Silicon Valley Bank Reviews | Glassdoor

Silicon Valley Bank Reviews

Updated September 7, 2017
39 reviews

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

39 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • There is a trade off to work life balance and we have been promised clearer guidance on this point so we await with interest (in 15 reviews)

  • middle management gets more people (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (11)

    "Destroyed IT Group"

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

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

    Pros

    Very good pay and benefits
    Great market niche
    Global scope

    Cons

    The IT group was a professionally run unit up until 2013. Once the CEO's changed hands, the banking operations group was given the IT group with disastrous consequences that are still very evident to this day. The group lost/fired very competent senior leadership during the turn over and the IT group has essentially turned into order takers rather than being thought leaders. Culture has taken a devastating hit for the worst and is unlikely to recover. A real shame.

    Advice to Management

    Consider reaching out and bringing back key folks that were marginalized or fired to restore the culture. CEO needs to take accountability for the debacle he oversaw passively.


  2. Helpful (15)

    "Tone Deaf Approach to Diversity And Inclusion"

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

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

    Pros

    working remotely is not stigmatized, a good place to learn about the tech ecosystem

    Cons

    I have been at SVB for almost 4 years and have seen our management attempt to understand the lack of diversity at the bank but they are clearly doing it because they have to and not because they get it.

    Recent reorgs have no direct reports that are women to the new president. Women on the board are not in revenue generating roles and the long time SVB woman who led the commercial bank was slowly squeezed out and it unclear what she is working on now. SVB hires senior women but doesn't think about developing who they already have.

    Our management has used terms like "not lowering the bar" and at a townhall our CEO flubbed an answer about whether there was a diversity problem at the bank. SVB follows the herd. I f VCs care about women in tech and public opinion is there, SVB will too. If VCs start to talk about race, maybe SVB will too but for now it barely knows how to talk about women in the workplace.

    Diversity and inclusion teams are not effective because there is no desire by the majority to shake up the status quo that has worked for them. Diversity and Inclusion teams are led by HR which does not hold credibility at the bank because HR is there to protect SVB and not advocate for employees.

    To be clear, there are well meaning men and women at SVB who support diversity and inclusion but that isnt enough.

    Lately there has also been tension between those brought in to help the bank "go pro" and old timers who are feeling unappreciated. Also going pro has been used in a menacing way/veiled threat/corporate jargon to hide behind unpopular choices.

    Additionally, I read some of the other reviews and it is totally true that IT is a mess and the technological debt for a tech client serving bank is enormous. Maybe the lenders are doing ok but most divisions are going through changes.

    Advice to Management

    You don't need to lower the bar to promote talent from within the company.
     That language is so outdated and offensive.

    SVB doesn't have clear career paths or paths for promotion which hurts many talented people who are stuck with bad managers or indifferent managers (the end result is the same). People also leave because the pay is not competitive and promotion paths are not transparent. When people leave I have noticed that there is no succession plan and the existing members of the team work harder and burn out. The vitality wellness program is not an anecdote to the reality of overwork and under resourced teams.

    Silicon Valley Bank Response

    Jul 20, 2017 – CHRO

    Thank you for the honest and candid feedback. As you noted, inclusion and diversity (I & D) is a topic we’ve been discussing for several years at SVB. Those conversations continue in-depth at all... More

  3. Helpful (5)

    "Meh"

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

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time

    Pros

    Candy at the front lobby

    Cons

    No work/life balance
    Office politics
    Sad office culture

    Advice to Management

    Start recognizing valuable employees! Upper Management too often relies on other management's biased opinions of employees. Also, employees who have been here seem to be dropping like flies (not of their own desire) but because they aren't valued.


  4. Helpful (7)

    "Make Next Happen Now?"

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

    I worked at Silicon Valley Bank full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Interesting client base. Free snacks

    Cons

    Boring culture, work life balance, systems and software very outdated.

    Advice to Management

    Associates are overworked and underpaid, especially in markets like Boston, NY, and Cali. With a slogan like "make next happen now" and being "The tech bank" why is there software and tools that haven't been updated in over 10 years?
    Simply modernizing systems would drastically increase productivity otherwise taken away by mundane tasks due to current operational limitations.


  5. Helpful (16)

    "Down and to the right..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Working with some truly innovative technology companies

    Cons

    Recent changes in organization and work flow have led to unrealistic expectations and mountains of work. Forget work life balance. SVB's previously unique culture is changing for the worse. General sentiment across lending teams in Northern California is dissatisfaction resulting in high turnover and attrition. Working 60 hours a week is the new normal. Management better pay attention because employees are stressed and unhappy.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees better. If you expect people to manage larger portfolios, work longer hours, and maintain excellent work quality, at least pay them for it and give them an incentive to stay. Either that, or provide them with the resources to deliver (i.e. hire more people). Management needs to establish a pay structure that allows employees to earn a living wage in Silicon Valley. The majority of employees commute to offices from afar because no one can afford property close by. That should be a huge red flag.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Not terrible"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in San Francisco, CA

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

    Pros

    - Nice office
    - Work life balance

    Cons

    - Dull work
    - Boring culture


  7. Helpful (14)

    "The IT- Digital Banking team has basically turned into a circus"

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

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

    Pros

    Good compensation and benefits
    Good office space all over the bay area
    Provide resources to train yourself
    Genuinely want to help their clients

    Cons

    IT management has no clue, hired a bunch of talented engineers for an Agile transformation that had fail written all over it from day one.

    IT middle management is powerless and forced to blindly follow the head who's ideas are impractical

    Top IT leadership refuse to acknowledge and appreciate people from within the company

    It would be a career suicide to join the Online Digital team within IT. It is directionless, visionless and ownerless

    Advice to Management

    Hold the IT leadership accountable, appreciate the great people within and reign in grandiose projects that burn good money and produce nothing.

  8. Helpful (7)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    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.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "I have somethign to say!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Unlimited Vacation Not as Advertised"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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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