there is tons of things to learn from their experiences.
    5) All the higher management people are really friendly and help you with whatever you need.

    Overall, A great company to work for!

    Cons

    1) 401k matching
    2) Better selection of snacks in the kitchen

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work. Really love the friendly approach that is presented towards the employes. Spend more time on the one on one for overall employee development.


  9. Helpful (9)

    "Beginning to question the hype"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Motif Investing full-time

    Pros

    Great location and lots of smart folks. High-profile board members. Cool product idea and lots of good press.

    Cons

    Management team is constantly changing and they all seem to be chosen to parrot what the CEO says. CEO is constantly making tall and loud promises - feel like I'm in to buy a used car!

    Advice to Management

    Press matters but team and culture matter more!


  10. Helpful (8)

    "Turnover at a great location"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in San Mateo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Motif Investing full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Many of the people I work with are sharp and have diverse backgrounds. Free food and casual atmosphere. Good location close to SF

    Cons

    Turnover on the disappearance tip. I am noticing way too many people that I like gone with limited explanation. If I were not OK financially I would be stressed about what's up with that. Now it just makes me confused and a little sad.

    Advice to Management

    Golden Rule my C Suite friends. Paint a clear picture to the people you hire and maybe go watch the movie "99 Homes" for a refresher on the fallout of job loss. You are all probably financially secure so maybe it is time for a reminder on what it is like for the rest of us At the very least it is a good movie and who doesn't like that?


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