Interactive Brokers Reviews

Updated 9 August 2014
Updated 9 August 2014
42 Reviews

2.3
42 Reviews
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Interactive Brokers Chairman, President, and CEO Thomas Peterffy
Thomas Peterffy
30 Ratings

18 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    pure evil management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Interactive Brokers full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    they give decent pay, but it is only worth it if you are starving or homeless. You'll be happier packing bags at a grocery store.

    Cons

    if Hitler had a company, this would be it. They hire great people, but they can't retain them for long. There is a constant revolving door. The management makes it clear that they don't care what happens to the company or their customers as long as they cash out. The technology they use is decades behind since their senior staff are all old school and information only flows from the top downward. You will learn no current useful transferable skills but get really good at 1990's style technology. If you have a conversation for more than 5 mins with a coworker you get disciplined. They hire mostly immigrants on low salaries and promise them green cards that never come, turning them into indentured servants. Sadly slavery is very effective economically and this leads to great profits for the billionaire CEO and his closest minions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Interactive Brokers Response

    Aug 25, 2014SVP Software Development (Milan Galik)

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Interactive Brokers is committed to its employees’ growth, professional development, and quality of life – commitments that foster both job satisfaction and job security
    ... More

  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Horrible! Real devils in here!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer  in  Greenwich, CT (US)
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Greenwich, CT (US)

    I have been working at Interactive Brokers full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    There is some really good engineering work being done

    Cons

    - No internet at all. Not even restricted/moderated internet. You cannot get a glimpse of what is happening in the outside world from morning 9am-6pm for a near 365 days a year. In today's world, this is like stringing up a person without allowing air to breathe.
    - Adding to the internet policy, the culture is one of the worst. The managers are horrible with absolutely no humane feelings. They expect you to be like slaves, no question asked, no issue raised against your head. With the internet policy, I feel people who work for a few years will loose any sense of emotion and become extremely apathetic. People this will have very adverse affects on your personal lives. So please read this and do not take an offer at this company even though the money they give is somewhat above the average market value.
    - The head of the one of the departments even sometimes makes this explicit when hiring you: "Being social is not good in the company". So not take this lightly. The culture will drain any life from you. You work in the company for 10 years and not know anything about the guy sitting next to you.
    - H1B/Work visa permit holders... READ THIS!!: They only give 10 days of vacation for the whole year for the first 5 years! Yes just 10 days a year! So, you will have no time to prepare for interviews leave alone actually interviewing with companies to get out of the place if you don't like the culture. I have seen many people who are stuck there because of this situation. This will drive you crazy leading to many psychological problems.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give your employees internet if they need. You can give them the tradeoff of reducing their salary for having their internet monitored if security is a concern.
    Get a life guys. Treat your employees like they are humans and remember they have feelings too. They need to get a life where they can smile once they get home and not think about why they ever got stuck at this company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    I wish I had left earlier.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Developer
    Former Employee - Software Developer

    I worked at Interactive Brokers full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Salaries are good. You can learn a lot about trading. Co-workers are smart. New Year's party is nice.

    Cons

    Work environment is poisonous. Communication is discouraged among employees; you are expected to solve your problems with minimal external help. There are no trainings no working from home. Tools and development processes are very old. Career advancement is very slow. Employee stock incentive plan seems good at first but it locks you in with the company. Once you announce to leave the firm they will screw with you wherever they can.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat your employees with respect.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    rigid management and culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Interactive Brokers full-time

    Pros

    - some great engineers.
    - free lunch (at a cost)

    Cons

    - free lunch at the cost of your lunch break.
    - no growth and they don't care. same sh*t everyday.
    - rigid management. you better be a machine that functions only to finish tasks.
    - expect to work all time. eyes on you.
    - don't expect help or communication. they are non-existent.
    - many more....

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Stay away if you are not desperate

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Greenwich, CT (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Greenwich, CT (US)

    I worked at Interactive Brokers full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Health insurance better than at most large financial institutions
    Reasonable hours compared to many financial institutions (approximately 9-6, work through lunch).
    There are quite a few competent and pleasant people.. if only you could interact with them during business hours!..
    If you are a mediocre c++ coder, you will be taught a minimal standard that will make you better.

    Cons

    Low compensation, uncompetitive vesting schedules, unethical authoritarian management, substandard time off policy, and zero flexibility.

    Your kid is sick and you need to be 2 hours late? Either take 1/2 day off (you get 16 days of sick+vacation), or work two extra hours in the evening. You choose between seeing a sick child, and a chance of a vacation. Sick with a fever? Take a day off. I have seen a lot of sick people putting in the hours.

    The employer is likely to stick to the letter of the job offer - so read it carefully, and make sure you understand what you are signing.

    There is no room for professional growth and upward mobility.
    You are assigned detailed projects (specs) by your manager, and are given no freedom in their execution. The "managers" call and treat all employees as 'programmers' - it is irrelevant that you were trained as an engineer of a scientist. You will be coding to a spec, no matter what.

    Your manager is your final arbiter. There are some "managers" who cannot stand up to their boss when issues arise. As an alternative, they blame their reports for failures (note the spec part above!), and repeatedly get their reports fired. The upper management did not question this pattern until a handful of people went the revolving door.

    Interaction with anyone is discouraged. You are paid to type, not to talk.

    And never, ever should you offer your opinion. Even as you walk in and see that certain areas are 2-3 years behind competitors - stay mum - IB managers already know that they are the best. Your input will get you nothing but trouble.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get modern management training.

    Learn to respect your employees and show it.

    Bring time off/sick leave policy in line with competition (3-4 week vacation, 1-2 weeks of sick leave). Bring deferrals in line with competition (0-30% for most, 2-4 years). Bring comp in line with competition. You are no longer paying well enough for people to disregard the issues. Your most desirable employees are snatched by competition. Who do you think is staying?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Disappointing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Interactive Brokers full-time

    Pros

    Free lunch, open to other races

    Cons

    Only Swiss has a Promotion Chance

  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Horrible place. Unless your kids are starving, look elsewhere.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Operations  in  Greenwich, CT (US)
    Former Employee - Operations in Greenwich, CT (US)

    I worked at Interactive Brokers full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Paycheck and Health Insurance, Free lunch ( that isn't free at all )

    Cons

    Impotent HR, Flawed review process, complete disrespect to employees, Blind following of orders is required, Dysfunctional atmosphere that could be damaging to mental well-being in the long run. Do not confuse this company with any other in the financial filed and do not get fooled by interviewers who are trying to draw a rosy picture, you will regret it later. Low compensation and bonus compared to industry standards.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest into employees, review your middle management so that they do not abuse power, start acting like a $6B company. Interview employees and review their goals ambitions and general well being. Give employees ability to submit anonymous reviews of their managers. Educate your middle management, as they are mostly uneducated without any real management experience thinking bullying is an appropriate management style.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    terrible place

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Greenwich, CT (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Greenwich, CT (US)

    I worked at Interactive Brokers full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    good comp & job security. great bonuses. decent benefits. some really smart developers. the annual company party is a nice touch. free lunch.

    Cons

    The work/life balance is non-existent. The first time I tried going out for lunch, I was reprimanded by my manager and told that lunch is to be eaten at my desk, while working. Bullying is alive and well, with senior management routinely screaming at, cursing, and berating employees. The atmosphere is that of a sweatshop. No salary is worth the treatment you'll receive here.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    Looking forward to leaving.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer  in  Greenwich, CT (US)
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Greenwich, CT (US)

    I have been working at Interactive Brokers full-time

    Pros

    If you are good, have no ambition, and are willing to put up with the company 'idiosyncrasies' for the long-term, you will be very well compensated.

    Some other reviewers' comments that I can echo:

    - A few people are very smart and are a pleasure to work with* and learn from
    - Business is run ethically
    - No red tape

    * 'Work with' means ask questions and get answers, not collaborate
    Learn C++, see below

    Cons

    Good reviews on Glassdoor are mostly not from programmers.

    No effort is made to educate employees about markets or the business beyond what is required for your immediate project. "Do your assigned project and don't rock the boat" is the motto.

    There is essentially no collaboration. You are told what to do and you do it.

    Benfits are abysmal.
    - 6.5 year (!!!) vesting schedule for stock bonuses and 401k matches (50% of 10% of contribution), you only get 10% up front (in May) plus 15% per year over 6 years
    - Two (!!!) weeks of vacation for the first five years, after that, three.
    - Health insurance is a low-end Cigna plan. Here's an example of how cheap it is; you can only get an eye exam once every two years. I have a feeling anyone who puts the insurance in the 'pro' column has never actually used it.

    Perks are half-hearted and penny-pinching.
    - See comments about benefits above
    - You get $12 from seamless.com to order lunch from crappy restaurants.
    - "Stocked Fridge": the fridge is stocked with soda. Want a snack? Pretzel sticks.
    - You wouldn't know it's a multi-billion dollar business from the spartan, depressing offices.

    If they offered a company car, it would be an engine-less Yugo pulled by a donkey, but hey, it will get you there!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There are ways other than tight golden handcuffs to inspire employee loyalty. Show some concern for making our lives happier and easier.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 8 people found this helpful  

    Everyone against everyone. Highly political. No life

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer  in  Greenwich, CT (US)
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Greenwich, CT (US)

    I worked at Interactive Brokers full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Free lunch and free health insurance (you will regret it later)

    Cons

    The governing style is absolute tyranny.

    Crazy night/weekend hours, frequent wake-up calls. Your pay will likely not reflect that. Developers are production management team by themselves.

    Everyone is anti-social. You will never discuss your weekend or kids/family with any of your co-workers. Even an elevator conversation arriving at / departing from work (I am officially off at that time, right?) is all about what projects you or I are working on.

    Did I just say "kids"? Forget you have kids (or are ever going to have them), and never mention it, or else... (see below)

    When looking for candidates, top managers always ask their junior managers (who bring candidates to them), if a candidate has any kids. This is outright illegal to ask a candidate of, so I am not sure how they get this information. A typical answer is "well, he/she does, but the youngest one is almost 15 and will soon head out for college." (what?)

    The process of assigning blame (or getting your things ready in case stuff happens) is very important, and takes about 30% of your work time. Any minor system malfunction looks like a public execution of whoever was found "guilty", and everyone is made aware of that.

    Managers afraid to make any design decisions, and the most specific request I have ever heard was "build us a system that will work for us". In the end if it doesn't "work as our users were envisioning it in their head" it is all your fault.

    You will have to pretend your boss (and his/her boss and so on) is the smartest guy on Earth, and you 100% agree with what they say on every account. You cannot possibly have an opinion, and you should feel lucky at any time of day (or night; you do work nights) that you are here.

    Unprofessionalism, Disrespect, and Hate are the top human qualities here. You will spend most time fighting your peers. Everyone thinks highly of themselves, and hates everyone who is new to the company.

    People come and go. Some positions are advertised on-going for years because people don't stay for long.

    Many people who currently work here will be lying about how "great" this place is. They think If they tell you the truth, people will avoid them just because of the strange things they are talking about all the time. This is a typical victim mentality, so I don't blame them for lying. When I spoke to a recruiter, I was surprised with how many people are looking to escape from this place.

    There are many more things that you should know before you start here, but I want to get back to my Saturday morning, and move on with my life, as reviving these images in my head from a few years ago takes quite a bit of energy and grief. I hope I have given people enough warning to make them stop and think before you make a decision that will affect your life for the next few years.

    P.S. I have learned a lot. People who work with me right now (at another company) admire my survival skills, and they say I will survive anywhere. Yes, this is a good skill to have, but I wish it hasn't come at such a price.

    I work at another firm in Finance now, and I am happy with my life, work, and my colleagues. Interactive Brokers is the biggest nightmare of my life.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in your people (no one would listen, but I had to put some text in this box for completeness)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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