Vanguard Reviews in Philadelphia, PA | Glassdoor

Vanguard Philadelphia Reviews

Updated December 8, 2017
644 reviews

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Philadelphia, PA Area

3.3
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Vanguard Chairman and CEO William McNabb
William McNabb
382 Ratings

644 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work life balance, excellent benefits (in 326 reviews)

  • Great Benefits (401k match, plus bonus pension) (in 210 reviews)

Cons
  • Also there is a high turnover rate because it is more of a call center position once you get through training (in 137 reviews)

  • Pay is lower then the average but it is a trade off for the work life/balance (in 48 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Get onboard with Vanguard"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Project Manager in Malvern, PA
    Current Employee - IT Project Manager in Malvern, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Work/Life Balance, Decent benefits, Culture

    Cons

    Calibration Standards for performance reviews.

    Advice to Management

    TBD


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Great Company!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Investment Professional in Malvern, PA
    Current Employee - Investment Professional in Malvern, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Company Mission, Great Benefits, Retirement Savings, Support with Continuing Education, Career Opportunities, Senior Management, Strong Culture, Work & Life Balance

    Cons

    It’s a huge company, so you have to deal with the bureaucracy. Good coffee would go a long way with the crew.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Decent place to work (Entry Level)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Entry Level Software Developer in Malvern, PA
    Former Employee - Entry Level Software Developer in Malvern, PA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    benefits, fun team activities, salary for entry level, and friendly co-workers, flexible hours

    Cons

    not good job on-boarding new team members, some incompetent co-workers, need more competent project managers, only care about the bottom-line on projects and not caring about developers efforts

    Advice to Management

    need more competent managers who are versatile in business and technology and not just business, better on-boarding team members


  4. Helpful (11)

    "It is a cult"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales in Malvern, PA
    Current Employee - Sales in Malvern, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Benefits are good. They have a very generous benefit package. If you are lazy, it’s a great place to work.

    Cons

    It is a cult. You better never offer suggestions or challenge management. You are paid to execute, not to think. You are a soldier. Nothing more. Management is arrogant with a lot of empty suits.

    Advice to Management

    Embrace diversity of opinions. Groupthink will eventually get you into trouble. Luckily you have a great business model. That is the only reason you are successful.


  5. Helpful (7)

    "Don’t drink the Vanguard cool aid"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Investment Professional in Malvern, PA
    Former Employee - Investment Professional in Malvern, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Vanguard (More than a year)

    Pros

    It was a starting point that gives exposure to the finance world. And the name will help you move to a company more worthwhile.

    Cons

    There is no consistency and they misrepresent themselves. There were several times where promises were made that they had no intention of keeping large scale to get results they wanted.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Operations Associate"

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

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits, successful company, great co-workers, healthy breakfast and lunch menus, nice landscaping,

    Cons

    Working under a "mentally pressured" environment i.e. must process a minimum of 30-40 work objects/day no matter how complicated or difficult the work objects are...Not enough training on new processes. too many daily updates/changes on the processes, too many manuals to review.

    Advice to Management

    Focus more on providing the clients with assistance in opening new accounts, making financial transactions/transfers and completing the lengthy forms.


  7. Helpful (10)

    "What I wish I knew before going into vanguard"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Brokerage Investment Professional in Malvern, PA
    Former Employee - Brokerage Investment Professional in Malvern, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The hours aren't bad and people are really friendly. Also give you a lot of support throughout licensing. If you want to get into the financial industry and don't get an offer anywhere else it's a good place to get your series 7 and 63 and then get out.

    Cons

    The job itself. I was not aware during my interview what it would actually be like. The job description is entirely misleading- the actual job is only 25% of the description the other 75% of the time you are getting yelled at by clients for vanguards disorganization/incompetence or trying to walk them through the website. I was also not aware that bathroom times would be monitored. They actually track the time you take to go to the bathroom. It's absolutely insane. If they told me that when I went on my interview I would walk right out. Your supervisor cares about how long you take too. Each week mine would send out and excel spreadsheet that had the exact time you clocked in how long you took for your "break" (bathroom) time and how long you took for lunch. If you were over your given amount by even 2 mins it would be in red and my supervisor would sit us down to "make us aware so it doesn't become an issue".

    Besides the bathroom timing and micromanagement my main issue was that it wasn't the job they made it out to be. A majority of my training was investment guidance which is what I thought the main job would be and all the angry clients yelling at you and cursing at you on the phone because vanguard has some ridiculous policy or something didn't go right would be a rare occurrence in your day. I was wrong it's completely flipped. 80% of the 50 calls I took each day were angry clients. I was out of there no way did I go to college for that crap.

    Also your manager is probably not going to be helpful at all. They say if you have an angry client yelling and cursing (literally cursing not an exaggeration) then you can give the call to your supervisor. That's wrong. Your supervisor will just tell you to try to "de-elevated" aka calm down the client so they don't have to deal with it. I found most of the supervisors or "team leaders" in my department incompetent. Honestly I don't think any of them went to school for finance or have even have an interest in finance. All they pretty much do is track your bathroom time.

    Final warning: the funds are so cheap for a reason. They hire poor quality management due to poor pay for employees. They are way below industry standard in employee compensation than any other competitive firm. They are an "at cost firm" meaning employees are treated like crap hence the bathroom timing because apparently bodily functions take away from company time aka cost vanguard money (keep harping on the bathroom timing but I'm just still traumatized)

    Advice to Management

    Honestly vanguard itself needs a restructuring. They need an actual customer service center. They need to split the job into different roles and be less transparent about what you're actually going to be doing. They need to tell people exactly what the job is like.

    They need to start treating employees better. Yes clients are important but you can't have happy clients when they are receiving poor service because your employees are underpaid overworked and miserable.

    My favorite quote someone that worked at vanguard with me said (who left shortly after I did): "vanguard pays Walmart prices and expects Nordstrom quality"

  8. Helpful (8)

    "READ THIS (if you plan on working here)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Retirement Plan Specialist in Malvern, PA
    Current Employee - Retirement Plan Specialist in Malvern, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Vacation Days (19-24 per year)
    Health Insurance, Vision, Dental Insurance (Semi-competitive)
    401(k) - just a few % match
    Profit Sharing - 10% of salary automatically goes into 401(k)

    Cons

    Profit Sharing - Fully vested after 5 years, Vanguard bets that you wont stay that long
    Salary - SIGNIFICANTLY underpaid compared to industry standards
    ***I see adults bringing lunchables to work b/c they cannot pay bills

    Little to no upward mobility. There is decent mobility amongst the lower levels (low pay). The middle level management & upper level management often times comes from external hires.

    Poor Poor Poor pay

    Advice to Management

    Stop lying to prospective candidates and new hires about the possibilities Vanguard has to offer. Even within the Accelerated development program for the best and brightest, your options are still quite limited. 1 individual who participated in that program is simply a call center manager 10 years later making a measly 75k.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to begin your career!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Specialist in Malvern, PA
    Former Employee - Project Specialist in Malvern, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Vanguard full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Training was offered through Vanguard University as well as various conferences to attend.
    Encouraged diversity through Crew Resource Groups.
    Employees were supportive and encouraging.
    Culture was very strong and client-focused.
    Promotion within the company was good as long as you had management advocacy and you went above and beyond in your role.

    Cons

    Salary was below average amongst competitors.
    Commute to the main campus was almost an hour for me living in the city.
    Communication within the company lagged amongst departments; overlapping initiatives instead of collaborating with each other.

    Advice to Management

    Try your best to empathize with your team and learn their roles prior to managing them.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Retirement tax senior"

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

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Benefits are good, vacation better than average and 401k match is the reason I'm still at the company.

    Cons

    They want you to think that everyone has a fair chance at moving internally but most of the time, someone is already guaranteed the job. Two people on my team had been unsuccessful at posting internally but they both got offers externally.


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