William Blair Reviews | Glassdoor

William Blair Reviews

Updated August 4, 2017
100 reviews

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3.8
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William Blair President and CEO John R. Ettelson
John R. Ettelson
56 Ratings

100 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The firm has taken initiatives to foster better work-life balance (in 9 reviews)

  • Great benefits (from an HR offering) but also great perks such as fully stocked break rooms, many instances of food brought in, social outings (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • Very political and no room for growth or career advancement (in 4 reviews)

  • Not as prestigious as bulge brackets (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    "Great Place to Work"

    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 William Blair full-time

    Pros

    Culture is great. Everyone is genuinely nice and willing to help. The partner model is something more preferable than working for a public company.

    Cons

    Lack of balance sheet puts the bank in a disadvantage relative to larger investment banks. Other than that, it is a great place to work.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing. The firm is in a great spot and outlook has never been better.


  2. "New CFO has disrupted the company"

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

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

    Pros

    Market salary, profit sharing-which is being eliminated

    Cons

    All businesses operate as silos; you won't know anyone outside of your dept. Your experience depends on the quality of your manager. Options like flex time and working remotely vary greatly.

    Advice to Management

    Explain the CFO's ultimate goal instead of chipping away at various divisions and causing people to disinvest and look for other jobs

    William Blair Response

    Aug 11, 2017

    Thank you for sharing your feedback. It’s important to us. Regarding profit sharing, we just want to clarify that it is not being eliminated. In fact, we expanded our retirement offer this year with... More

  3. "Excellent place to work"

    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 William Blair full-time

    Pros

    I love working here. I am surrounded by coworkers and managers who want me to succeed. I would recommend to anyone.

    Cons

    Sometimes I worry that I may have to leave the firm for promotional opportunity. It seems a lot of employees do.

    Advice to Management

    Look to promote from within. The solution to problems as they arise should not always have an external scope. There are so many talented people working here. In financial services, your people are your greatest assets (as corny as that sounds) and good pay is not as important to millennials any more as promotional advancement.


  4. "Good experience, solid comp"

    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 William Blair full-time

    Pros

    Good experience, solid comp, good growth,

    Cons

    Our group is understaffed at junior level, so hours long at the moment


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Absolutely Awful"

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

    I worked at William Blair full-time

    Pros

    Pays better than most in the industry but this is gradually fading away. (Expect raises, bonuses and profit sharing to become less generous year after year)

    Cons

    Management doesn't care about you. Trust me - no matter what they say, things don't get better. Many of the advisors have a known reputation for abusive behavior and nothing will ever be done to address that.


  6. "Great company, but not without its flaws"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Can stay here a long time if you find a good position - job security has been great

    Cons

    People can stay a long time, so promotions can take a while (depending on what department you're in)

    Advice to Management

    Have a path for promotion. If the younger/newer employees think there is no upward mobility, they will look elsewhere


  7. "Financial sservice firm in Chicago"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at William Blair full-time

    Pros

    Great culture and active in community

    Cons

    not a lot of opportunity for upward mobility

  8. "Not what it used to be"

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

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

    Pros

    It pays the bills. Was a great place years ago and seems to have changed when the firm ballooned with staff

    Cons

    Where to start...employed there for over 5 yrs. I worked with the international team. After the head of the group left the infighting started. So much dead weight. Way too much office politics. Performance is slipping so the blame game started, no one takes responsibility for the downfall.

    Advice to Management

    Pull your head out of the sand. They have employees that are know bullies, yet nothing is done since they are married to partners. As long as you are a partner you have it great. Firm doesn't care about anyone but


  9. "analyst"

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

    I worked at William Blair full-time

    Pros

    good mentors and training program

    Cons

    brutal hours. lack of feedback on performance


  10. "Uneven"

    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 William Blair full-time

    Pros

    If you are investment-facing, there are a lot of bright people. A lot of integrity as money managers. Businesses are well-run and leaders articulate strategy well. There is a strong sense of decorum and decency. (People say hello, hold doors, are polite.) Hours ok, especially if you're a family guy.

    Pay and benefits for all, including rank and file, are pretty good. Really nice new building soon.

    Cons

    If you are anything but investment-facing, I wouldn't be excited about working here, especially in a support or "shared service" department. There was a lot of condescending behavior from the businesses, kinda worse than other firms. (Particularly in areas they don't understand...like anything having to do with technology.)

    And everyone has to agree on everything because of the partnership structure. So conservative that it shoots itself in the foot.

    A lot of new people but the crabby old farts set the tone. And I did not see much of this but a lot of women said it's sexist, very few women partners, used to be even worse. No jeans, ever, if that matters to you, kind of a throwback. If you are forward thinking or want to implement something new this is not the place for you.

    Vacation policy only three weeks until you worked there like 50 years or something. And every person there is from the Chicago suburbs. Little diversity, or diversity of personality.

    Advice to Management

    There are many reasons you are a respected firm, but for workers in some areas your culture wasn't that great, in my experience. (Not sure why you think it is, honestly!) Take more suggestions from non-partner employees. I know you don't care about some departments, it's just staff, not investing talent, but it would be a good idea to be less transparent about that.


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