The worst things employees say about Wall Street’s best banks
As we reported yesterday, Wall Street employees still favor big name banks like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, even if boutiques are catching up. And despite all the rhetoric, bankers on the whole rate their employers rather glowingly, particularly since new work rules have been put in place for junior employees.
But of course there are still those who have their concerns, no matter how highly rated the bank. What are they saying? We got a special look into the database of Vault.com to hear the latest grumblings from employees at their four top rated banks, as judged by employees: Blackstone Group, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan.
Below are reviews from bankers who rated their company worse than most any of their colleagues, based on Vault’s five-star ranking system. To be clear, we are admittedly cherry picking. For every one of these reviews are dozens that are rosy. After all, they are the highest-rated banks. But the reviews may give you a look into a potential drawback at each firm, depending on the business unit.
We ignored old reviews and those that touch on the hours or work-life balance, as those are things bankers deal with at all firms. We also didn’t include any that didn’t say something of substance. As you’ll see, technology workers seem to be the least content people on Wall Street.
“If you are looking for mediocre pay and boring work with unappreciative users, come work at Blackstone as a software developer.”
“Back office being left out of firm-wide perks or events (ex. mentorships, talks, etc.)” – mid-level technology worker
“Very limited opportunity for mobility or promotions, a focus for the past several years on cost cutting which has led to poor morale.” – technology executive
“Beware that the compensation and benefits package is not as good as you might get elsewhere - particularly if you appreciate feeling valued.” – technology worker
“Quality of life/compensation ratio is not worth it. Used to get paid better, don't see increases coming in the near future.” – mid-level operations, Salt Lake City
“Do not accept an offer at any ‘high value location’ it just means low end work, low pay, and minimal career advancement opportunities.”
“The business outlook is not great, morale is slipping, the meritocracy is gone and compensation structure is not a motivating factor.” – fixed income employee
“Corporate bureaucracy, hierarchichal mgmt structure, regulatory environment that hamstrings the business, and career immobility.” – equity research employee
“Compensation relative to competitors” – corporate finance employee
"Banking culture is deteriorating across the Street and MS is no exception. Pay / path forward vs. the work required is just not as promising as they once were.” – mid-level in M&A
“Work-life balance, unnecessary bureaucracy, resistance to change by seasoned employees.” – entry-level technology employee
“Lack of recognition/promotion and inexperienced management.” – technology executive
“There is no respect or compensation given for going above and beyond to improve the culture here unless it is in your job description.” – technology professional
“Year-end review process, which includes a bell curve. This doesn't often work out fairly, especially with high-performing teams where nobody should be classified in the middle or bottom.” – technology professional.