Silicon Valley Bank Reviews | Glassdoor

Silicon Valley Bank Reviews

Updated January 20, 2017
32 reviews

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Silicon Valley Bank President & CEO Greg Becker
Greg Becker
14 Ratings

32 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • the work-life balance has been challenging (in 9 reviews)

  • middle management gets more people (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "Absolute lack of good leaders and toxic work environment in few teams."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Silicon Valley Bank full-time

    Pros

    Good compensations and flexibility in work schedules. Senior C-level leadership is very good. People are very friendly and nice especially on the Business side. They smile at you even if they do not know you and make you feel welcomed.

    Cons

    There is an absolute lack of good leadership and management across the company. Fearful managers and leaders do not care for employee development and growth. Only the tenure in company and the relationships count for promotion and appreciation of good work. Few teams like CCAR Stress Testing and IT Client Services / Information Management / CCAR Data Governance teams are dreadful teams to work for. There are incompetent people who are not fit for management role but still promoted to Director and Head of the department roles. Employees are treated like a piece of garbage and slaves. In CCAR Stress Testing business team, highly qualified and experienced people are hired and told to work for IT. There is no basic management provided. For eg, no 1:1 meetings, lack of clarity on roles and responsibilities and expectations are common in CCAR team. There is no freedom for doing things differently and no place for people with creative and out of the box thinking. One person is loaded with responsibilities of 3-4 persons and no help and resources provided to do your job effectively. IT CCAR Data Governance team has a toxic work culture. This team has nobody with Data Governance experience. Managers hire highly qualified people and make them work on their own terms which becomes frustrating. It is the most bureaucratic team exercising old management style (“Yes Sir” mentality). When you question anything, you are alienated and pushed out of the team and the company. Only people in the inner circle are promoted based on relationship with manager and not based on performance. All the work is done by outsourcing consultants and employees are just acting as middle man between consultants and Business. Consultants have all the critical knowledge and they do not share knowledge for job security. Eventually they are hired as full time employees in this team. Business is very much dependent on Data Warehouse for any data related stuff as there is no sharing or documentation available for Business to understand and use data effectively. Technology project and program managers are treated by this team as puppets and PMs do what functional managers tell them to do.

    Advice to Management

    Senior leadership is very good but they need to know how bad their direct reports treat their employees. HR needs to question the managers with heavy turnover rate. Managers need to be made accountable to live company values and respecting employees.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "I have somethign to say!!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Santa Clara, CA
    Former Employee - Manager in Santa Clara, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Silicon Valley Bank full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great place to connect with smart people. Fun social event. Management gets paid well...really well. Bonus are amazing...

    Cons

    When you bank the most innovative companies and you are not innovative in all areas of the business that's a problem. When there is no accountability in your upper management team that's a problem. When current technology is what you find in your competition and the clients that you serve, that's a problem.

    Advice to Management

    Restructure what really matters. Find out why great people are leaving. Eventually you will be surrounded with people that have nothing to say.


  3. Helpful (4)

    "Unlimited Vacation Not as Advertised"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT EMP
    Former Employee - IT EMP
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Silicon Valley Bank full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great place to work if you like to hang out and drink after hours

    Cons

    Unlimited vacation sounds great, but in practice the IT managers count your days and are upfront about not taking any more than the 22 days that nonexempt employees get. Why do they say it is unlimited? When an IT person leaves they dont have to pay for any unused accrued vacation time. Having to pay out that much accrued vacation weighs heavily on the balance sheet -- great way to cut costs. Buyer beware.

    Advice to Management

    Hire managers who have deep IT experience outside of the bank. Long time employees dont respect or value input from newer employees.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "Specialist"

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

    I worked at Silicon Valley Bank (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great Benefits & most of the employees are great to work with it.

    Cons

    Micro Management at it's best! Typical office politics, It is Not what you know; it's who you know in order to get a promotion! Middle management does not understand the complexity of certain day in & day out daily tasks of certain positions.

    Advice to Management

    Stop treating your employees like their are back in High School! Give them some space & respect & treat your employees the way you would want to be treated!


  6. Helpful (8)

    "Technology Group Needs Help!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineering
    Current Employee - Software Engineering
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Compensation and Benefits are good

    Cons

    Poor communication within the IT organization
    Management that doesn't "get it"
    Employees treated as expendable
    Outdated process and/or lack of tools to do efficient work
    Lack of recognition (more than just monetary) for work well done

    Advice to Management

    There has been way too much strife and volatility during my time here. The culture - which used to set SVB apart - has completely eroded into something unrecognizable. It is sad. The IT organization has been struggling for awhile. Hopefully, some of the newer managers can have a positive affect, but it might just be too little, too late for some IT employee like me.


  7. Helpful (10)

    "Wait until management turns over before considering"

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

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The benefits are amazing, and the pay is very high for IT work. As a company, the employee appreciation is good.

    Cons

    The management in place does not communicate well (the IT org), and does not treat its employees well. Recent changes have almost destroyed the culture that made this a fun place to work. Instead it has introduced so many layers of management, and so many processes that no one know how to do anything.

    Advice to Management

    Remove the IT management that does not appreciate employees and treats them like commodities.


  8. Helpful (18)

    "IT Needs improvement"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Salary , good colleagues, great icp, payouts
    Made some awesome connections
    COO , sidelined, Cio fired, CTO on way out
    Good CEO Leadership

    Cons

    Unprofessional IT leadership and management
    Unwilling to stand up and do the correct things
    Let many professionals burn out watching the show from Sidelines.

    Advice to Management

    This was a professionally run IT shop through April 2013 till the Cio left.

    The COO launched a bizarre experiment , hiring an incompetent Cio from outside and promoting an incapable CTO from inside, who was good at talking and presenting but had never managed large teams.

    This experiment created a trust deficit and set IT back. It was a spectacular failure.

    Finally Ceo has woken up to this mess , fired the Cio and ousted the COO from IT. CTO is also not involved in any major tech initiatives and along with other tainted leadership was not considered for new Cio role. Good calls from Ceo and I give him credit for starting to make these fixes.

    Better late then never. I hope the recently hired new CIO starts healing IT and fixes the vacuum and lack of leadership that people experienced in IT in the last 2 years


  9. Helpful (13)

    "Lord of the Flies"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate
    Former Employee - Associate
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Silicon Valley Bank (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    On the commercial lending side, I worked with some of the most innovative and exciting companies in the world. It was great to create relationships with C-level clients and venture capitalists to learn their strategies to execute. The fringe benefits are somewhat superior to most financial services firms (ESOP, ESPP, Health and Dental).

    Cons

    Many in middle management are drunk on their on Kool-Aid and think they are the smartest person in the room. After having conversations with VCs, they start to delude themselves into thinking that THEY are as smart and valuable as VCs. The culture is very cannibalistic and very political. The firm even encourages it. They had training sessions about 'developing your personal brand.' The effect of it was a culture that very 'back stabbing' and completely devoid of trust. I have never seen so much corporate in-fighting and political posturing. In terms of compensation, the hours are closer to I-Bank hours while the pay is closer to commercial banking. Before you agree to join this firm, do your due diligence on your direct supervisor and ensure that his/her ego is in check.

    Advice to Management

    Weed out the poor middle management. Analyze the employee turnover rate for managers. If the turnover is high, then problem is more than likely the manager.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "VP 2"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - VP2 in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - VP2 in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Innovative bank, interesting work, great clients and I enjoy the deep niche focus we have.

    Cons

    Work life balance has been converted to work life integration, I-banker hours on commercial banking pay, lack of resources and support, slow and dated systems that crash or rarely are working at full speed and lots of pressure to conform or move on.

    Advice to Management

    Mix up the ranks and promote some younger more diverse managers to bring this Bank back to its greatness!


  11. Helpful (17)

    "SVB IT department is a pool of distrust, dishonesty and disingenuity"

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

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    SVB is a great place to work, as long as you're not currently working in IT or Global Services.

    Cons

    I've been with SVB for just over 10 years in the IT dept playing several different roles both as an individual contributor and multiple levels of management. I have been through many CIO's in my time here, good and bad, and I have to say the current CIO is the worst one SVB has every had. First off let me say SVB is a great place with great people and a fantastic culture unfortunately, the IT dept has now devolved into a cess pool of distrust, dishonesty and disingenuity. Management at all levels tell one story to their teams and individual contributors while telling a different story among themselves. Everyone, individual contributors and management, are scared to speak up or voice their opinions as they have seen good people get fired for doing the same. The offices the once used to be vibrant and outgoing are now quiet and introverted. No one speaks unless spoken too and people rarely leave their seats or offices to mingle and interact. It's now like working in a morgue and everyone is just waiting for the next dead body to appear.

    The CIO has a great vision in her One IT culture but unfortunately she is not able to execute on it. She is never in IT leading them but instead chooses to be in the business informing them how IT has failed and how she is going to make it better. She is unable to make a decision and stick to it and constantly changes her mind depending on who she is talking to and what time of day it is. She dissolves and fires any competition to her ideas and gives more responsibility to under performing teams on false promises. SVB IT was once a functioning department, not perfect but I think anyone would be hard pressed to find an IT Dept that is 100% perfect.

    Advice to Management

    I used to tell people I was extremely proud to be part of SVB IT, now I'm embarrassed to tell people let alone interview new people to come on board. The CIO needs to get her head out of the business and start leading her own Dept instead of leaving it to her hired hands. Showing up to IT Mgmt meetings and allowing a Q&A session after her VERY scarce IT All Hands would be a great start.



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