Stout Reviews | Glassdoor

Stout Reviews

Updated September 18, 2018
70 reviews

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4.1
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Stout CEO Craige L. Stout
Craige L. Stout
56 Ratings

70 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Great work life balance, Given lots of responsibility on projects" (in 6 reviews)

  • "great people, great culture, and a great place to grow" (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • "Demands create work life balance issues - basically expected to be ready to drop everything and answer emails or calls at all times" (in 5 reviews)

  • "Brand recognition isn't particularly strong outside the midwest (Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland)" (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good Company"

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

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

    Pros

    -Management is smart, and communicates the strategy and performance of the company all the way down
    -Room for growth
    -Flexibility on vacation/hours as long as you get your work done (at least in my office)
    -Exposure to different engagements can lead to different exit opportunities down the road

    Cons

    -Paying out more money is never a bad thing
    -Hours can be long, but that comes with the work and is no worse than other firms in the industry
    -Still a relatively small firm, so some of the downsides that come with that (no real international opportunities, less brand recognition, etc.)

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up. Coming from public accounting, its night and day with how much less red tape there is here. Stout actually has a 'culture' that they actively manage and it shows. Seems like it's already a point of focus, but retain the people that fit well in the company and things will continue to go well.


  2. "Valuation Analyst"

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

    I worked at Stout full-time

    Pros

    great people, great culture, and a great place to grow.

    Cons

    Hard to reach out to upper management for advice.

  3. "Good gig...busy!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

    Always consistent. Always busy. Great location. The owners are wonderful.

    Cons

    Management parties often with staff, which, in my opinion, is a conflict of interest in regards to running a professional business.

    Advice to Management

    Owners are wonderful, as well as the management. I would just recommend to keep personal feelings separate from professional standards.


  4. "Good Leadership/Good Colleagues"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Detroit, MI
    Current Employee - Associate in Detroit, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The top leadership has a vision for what they want the company to become and a plan for how to get there. The people you work with are great and willing to help you out if you have a question or concern.

    Cons

    In some of the business units the number of hours you work can be long.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing. Management has a vision and a plan for how to make the company successful.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Associate"

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

    I worked at Stout full-time

    Pros

    *Laidback culture for a finance role
    *Some managers are extremely intelligent and are thought leaders in the valuation world
    *C-Suite is filled with leaders who genuinely care about the employees

    Cons

    *Salary is below market
    *Work is monotonous
    *Managerial skills vary wildly from director to director
    *Certain employees literally can't do their job (e.g. are incapable of functionally using excel) and only have their title because they rode their superior's coat tails

    Advice to Management

    *Make sure you don't lose the culture in an attempt to hit the next BHAG
    *Stop letting people get by on their superior's merits. It undermines moral in the entire office and causes tons of turnover for those serving under such employees


  6. "Great Company Culture"

    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 Stout full-time

    Pros

    Positive work environment - management does what it can to make sure workloads are balanced and employees are happy

    Cons

    Total comp is on the lower end relative to industry averages

    Advice to Management

    Up the comp, keep the culture!


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Solid but unspectacular company"

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

    I worked at Stout full-time

    Pros

    Good company in the valuation space, very nice people, decent work-life balance

    Cons

    Low brand recognition outside of the valuation space makes exit opportunities more difficult to come by, pay is below market especially given the hours, not many people are passionate about their job, kind of boring place to work

    Advice to Management

    Accept new ideas and innovation more

  8. "Senior Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Stout full-time

    Pros

    Great firm - excellent training program and opportunity to learn. You will experience a number of different engagements, industries, companies, which accelerates your learning curve.

    Cons

    Demanding work schedule. This is a pro and con. When you're young, it's an opportunity to gain experience at a more rapid pace, but can also be draining on your social life.

    Advice to Management

    I have heard that since I left, they have taken positive steps to improve work life balance, instituted a furlough policy, etc.


  9. "Great Valuation Firm, Experts in their Subject Matters"

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

    I worked at Stout full-time

    Pros

    Corporate was very transparent about progress and goals to the entire company. MDs and senior staff are experts in their field.

    Cons

    Work/life balance. Differing management styles among senior staff and how they execute or convey expectations on projects can result in varying experiences on valuation assignments.

    Advice to Management

    Management often encourages junior staff to keep a work/life balance, but workload assigned to individuals, especially to high performers, often results in the contrary.


  10. Helpful (8)

    "Poor IB Experience"

    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
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Stout full-time

    Pros

    Relatively nice people, the view of the company overall is positive.

    Cons

    The IB group:
    - Is grossly underpaid (see every other Stout review on IB)
    - Is trying to cut its way to profits (not possible)
    - Takes on projects that are very low-quality and have a very low probability-to-close, which contributes negatively to banker morale as many deals are not closed in spite of months of hard work put in; close rates are several orders of magnitude below industry standards
    - Contradictory with respect to culture and experience; bankers were told a "good culture" comes at the cost of slightly lower pay and better hours, however, in reality the culture is completely nonexistent and disjointed, pay is ~20% below market, and hours are comparable to those at direct competitors

    Advice to Management

    Stop trying to be frugal in IB. Invest in the group, at the junior and senior levels, and give the group some space to grow. Set the bar higher not in the form of lower expenses incurred or pitches completed, but better-quality deals closed. This comes down to group leadership and senior banker quality. Craige, you are the man, but this group is legitimately struggling; it has the potential to be great, but bankers cannot be hamstrung and still expected to grow. High-quality talent will be attracted and retained only once the pay, deal experience, and culture are improved. Consider treating IB differently, as it is the most different business line at Stout. The same things that apply to valuation, dispute consulting, etc. do not, by default, apply to investment banking.

    Note: This review is focused solely on the Investment Banking group, not on Stout as a whole. The disparate experiences and opinions, internal and external, of Stout overall versus those of the IB group are incredibly wide. Stout is a great company overall.


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