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Zacks Investment Management Reviews

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Full-time Part-time

2.7
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BEN ZACKS
6 Ratings

19 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Advisor"

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

    Pros

    everybody in the workplace is extremely hard working and helpful. This is an industry where hard work pays off. This is the industry where you go if you are looking to evolve mentally and financially. This industry separates the hard working from the very hard working.

    Cons

    Long hours and deadlines that must be met

    Advice to Management

    Nothing other than continue to work hard like they do


  2. "Be very cautious"

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

    I worked at Zacks Investment Management full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    “Good work life balance: You can work a 9-5 and not bring work home. Some employees are fun: some of the team members are fun, can't say the same about upper level management. Great location: You're right in the Loop, building could be a little nicer, but you can't complain.”

    Cons

    Organizational structure & management: Upper level management, while being accessible will not go out of their way to say hi to you while passing them in the hallway.

    Benefits: Zacks cuts cost at every corner, expect no matching on 401k, fairly expensive health premiums.

    Compensation: Compensation is highly negotiable. Basically everyone is made a terrible offer by ZIM, a lot of people will counter offer, and work out a better compensation agreement. Contracts are poorly written by design, expect the company to try and find excuses not to pay you. Upper level management doesn't realize that if they offered slightly more competitive salaries and benefits that they would attract better talent.

    Training: Depending on the position, training can be non-existent, or fairly robust. This varies, because managers are in charge of this.

    Opportunities for advancement: If you do well you will be recognized for your work. Be cautious with taking on new work, as this is often the result of other employees not wanting to do the work themselves.

    Culture: Fairly good group of people to work with. No employee events organized by Zacks except for the once a year Christmas dinner. This is most likely because these events cost money. Also expect for there to be no alcohol at any events.

    Communication: Extremely poor communication. Employees are routinely lied to by upper level management and everything seems to be kept a secret. Culture starts from the top down, and management will routinely ignore emails when it's convenient to do so.

    Cheapness: This is the cheapest company I have ever worked for. Employees are encouraged to use free versions of software. Getting a $20 a month subscription for a program that would allow you to work much more efficiently for the firm would be a headache. Company recently discontinued laptop purchase program which is basically a loan that goes away after 2 years of working there. One year there wasn't even a Christmas party. Don't expect any catered lunches, snacks, etc, there is a snack machine in the kitchen that the company probably makes money off of. Your computer won't have an internet filter, most likely because this costs money. There's a theme here, cut costs to the detriment of your company.

    Advice to Management

    Stop nickeling and diming employees with poor management decisions. For example Zacks doesn't pay for flu shots, which makes zero sense. If you pay for flu shots your employees are much more likely to get them, and they'll get sick less often, meaning they will work more for you. It's this short-sightedness that is pervasive at Zacks. You're not being thrifty, you're being cheap, and it's hurting your company.


  3. "Wealth Management Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Wea; Th Management Associate in Crete, IL
    Current Employee - Wea; Th Management Associate in Crete, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Zacks Investment Management full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The work environment is very relaxed, and our boss is very nice. He also knows what he is talking about.

    Cons

    You have to make roughly 60 calls a day to people who mostly don't want to talk to you at all.

    Advice to Management

    Make a more clear path for outstanding workers to get hired. Also, the communication between RVPs and WMAs is very poor.


  4. "Zacks Investment Management Wealth Management Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Wealth Management Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Wealth Management Associate in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Zacks Investment Management full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I have been with Zacks Investment Management just under a year starting as a hourly temporary employee as a WMA (Wealth Management Associate). I was brought on Full Time after 7 months on Jan 1st 2015, and promoted to the Operations Wholesale & Retail department after 5 months in June 2015. So in just under a year I have been able to go from a temporary employee, to full time, to another promotion. The corporate culture at Zacks Investment Management is not as stuffy and much more relaxed and fun than most investment companies. You are not punching a time clock at Zacks but you efforts & hard work will be noticed and rewarded. Zacks is growing at an incredible rate so you are able to advance your career, and yet it is still a small enough company, to easily access & communicate with management. Management is constantly trying to improve both marketing and the business model. If you are willing to work hard, study for the series 65, and be apart of a great team you can definitely reach your goals at Zacks Investment management. The Serendipity Lab on the second floor is great to take a quick break or read email.

    Cons

    If you are not good on the phone or sales this is not the job for you.

    Advice to Management

    A matching 401K of up to 3% and tenured after 3 to 7 years is pretty much standard for most established companies in general, and would show you care are looking out for your employees future retirement and would help retaining and attracting top talent.


  5. "My role at Zacks has been a tough road but the work is rewarding."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Wealth Management Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Wealth Management Associate in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Zacks Investment Management full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great team environment that promotes development and success. This is a role that can develop into greater financial positions and increased financial knowledge.

    Cons

    As a Wealth Management Associate their are common challenges as it is a sales environment. If you cannot do sales over the phone, then don't apply.

    Advice to Management

    Consider increasing commission to promote greater sales. The more I get paid the harder I work, that's any salesman.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Wealth Management Associate = Cold Calling"

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

    Pros

    Pro's: Will pay for you to take S65
               Develop sales skills through cold calling 8+ hrs a day

    Cons

    Con's:
    Management - Management has no idea how to treat their employees
    Compensation- 30k base salary with $75/appointment. Average WMA makes 35k/year.
    Over Promise - Management will promise promotions to WMA's who excel (over the year that I was there not one person got promoted).
    Atmosphere - The office setting at Zacks is very depressing, every hates the job and is unmotivated.
    The Job - Your only responsibility as a WMA is to cold call for an external RVP for 8 hours a day, they will say that the leads are "warm" when you an in the interview process but that is couldnt be more of a lie. If you take longer than 1-2 minutes between calls, you will be logged off the dialing system and likely get an email from your supervisor.

    Advice to Management

    It was my first job out of college so i knew that it wasn't going to be my "dream job". I couldn't imagine doing this job over the age of 23 or for longer than 12 months. The only positive from this job was that I was able to gain communication skills through calling for 8 hours a day, that aside I would not recommend this job. My advice to management would be to value your employees and treat them well (pay/respect). Cold calling for 8 hours a day gets old and no matter who you are, you will get burnt out of it. Stay away from ZACKS, you have been warned.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Sales at Zacks Investment Mgmt"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - OUTSIDE SALES in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - OUTSIDE SALES in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Zacks Investment Management full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Zacks has a fairly good reputation due to the history of the research side, not the investment mgmt. side's history. That;s the only positive thing I can say.

    Mgmt one level below the Zacks family is good. Nice people.

    Cons

    Where do I start? For such an "intellectual" firm, their quant models are sophomoric. One factor? Two factor? The rest of the quants in the industry have waaay more factors. Add to that that there is zero fundamental research, despite what Ben Zacks says, leaves you very little to talk about as far as process and approach. Ben and Mitch Zacks do not know the definition of fundamental research. They have no clue.

    This firm is the cheapest firm I have ever worked for. I'm only here still, for three years, because I made a mistake of joining a start up which didn't work out and then the next firm was sold, so I have two firms in a row on my resume which have 1 year stints. That is the only reason I'm still here. Mgmt views a penny spent is a penny out of their pockets and they want as many pennies as they can get.

    Upper Zacks Mgmt will look you in the eye and lie to you. They have no problem lying, changing deals, not honoring deals, etc. Do not trust them and realize that the level below them will fall victim to this problem and you will be part of the trickle down effect.

    Advice to Management

    Sell the firm. None of the upper mgmt. (Zacks family) is happy. You have a nice firm with surprisingly a nice reputation (probably because you have done a horrible job of marketing yourselves) but you are miserable people. You have plenty of money so sell and go have fun. Unless your goal is to have plenty of money and whine and complain and make other people miserable, then stay the course because you are doing a great job.


  8. "Fun and rewarding place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Wealth Management Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Wealth Management Associate in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Zacks Investment Management full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Worked as Wealth Management Associate for 1 year until being promoted to wholesale division. Learned a lot about investment management industry and got the opportunity to take Series 65. Once I passed the Series 65 I was able to use that for advancement internally within the company. I started in this job with no financial services experiences and 2 years later I feel like i've learned a lot and am able to transfer that into knowledge both on the phone and in person. Great manager who taught me a lot about the industry.

    Cons

    The health benefits are decent but they could be better in terms of out of pocket expenses.

    Advice to Management

    Keep promoting from within. Push people to get Series 65 license so they can have more opportunities internally to move up within the firm. Keep the great culture that you have!


  9. "Wealth Management Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Wealth Management Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Wealth Management Associate in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Zacks Investment Management full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Job Security, Not much competition, Easy

    Cons

    Rare opportunities to move up in the company

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent with you initiatives.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Promise High - Deliver Low"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Regional Vice President (RVP) in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Regional Vice President (RVP) in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Zacks Investment Management full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Zacks provided "warm leads" to RVP's in their assigned geography. Other RVP's were generally sharp professionals who were competant. You were able to build up a sizeable stream of recurring revenue if you stayed at Zacks. Most RVP's who have stayed are doing quite well...

    Cons

    Bad management and very poor communication between RVP's in their home geographies and the team back in Chicago.
    We were charging clients almost 2% for management - however, that could not buy the response of Ben Zacks responding to legitimate questions as to why we were violating our stated investment discipline. "Wealth Management" consisted of an Investor Profile Questionaire - which one of the portfolio managers reviewed before making an allocation of a mixture of Zacks strategies. No estate planning, no tax planning, no insurance recommendations. The strategies had extremly high turnover which meant very complex taxes for clients and almost all short term capital gain treament for taxes. They also retroactively changed these allocations (against their "philosophy") in the midst of 2008 problems to be more conservative - which of course KILLED returns for clients when markets recovered in 2009.

    Advice to Management

    Listen and don't promise what you can't or don't intend to deliver on.


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