BlackRock Reviews in San Francisco, CA

Updated 23 October 2014
Updated 23 October 2014
652 Reviews
3.3
652 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
BlackRock Chairman and CEO Laurence D. Fink
Laurence D. Fink
463 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Career progression, good management & the company embraces work life balance (in 48 reviews)

  • these are very smart people with tremendous resources spread across the globe (in 51 reviews)


Cons
  • I can tell from the analysts I worked with that work-life balance was not great (in 68 reviews)

  • Very long hours, if you are not an investor you're kind of second class (in 48 reviews)

More Highlights

116 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Now you're just a company that I used to know..

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Contractor in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Contractor in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I have been working at BlackRock as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Progressive company with a strong message of responsibility and ethics. There are many areas for career growth and the ability to work with some of the top minds in their respective field is simply amazing. From Physicist, to Mathematicians, Scientist, and Entrepreneurs BlackRock has them all.

    Cons

    The technology could be managed better in terms of business processes, and management. The staffing model of the I.T. support area is VERY weak and far below par on what BlackRock provides to its external customers. Good employees are never hired as full time and leave taking much needed knowledge with them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Higher an external consultant to work with America's Technology Support that has auto industry experience in ISO-9001 and Six Sigma. The current leadership does not understand the value in having 100% stream line processes, and improving upon that. Technology Support should be approached with the same goal as manufacturing, to create a perfect product.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Nice culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Intern - Hourly in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Intern - Hourly in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I have been working at BlackRock as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    People are nice and willing to answer questions. Could also learn from other groups. Compensation is not the best but ok for a living.

    Cons

    Work-life balance is not good. Very busy and require a lot of over-time.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Eh

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Vice President in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Vice President in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I have been working at BlackRock full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Location (SF); decent bonus; work from home flexibility.

    Cons

    Chaotic business goals that change frequently; poor management; no chance to increase salary; limited opportunities to advance within company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bigger 401k match with no cliff vesting; better orientation and training.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Great place to work if you can handle stress!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IShares ETFs in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - IShares ETFs in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I have been working at BlackRock full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great Training and responsibility for those who are ready to accept challenges. BlackRock name is tops in the industry.

    Cons

    At times it can be a very stressful environment, must be able to complete assignments quickly with very little guidance at times.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Compensation is fair, company does provide excellent training opportunities that offer chances for advancement.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Too big ...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Investment Analyst in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Investment Analyst in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I have been working at BlackRock full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Lot of information on different financial markets.
    Strong company values.
    Customers are always first
    Strong culture on training
    Steady promotions at the junior level

    Cons

    Diificult to grow here from a career perspective
    Too many internal businesses competing with each other for the same client assets.
    Promotions at higher levels are more driven by politics and whom you know

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Cull senior staff who do not increase revenues.
    Don't just rotate out juniors.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Good company; need to eliminate red tape

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Associate in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I have been working at BlackRock full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Work life balance, good location, opportunities to learn

    Cons

    Can't get promoted easily, managers cannot manage.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat everyone as you would be treated.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Summary of Reviews - SF Tech

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Vice President in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Vice President in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I have been working at BlackRock full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    This will summarize the reviews here, also taking into account the results of the employee survey. It is from an SF tech perspective, but captures the general consensus. If you want to work here, ask pertinent questions to get at the heart of the pros/cons.

    1) Total compensation is OK, but base is below market. Base salary doesn't move (4 years running with "exceeds expectations" manager reviews).
    2) CEO is a leader in the field and well respected.
    3) Benefits are good.
    4) Work/life balance is good.
    5) Respected financial company with a diverse range of products.

    Cons

    1) Decisions are driven from NY. SF is a satellite office, even though there is superior technical talent. Management will tell you otherwise, but that is how it is.
    2) Your experience will largely depend on what group you are in and where your group is located. If you work in SF, be part of an SF-based group. Many groups are remote, resulting in lots of phone calls. What could be accomplished in minutes takes hours.
    3) Most MDs are in NY, so you get limited face-time if you are working on the west coast. They generally don't know what you are working on and what skills you bring to the table. If you can sit with them in their office, you have a huge advantage (i.e., if you are located on the east coast).
    4) Career growth is limited. Promotions are based on your relationship with your MD (and your manager), not technical skill. I've seen tech people with years of schooling and experience stagnate, while biz people with soft skills (i.e., anyone could pick up at work) get promoted. Although the company prides itself on being technology-oriented, technical people are second-class citizens. Any biz school grad with the same skills/knowledge/drive as a tech grad will be 1-2 steps ahead in the hierarchy.
    5) Speed is rewarded over quality. New projects pop up continually and are pushed out without spending the proper time designing solutions. Technical debt is knee-deep.
    6) Project management is seriously lacking. Managers tend to think up their own methodologies rather than studying best-practices in the industry.
    7) Lots of talk about innovation, but years behind tech companies.
    8) Tons of context switching. Interruptions are constant.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Understand what your people know and what skills they bring to the company. Take advantage of SF and the technical ability it provides. If you are serious about innovation, understand what it means and do what other financial companies do and open an innovation center. Take risks and accept a degree of failure. Consolidate your teams geographically (i.e., the entire group, top to bottom) to gain efficiency.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Not BGI, which was a wonderful company to work for.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Vice President in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Vice President in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at BlackRock full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Money, but not as lucrative as BGI. With the acquisition, came a brain drain, so the NY bankers weren't equipped to deal with the market changes.

    Cons

    Everything else, such as a lack of leadership, transparency, interest in the local office, and the brain drain.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you can't or won't be transparent, at least say that rather than completely lying to your employees. This was true all the way to the top, including Larry Fink. Guess the name should have warned us.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Cut-throat financial firm

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I have been working at BlackRock full-time

    Pros

    Best asset mgmt firm in the world. Huge firm with a lot of smart people.

    Cons

    A lot of politics in the office. Cut throat culture. The firm is 80% male and lacks female. People work hard and there is hardly any work life balance. Most people are 30-50 years old and don't have families and dedicate their life and soul to finance.

    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Mixed - smart people but absolutely no middle/senior management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Managing Director in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Managing Director in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at BlackRock full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Smart people, committed and dedicated. A lot of teamwork and cooperation. Perhaps not as political as some other financial companies.

    Cons

    Absolutely no management whatsoever; not even the first principles of management are applied. Several managers are just whimsical and survive only because of their length of stay at the company. Constant shifting of direction based on whims and moods of senior management contributes to a fairly low morale.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in some serious management training to make it less whimsical and personality oriented.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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