Vanguard Reviews | Glassdoor

Vanguard Reviews

Updated February 12, 2019
2,117 reviews

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3.2
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Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley
Tim Buckley
154 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "The work/life balance and benefits have been great" (in 372 reviews)

  • "great benefits good pay very nice work environment" (in 250 reviews)

Cons
  • "Basically a call center to help low net worth clients" (in 175 reviews)

  • "recruitment process is full of lies about work-life balance" (in 55 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (4)

    "Awesome culture and great people"

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

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

    Pros

    People are great, culture and environment are fun. Very client focused, you can feel good about the job you do everyday.

    Cons

    Very process driven, can be slow moving. (Speed is improving)

    Advice to Management

    Keep us moving forward. Sometimes we need to acknowledge our weaknesses not just focus on our strengths.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Best in class employer"

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

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

    Pros

    Great flexibility, opportunity to learn and grow, advancement and choice in career options, pay and benefits

    Cons

    After a certain level it is harder to move up in the organization

    Vanguard Response

    Jan 25, 2019 – Vanguard Human Resources

    Thank you for providing us your feedback and experience. We're happy that you are a part of the Vanguard Crew and are enjoying opportunities to grow and advance your career.

  3. "Great place to work"

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

    I worked at Vanguard full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Lots of smart hardworking ambitious people work there

    Cons

    I cannot think of any.


  4. "Great Employer, Enjoyed Working at Vanguard"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Participant Services Representative in Scottsdale, AZ
    Former Employee - Participant Services Representative in Scottsdale, AZ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    1. Professionally mannered co-workers and management.
    2. Beautiful work location.
    3. Excellent starting pay and bonuses.
    4. Do your job and no one will micromanage you.
    5. Plenty of advancement opportunities.
    6. Fun team activities; on-site and off-site.
    7. Extensive training opportunities.
    8. Company sponsored FINRA licenses.

    Cons

    Like any job, there will be people who may rub you the wrong way, there will be tasks you wish weren't part of your job duties, you'll see strong and weak team managers. You'll likely see co-workers who are management's favorites, and so forth. However, no job or company is perfect. Just focus on you! Focus on your job, your career, and work hard to advance where you want to go. Don't let the little things or typical office politics get in the way of your success. I resigned, wish I could go back.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what your doing!


  5. "Brokerage Professional at Vanguard"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Personal Investor Brokerage Professional in Scottsdale, AZ
    Current Employee - Personal Investor Brokerage Professional in Scottsdale, AZ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good training program which lasts 3 months in which you are paid your full salary while given two attempts to pass both the Series 7 and Series 63. The company has a great culture and does an excellent job in hiring hard-working and personable people. Best direct supervisors I've ever had! Also, great benefits.

    Cons

    The role itself is a glorified call-center. While you do require finance industry knowledge and it comes up for most of the day, a lot of the calls can be draining. Also, salary is definitely below the industry average.

    Advice to Management

    Increase the pay.


  6. "Great Upward Mobility"

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

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

    Pros

    Time in job strategy allows crew to learn about and adapt to various roles creating a more well rounded professional.

    Cons

    Low cost structure means low salaries, made up for by great benefits package


  7. Helpful (7)

    "To recent grads: explore your options"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good retirement plan. Benefits are on par with other large corporations. Free subscription to the WSJ.

    Cons

    Base salaries are too low. Management is a complete mixed bag. Team leaders are, for the most part, useless. A young worker looking to start a career wants one of two simple things from their manager (preferably both): on the job expertise and career development. Many of the supervisors lack both of these qualities. They are overpaid when most of them just baby sit and approve time sheets. Many of the finance jobs that you would expect to get out of college are competitive and networking is a must. If you want a serious career in finance do not accept a job on the phones or in operations unless you are willing to grind away at a monotonous job that does not challenge you. These jobs are so mind-numbing that you will question why you went to college. Management will treat you like a child and micromanage when they don't even know what you do on a daily basis. There is an endless list of frustrations but my advice is that if you find yourself in one of their entry level roles, start networking on day one.

    Advice to Management

    Be VERY careful who you hire into management roles.

  8. "Great company mission and values"

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

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

    Pros

    Great mission and leadership cares about crew and clients. You work with amazing co-workers and my direct leaders have been awesome!! The work/life balance and benefits have been great.

    Cons

    In order to move up in the company, you really need to work in or be willing to relocate to the headquarters location. Base pay is lower, total comp is decent.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to care about crew and clients. Love the candid approach we are embracing!


  9. Helpful (10)

    "Limited opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor in Charlotte, NC
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor in Charlotte, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Easy work. Not a whole lot of thought required to work here. Basically a call center environment where the computer does everything for you.

    Cons

    Kool-aid factory. Being good at middle school politics will help you get promoted faster than being the smartest on your team. Drink the Kool aid or get out.

    Advice to Management

    It would be nice to have managers that have actually held the job for which they are managing. It’s amazing to me that a manger can critique a FA on his or her approach and conversations with clients when that manager never has


  10. Helpful (5)

    "A mixed bag."

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

    I worked at Vanguard full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Awesome job security. Even when the market crashed in 2008 they did everything they could to keep full-time crew (at the expense of contractors).

    The 10% 401(k) benefit plus 4% match is awesome. People criticize the salaries, but if you add the 14% to the cash you're getting, it's not as bad as you think. I had a six-figure 401(k) after six years, which I really appreciate.

    The June Partnership payment (think profit sharing) is usually pretty good. There's an end of year bonus too, but it's usually much less.

    I found the health and vision plans more than met my needs.

    Time off starts 18 days a year and increases with tenure. By the fifth calendar year, you're up to 23 days, and you can buy 5 more.

    Like a lot of places, your experience will depend on the department, manager, and team you have. If you're lucky, you get into a position that works for you. Coworkers are generally nice, and will help when you need it.

    Cons

    In my opinion, the biggest problem is laxness. It manifests itself all over:
        - Some come in late and leave early as often as they can get away with. In fact, I knew a guy that came in after 9am, left before 3pm, took a lunch, and watched YouTube whenever he was at his desk. He got promoted.
        - Some "work" from home as often as they can get away with. Sometimes when I did it, I was working on my XBox.
        - If you're dependent on someone to do their job, you might find yourself impeded. In some cases, I waited weeks.
        - I knew a guy that parked in the visitors spots because he was coming in late and didn't want to walk. It took years until he was caught.

    I hated my working environment:
        - They took away the cubicles are put in an open "Office of the Future". It was noisy. I had a meeting room right behind my desk. Also a scrum area used all day long, including for the teaching of classes. People did phone calls from their desk, and I could hear coworkers rows away word-for-word. There was times I couldn't hear my own scrum.
        - Vanguard leased the building I was in, and it lacked proper HVAC. I defied dress code and wore sweatshirts most of winter. During the polar vertex, a coworker's thermometer read 59 degrees. I went home that day.
        - Vanguard has been doing very well, and hires like crazy. Space is at a premium, and what were originally collaboration tables turned into contractors' desks.

    Because Vanguard hires pretty much everyone they can, there is a wide spread in abilities. When I got hired there wasn't a technical review. My friends said there was a contractor who consistently got nothing done, and it took years until he was let go.

    I felt my department didn't value technical skills. The high ratings went to the people who did showy presentations and dominated meetings because visibility is everything. In fact, in my final year I spent more time in meetings than writing code. There were planning meetings, scrum meetings, requirements meetings, retrospective meetings, team meetings...make yourself useful in those and you'll do well.

    The raises are awful, usually less than 2%. They created this video for us explaining how the pay evaluations are done. They tried to make the viewers feel guilty for wanting a raise, because of course they means company costs go up. Living in Chester County is not cheap -- my rent went up as fast as my salary, so I didn't feel I was gaining ground.

    They say you can switch positions every 18 months. However, competition was tough. I tried multiple times to get away from an unpleasant situation and when I couldn't, HR was less than helpful. This was the biggest reason why I left -- it was the only escape hatch I had.

    I often found you couldn't tell people things they didn't want to hear. The new CEO added a "be candid" plank to the leadership standards, which I found funny. I wondered how well it would fly in practice.

    They used to provide lots of training opportunities. But that has fallen by the wayside because "watch a video" is cheaper.

    There is a major emphasis on charity at Vanguard, with multiple drives each year. I get why the company wants to be seen as "giving back to the community." However, it does have a downside in that at least some employees wondered if they are being judged on whether they gave the "suggested" amount. To Vanguard's credit, they did tone it down a bit in recent years -- I think there was complaining. I personally found the drives tedious. If I wanted to work at a charity, I'd go work at a charity.

    Advice to Management

    You've created an MBA playground. The revolving door manager policy create the opportunity for proposing grand reorganizations, getting a transfer or promotion, and making the next manager clean up the mess.