Vanguard Reviews | Glassdoor

Vanguard Reviews

Updated April 24, 2017
1,632 reviews

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1,632 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great work life balance, good prospects for those that are identified as high achievers (in 286 reviews)

  • Vanguard is a great company to work for and they offer great benefits (in 187 reviews)

Cons
  • Also there is a high turnover rate because it is more of a call center position once you get through training (in 124 reviews)

  • Work life balance is great but more flexibility is needed in some of the departments" (in 45 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (49)

    "The Wal-Mart of the investing world"

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

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

    Pros

    You start with great PTO and potential for working 4 days a week. They don't technically lay-off, but they do fire you if your metrics are low.

    The organization as a whole does not have conflicts of interest in their investing with no greedy shareholders to appease (minus partnership). They truly care about their clients and they should extend this unyielding care to their employees.

    Cons

    THE PAY. I cannot even fathom how this organization gets away with paying as little as it does. This is true of a ton of jobs in this industry. Just to give you an idea, since leaving Vanguard, I have tripled my salary in just a few years outside of "financial services" aka the absolute worst industry to be in unless you're an investment banker or love sales.....

    The licenses are basically worthless as the industry forces so many people to have them. They're literally a dime a dozen. If you plan on staying in the low paying financial services world fine, but I didn't and they were worthless when I left.

    Vanguard tracks literally your every single movement that feeds into your "metrics." These metrics determine your fate with the organization. Use the bathroom? They know. Use it too many times? They'll have a conversation when it pops up on your metrics. Metrics, metrics, metrics. It's so impersonal and dehumanizing. I happened to be a high performer when it came to these metrics, but to many it was very stressful. I didn't like feeling like a number on a piece of paper instead of an employee with great ideas and aspirations. Since leaving Vanguard I have helped to think up ideas for companies to save literally millions of dollars. Could I have done the same at VG? Maybe....

    Some of the "management" are very little more than inexperienced kids with degrees. I was fortunate enough to have an amazing manager while at the organization who had over 20 years management experience. As soon as I found out some kid was going to be put in charge, I knew my time was up.....well that and an offer for double my salary from a former employer.

    As a former "graduate" of one of the financial services management training programs (not VADP, but a higher equivalent at a competitor), I can tell you they're political BS. The kids thrust into these roles that, on average, do not have what it takes to manage people or complex processes. Are there exceptions? Absolutely.

    So why does Vanguard do this? MONEY. They don't want to pay what true managers command. I have not had a manager since leaving Vanguard that made less than six figures and I hope I never do. You get what you pay for.

    Advice to Management

    Stop calling "management" team leaders. These are not team leaders, there are managers. Whatever consultant or HR person told you that should be fired. This is now an area of expertise for me and I have a suspicion this is being done to artificially deflate wages. I highly suggest you look at RESPONSIBILITIES of the role before aligning it to a person who DOES NOT manage people (Team Leader).

    Stop hiding executive compensation. What do you have to hide? Are you embarrassed by the disparity between your workers and CEO? Well you should be.

    Vanguard isn't really a bad place, but you have the opportunity to make it a GREAT place.


  2. Helpful (14)

    "Service recovery"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Malvern, PA
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Malvern, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    It was a first rate company. Client focus and employee focus, wanting the best for all.

    Cons

    In the later years the company cared less about the employees and the service suffered because of it. Vanguard can't keep up with the demands of clients and seems like they don't really care. Management seems to promote inexperienced people who don't know how to manage. Inept people in management positions who don't have that real care about clients.

    Advice to Management

    You've never listen to the people who have gotten you to where you are. It seems it's just a matter of time. Clients all say that you've grown too big for your pants.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Company with Admirable Mission"

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

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

    Pros

    Vanguard has an amazing structure and organization that allows it to provide more value for its customers and its competitors. It is an honor to be apart of an organization that has helped shaped the industry as a whole.

    Cons

    The organization could be more nimble.

    Advice to Management

    Reward failure to increase crew risk taking and innovation.


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  5. Helpful (8)

    "I Felt Undervalued as an Employee"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Inventory Specialist in Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - Inventory Specialist in Philadelphia, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    A great starting place for young professionals that will provide great experience.They have decent packages if you work your way up through the food chain, but you will often start way below where you might at other companies

    Cons

    The general culture of Vanguard felt crummy. Given that it is a huge system, it felt as though I was just a cog inside of it. On top of that, they undervalue their employees by offering them salaries almost laughable given the resume some of the people possess.


  6. "Marketing Manager"

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

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

    Pros

    Job stability, company culture, and Career developmental opportunities

    Cons

    Low pay and beaurocracy


  7. Helpful (25)

    "The Walmart of Investment Management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Processing Associate in Scottsdale, AZ
    Current Employee - Processing Associate in Scottsdale, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Benefits: paid time off, 401(k) match, closed during major holidays
    Easy job, you don't take your work home
    Nice people
    Some departments have a 4 day work schedule
    Unlimited overtime

    Cons

    Lack of advancement opportunities - not a place for a long-term career
    Mind-numbing job - no learning and growing
    Harder to move internally than switching to a competing firm
    Low pay compared to competitors
    Big corporation feel, you're just a number
    Extremely high backlog
    "Leaders" don't lead, they just manage
    High management turnover
    Too much micro managing
    Working Saturdays (operations)
    Lack of flexibility and schedule change

    Okay job to start out of college. The lack of client facing experience during this role will make it extremely hard to move on with your career, unless you're looking for a position that doesn't deal with clients. My advice is to try to apply internally after 1.5 years of employment to get your series 7 and a client facing role. Your resume will look very poor with just the processing associate role on it. If you have high career aspirations I would advise to look elsewhere. Most of my training class peers quit after 1 year at the company.
    Career advancement are extremely difficult and plagued with politics. Even if you’re exceeding the required metrics, they’ll find ways to take away your merit increase or offer a promotion. After almost 3 years at the company, new hires are starting at a higher base than my current one. Managers say “productivity doesn’t matter, it’s all about quality”, but they will still have unpleasant talks about increasing your numbers (even if you’re at 100% quality). Some people are lucky to have nice managers (they’re labeled “leaders”), but you’re lucky if you have the same manager for over a year.
    So just like Walmart, it’s a great company for the consumer with a narrow focus on low cost, but not a good place for a career.


  8. "Great work environment, plenty of opportunities within the company to move both laterally and vertically."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Administrator in Valley Forge, PA
    Former Employee - Project Administrator in Valley Forge, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Vanguard full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Lots of opportunities within a strong organization. A place you can spend your career. They want you to move within the organization to continue to learn and grow.

    Cons

    Typical challenges with any large company that has a lot of layers of management. It would be nice if there was more of an opportunity to work remotely.

    Advice to Management

    Make a stronger effort to identify high achievers that are early in the career, specifically those that don't enter the organization in an excellerated program.


  9. Helpful (7)

    "Vanguard at a glance"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Fixed Income Trader in Scottsdale, AZ
    Current Employee - Fixed Income Trader in Scottsdale, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good benefits, Vanguard measures it as "total" compensation

    Cons

    Expectation to be 10% perfect in absolutely everything you do which is not sustainable.

    Advice to Management

    Stoop picking 1 team member every year end to give an FDN (further develop necessary) to.


  10. Helpful (17)

    "Toxic Culture"

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

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Pay, 401k, paid time off, noble mission (see cons)

    Cons

    The lower level employees wind up paying for the low-cost mission out of their own salaries and bonuses (if they have bonuses) while upper management still gets paid millions of dollars, toxic culture, career opportunities are mostly call center jobs (just slightly different from the entry level position), disgruntled and dissatisfied employees - entire departments are terrible (BRS, RRS, Flagship, BDG, FAS).

    Advice to Management

    You ask for your employees' opinions, maybe you should listen to what they have to say - they're certainly sharing the feedback that the conditions are bad and getting worse. This used to be a Top 100 Company to Work For. Get back to the benefits that made it one. If low costs for your clients is so important, put your money where your mouth is and take a pay cut rather than forcing it on the lower level employees.


  11. "Honest business"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Scottsdale, AZ
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Scottsdale, AZ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time

    Pros

    Takes care of their employees
    Potential for growth
    Benefits

    Cons

    Inititially lower paying within the industry


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