Vanguard Reviews | Glassdoor

Vanguard Reviews

Updated August 19, 2017
1,713 reviews

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3.3
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Vanguard Chairman and CEO William McNabb
William McNabb
987 Ratings

1,713 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work life balance, excellent benefits (in 303 reviews)

  • Vanguard is a great company to work for and they offer great benefits (in 198 reviews)

Cons
  • Also there is a high turnover rate because it is more of a call center position once you get through training (in 130 reviews)

  • Pay is lower then the average but it is a trade off for the work life/balance (in 47 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (24)

    "Purpose driven company"

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

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

    Pros

    A virtuous mission backed by a truly unique structure, significant investment in employee training and continuing education, best-in-class retirement and benefits package, generous time off and work-life balance, collaborative relationship-based culture, lots of rotational and promotional opportunities for top performers, improving at weeding out low performers and cultural cancers

    Cons

    Compensation could be greater, culture can be too nice and conflict averse, people can rise/fall based on a few or old impressions with influential people

    Advice to Management

    Figure out a way to better engage middle management and longer tenured employees.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Select Services Representative"

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

    I worked at Vanguard full-time

    Pros

    Great Benefits - PTO, Health Care, option for Overtime (Time and a half)
    Get to help educate people on their investments, and help them make better investment decisions
    Great Stepping stool into the Investment Industry. Great experience with investments. I see this as a Great Stepping Stool job right out of college.

    Cons

    Call Center - They are often understaffed and extremely busy. Half of the year there is a constant que for clients which often got out of control (1 hour or more)
    Very difficult to move up in the company. I've seen many extremely qualified employees denied positions multiple times to the point where they are forced to look elsewhere for work because of how difficult it can be to move up.

    Advice to Management

    Focus more on hiring within Vanguard, than hiring outside Vanguard. Many dedicated Vanguard employees, who are extremely qualified, have left because of the difficulty of moving up.

    GET RID OF STAR STORIES as the entire basis of your interview process. Utilize more of your resources to determine the quality of your hiring candidates - current managers, listening to phone calls. You have so many resources that can help you see the qualifications of those you are interviewing. Instead you rely heavily on their ability to tell a story, rather than perform their job.

  3. Helpful (5)

    "Retail & FFS"

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

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

    Pros

    Work life balance in retail, opportunities to move between groups, company will pay for CFA, CFP, 7, 63, 24 etc., PTO, 401k matching. Retail - walk out the door at 37.5 hours and get a daily lunch
    FFS- opportunity to take control of your team and role and make changes very quickly. Infinite project opportunities. Major exposure to the investment side without the same background requirements as many other big institutions. FFS is mostly hourly so the OT pays off.
    Major opportunity for promotion in FFS as all teams are inter-connected. Easy to be noticed for hard work. TIJ waiver is not unheard of.

    Cons

    Retail - you really are at the whim of your manager. Your year end merit raises are based on 'calibrations,' which are the mgmt teams basically fighting it out amongst each other to get raises for their crew. You're really out of luck if you have a cruddy mgr there. Additionally you are ranked each year (Distinguished, fully successfully, on track, further development needed). They have to give someone an FDN each year. If you are that someone, you can basically say goodbye to ever elevating your career at Vanguard.
    Change is slow and requires 15 supervisors and 12 meetings. Crew are not able to run with ideas for change- everything is taken over by mgmt team. Projects have to be "given" to crew so very hard to obtain project experience.

    FFS is its own special beast. FFS is a group of highly analytical hyper engaged crew who really care about the work they do. FFS crew cannot leave until the work is done, so nobody is a stranger to 10+ hour days with breaks only to sprint to the restroom and back. Lunch is an uncommon (if not unheard of) luxury. The daily life of an analyst on most teams is filled with intra-day deliverables that result in high stress environments for hours on end. It is not for the weak minded.
    I work easily 5x as hard as I did in retail but we get dirt merit raises. Fully successful sat in the 2-3% range last year in FFS and it went over 5% in Flagship.
    FFS has a huge VADP problem. As the crew are highly driven, knowledgeable,and analytical, there is intense frustration regarding the continuous hiring of 22y.o. VADP grads with zero finance or investments background & no work or leadership experience. FFS analysts have to be independent and self driven, and VADP mgrs really just get in the way of work. Crew spend more time teaching their mgmt and coaching their bosses through issues than should be acceptable considering everyone's already working 50 hour weeks. Promote within!

    Advice to Management

    Stop overpaying Advice and Flagship all the time. Clients come for the low cost funds- pay your hard working FFS crew! There wouldn't be as many millionaires flying into VG if FFS crew didn't do their jobs so well and work so hard.
    Eliminate VADP in FFS all together. We work too hard to have to baby our supervisors.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Great Company"

    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 Vanguard full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Investment in continuous personal and professional development
    Leadership philosophy steeped in putting crew and clients first
    Mission you can believe in
    Work/Life Balance

    Cons

    Can be overly collaborative
    Formality and top down consensus driven decision making at times stifles creativity and forward thinking

    Advice to Management

    Focus less on requiring presentations, 1-pagers, and the need to overly communicate up and across...delegate decision making and true ownership/accountability closer to the front lines


  5. "Fixed Income Trader"

    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 Vanguard (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great work life balance
    Great Benefits

    Cons

    Pay is below average for similar roles


  6. "Client Relationship Specialist"

    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 Vanguard full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits, decent pay, decent training

    Cons

    if you don't pass the test you get fired. the training wasn't in depth and some of the trainers just read out of the book.


  7. "Honorable"

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

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time

    Pros

    - Full benefits package
    - Competitive comp
    - Amazing culture

    Cons

    - Slow to make decisions
    - Behind on technology

  8. "Good opportunity"

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

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

    Pros

    Excellent amenities, ethical, lack of corporate profit pressures

    Cons

    Limited time to pass necessary exams, higher healthcare costs compared to industry


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Financial advisor"

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

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, ethical and honest "client first" culture is real. Recent effort to make the salaries more competitive with the industry standard. Company sponsors and supports professional development and designations.

    Cons

    Low base salary for advisors. Rumblings in the department include concerns that it's becoming too much like a college frat or lacrosse team, a boys club environment, which is not typical of the culture at Vanguard.

    Advice to Management

    There's going to continue to be an outflow of talent (particularly women and minorities) if the leadership in advice doesn't investigate and nip potential problems in the bud.


  10. "ICS Investment Specialist"

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

    I worked at Vanguard full-time

    Pros

    Great work environment; motto "Taking a stand for ALL investors" and always keeps the customer in mind with low expense ratios; sponsor you to take the Series 7 and 63; incredible benefit programs

    Cons

    Low expense ratios for customers mean lower salaries for employees


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