Promontory Financial Group Reviews | Glassdoor

Promontory Financial Group Reviews

Updated August 6, 2017
79 reviews

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2.9
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Promontory Financial Group Founder and Chief Executive Eugene Ludwig
Eugene Ludwig
52 Ratings

79 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • They provided on the job training for the compliance procedures, offered overtime, and had a nice office (in 7 reviews)

  • Promontory is a great company, with great people from every corner of the financial regulatory system (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Work-life balance can be difficult (in 8 reviews)

  • It's up to senior management and the board how the business is run, but morale is continuing to decline as salaries and bonuses sink to new lows (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great place to launch a career in compliance

    Cons

    No cons at all. Highly reccommend.


  2. "Prestige, long hours, friendly staff, challenging, travel"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Analyst in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Promontory Financial Group full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Challenging work, learn a lot, take on a lot of responsibility, friendly and helpful staff, variety of work and projects, travel opportunities, opportunity to build a network of amazing and intelligent people, quality work, beautiful offices, generous expense budget

    Cons

    Long hours, staff can be intimidating, not much room for mobility past Associate unless you have a masters degree or you have a regulatory background

    Advice to Management

    Offer better support for traveling staff (country work culture basics, housing/accommodation support, other advice that will make it a more pleasant experience)

  3. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Principal in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Promontory Financial Group full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Colleagues are friendly and very talented
    Interesting work
    Nice offices and flexible work arrangements

    Cons

    Uncertainty since acquisition by IBM

    Advice to Management

    Enhance support for learning and career development


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Hell on Earth"

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

    I worked at Promontory Financial Group full-time

    Pros

    Nice offices. Free premium band bottled water. If you’re related to senior management or can build an “adopted child” rapport with one of the few powerful MDs you’ll get plum assignments, massively better pay than your peers, and rapid advancement all while massive mistakes are overlooked. Only a few have managed to do this, but the rewards are fantastic if you can pull it off.

    Cons

    +The work environment is toxic. There are some very bad apples here, particularly at the Director level. On several occasions, clients have had to intervene on behalf of junior employees being verbally abused by Directors at a client site.
    +Employees don’t even bother going to our internal HR anymore as HR couldn’t care or do less about even the most egregious conduct.
    +The recent positive reviews are clearly fake. Instead of addressing issues, management or HR has resorted to writing fake reviews. Read them and judge for yourself. This is representative of the firm’s ethics and approach to "addressing" issues.
    +Nepotism is rampant. There has been many complaints about this, which I thought would lead to reforms. However, it seems all the complaints lead to was more senior people asking for favors for their relatives.
    +The firm is poorly managed across the board. There are way too many senior people for the amount of work we have, yet we keep hiring more. All despite never-ending cuts to existing employee bonuses and pay.
    +Some MDs are way too fond of the young females hires.
    +It can’t be emphasized enough how sharply pay has declined in recent years. "industry leading to industry joke" is the joke.
    +Some teams send employees overseas for months at a time on a few days notice, without regard to personal constraints or preferences. When the firm is covering travel expenses, you’ll be chewed out and threatened with termination if you even spend half of what is supposedly permitted under company policy.
    +Bonus disparity is massive and completely lacks any relationship to merit, tenure, or level.
    +Management is very dishonest. Willingness to lie to anyone about anything at anytime seems to be the only perquisite for a managerial role at PFG. +When it comes to pay and promotions, believe NOTHING your manager tells you. Absolutely nothing. These decisions are the practices group's, not HR's. Don't let them convince you otherwise and hold them accountable to at least explain the situation if you are unhappy.

    Advice to Management

    +Hire a functional HR department and instruct them to actually investigate complaints
    +360 review directors to root out the bad apples
    +Stop tolerating abuse and harassment
    +Publish the pay and bonus bands at each level
    +Stop hiring senior employees while your current staff has no work
    +Update travel policies and stop asking employees to travel so much and live on much much less than other firms budget
    +Stop letting MDs subvert firm policies


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Fascinating entrepreneurial firm"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Promontory Financial Group full-time

    Pros

    Promontory is a good home for professionals who want to work really hard alongside really smart colleagues helping big time clients solve big time problems.

    The client projects the senior team brings in are typically the cream of the crop intellectually and impact-wise. We regularly get to work with the highest echelons of the biggest firms in the world. Projects range from AML to Consumer to Cyber to the emerging climate change risk area and beyond. Essentially a good mix of bread and butter type work and some cutting edge and out of the box stuff too.

    The firm's reputation and integrity are core to the business model and value proposition, so it is actively protected. I have seen client jobs turned down that didn't pass the initial 'sniff test'. The CEO is both a visionary and a real deal good guy.

    The new partnership with IBM is probably the coolest thing that has happened in the industry in decades. Competitors are scrambling to put their own partnerships together but in the meantime we have a major head start in the 'regtech' race thanks to the new combo of our team, IBM's team and Watson. PFG remains much the same on a day to day basis since the deal but we have an extra shot in the arm and a new set of game-changing service offerings to offer the industry. It's like when Popeye eats his can of spinach--we are now ‘Super Promontory, an IBM company’!

    Given my experiences at the firm, when I read some of the firm's Glassdoor reviews I can't help but wonder whether they are posted by bitter folks who were fired or competitors. While I wouldn't recommend management be dismissive about areas that need attention, I have had a few chuckles at the 'great projects, great colleagues, great pay and benefits, but terrible place to work' contradictory rants.

    Cons

    1. Management has sometimes been slow to fire under-performers and bad apples, to the detriment of the rest of the team who has to work alongside them. I have seen some improvements in the last year in this area though.

    2. Because even the senior-most people are expected to work rather tirelessly (and are well-compensated for it), this would not be a good place for someone looking to step back, unless they are able to negotiate a true part time deal.

    3. Promontory has thrived on being a very agile creature. But with that flexibility comes a regular dose of change; some people do better in that type of environment than others.

    Advice to Management

    1. By the sound of the negative Gdoor reviews, the firm could do a better job 'offboarding' people. Get rid of the entitled lazies quicker, but do it in a way that they remain friends and don’t feel the need to spew their jealousy and alternative facts in the bellows of good ole’ Gdoor and misrepresent the firm that many of us love.

    2. Ensure senior managers personally maintain the no-jerk policy, and enforce it throughout their teams as well.

    3. Lastly, continue to beef up internal communications and messaging.


  6. "An amazing journey!"

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Promontory Financial Group full-time

    Pros

    I have had the opportunity to work with world class leadership in New York, and the most amazing junior workforce that support client projects with utmost commitment to excellence. Promontory is led by a visionary CEO that holds everyone accountable to highest levels of integrity, and quality of the work produced for Firm's clients. I will always look back on my experience at Promontory as one of the best I will encounter in my career. I wish the Firm the very best in moving forward through the exciting journey with IBM.

    Cons

    My understanding from some consultants was that the career path is not as well defined at Promontory as in other places. This is something that the leadership has taken to heart and are working toward improving immensely, with programs coming available to support each level in the organization.

    Advice to Management

    Keep being positive, open, and lead with example during this next journey, as you always have done.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Credit Analyst / Regulatory Compliance Auditor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Regulatory Compliance Specialist in Charlotte, NC
    Current Employee - Regulatory Compliance Specialist in Charlotte, NC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Promontory Financial Group full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Professional career growth. Stable organization.

    Cons

    None. Excellent global consulting firm.

    Advice to Management

    Great executive management team!

  8. Helpful (1)

    "General"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Promontory Financial Group full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Most of the professional staff is very helpful and operate with the highest level of integrity. Some of the smartest and most committed professionals.

    Cons

    Not clear on the career path post IBM acquisition. It will be very interesting to see how the two cultures integrate.

    Advice to Management

    It is very important to nurture and mentor younger staff and help in developing their career paths. Create a better working environment,including social events.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Keep searching..."

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

    I worked at Promontory Financial Group full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The pros are few and far between:
    -smart junior colleagues
    -depending on your practice group, opportunity to work with really solid upper and middle management (the choice of your practice group though is a total crapshoot).
    -nice offices
    -free coffee and soda

    Cons

    The Work:
    -it's back-office compliance consulting...it only gets so interesting
    -i've seen numerous analysts with solid backgrounds forced to only do admin work for entire projects (e.g. manage calendars, schedule meetings, reserve rooms). it's a total waste of talent.
    -junior staff are seen like pawns on a chess board that can just be moved around (literally) by senior management. There is no choice on project type, location, or duration. Be prepared to be on the road Sunday evening through Friday evening, or Monday morning to Friday afternoon if you're fortunate.

    Career Dev:
    -there is none.
    -promotions were based on who you knew or who you worked for rather than on merit. It took the company years to implement and improve their promotion process. Now everyone gets promoted, still seemingly without a merit-based system.
    -few stay beyond Associate level.

    Comp:
    -salaries are good, although bonuses have been sinking like the titanic for the last three years.
    -there is seemingly no logic to how bonuses are allocated. Bonus amounts can vary significantly at the same level, independent of one's performance review ratings.
    -related, there is no guidance or range for bonuses that is communicated to staff.

    Bottom Line: Hold out for an offer from a different firm.

    Advice to Management

    -Take a page out of any other consulting company's practices and establish merit-based promotions using defined performance metrics.

    -Get rid of MDs who don't get business or contribute to project work. There are many and they are expensive.

    -Provide more insight on firm performance. Many other consulting firms even go through financials/firm performance with staff. Establish bonus ranges by position to align expectations with reality.


  10. "Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Promontory Financial Group full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Inviting environment and great people

    Cons

    Communication could be improved abit


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