Northern Trust
3.2 of 5 419 reviews
www.northerntrust.com Chicago, IL 5000+ Employees

Northern Trust Reviews

Updated Apr 23, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.2 419 reviews

                             

76% Approve of the CEO

Northern Trust President, CEO, and Director, Northern Trust Corporation and Northern Trust Company Rick Waddell

Rick Waddell

(244 ratings)

64% of employees recommend this company to a friend
419 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Culture that built a great reputation serving clients well and supports work/life balance"
    in 95 reviews
  • "Great Pay for entry positions, set schedule, good benefits, but pricey depending"
    in 24 reviews
Cons:
  • "management in some divisions punishes employees for voicing concerns to senior management"
    in 16 reviews
  • "Overweighted with middle management that is out of touch with what is going on in the field"
    in 12 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

 

People-Centric Work Environment, but Ongoing Challenges to Transform

Consultant (Current Employee)
Chicago, IL (US)

I have been working at Northern Trust full-time for more than 3 years

ProsThe company prides itself in being people-centric (strong benefits package), both in its fiduciary relationship with clients as well as with its employees, or partners, internally. Most managers are comfortable providing flexible work options, depending on team deliverables. Several avenues for networking and career development, but only for those who can establish the right network. Internal mobility is common and widely supported by managers who have themselves benefited from working across functional areas.

ConsSimilar to the rest of the industry Northern Trust has been pushing large change initiatives to reduce expenses and raise revenues. Lack of funding in budgets has limited opportunities for internal mobility and flatlined growth in most partners salary despite increased responsibilities and volume. Change provides opportunities for individuals eager to enhance the company, but challenges the status quo that many partners benefit from due to skills or networks they've developed over 20+ years in the company. Many decisions get made (or swayed) by personality or relationship of senior stakeholders despite effort put into group analysis and discussion.

Advice to Senior ManagementCurrent performance rating metrics (1-5 system) too easily blend mediocrity with high performance, making it easier for managers to equally reward team members, despite potentially huge discrepancies in productivity. Internal culture is being strained or clashing with cross functional projects/programs, and in many cases the culture key managers have mastered, is a huge impediment to effective change, one frequent example being managers across business units avoiding decisions due to conflict aversion, while pursuing their own agenda.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

 

Overall positive experience.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Northern Trust full-time

ProsThe people are great - friendly and supportive. Salary is fair. Work balance is very good.

ConsBusiness is very siloed and as a result not always very efficient.

Advice to Senior ManagementThey should be promoting a vision of cross team cooperation.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

 

Great place to intern

Business Analyst (Former Employee)
Chicago, IL (US)

I worked at Northern Trust as an intern for less than a year

ProsMy co-workers at Northern were great, everyone was very friendly and willing to help. I use the skills that I got from Northern in my current internship consistently. I would like to be involved in strategy development in the near future and because of this, my supervisors included me in many strategic meetings.

ConsI did not have any problems while working at Northern, I do not have a bad thing to say about it.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

 

Client Service rep

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Northern Trust

ProsThe work environment Is very light, despite demanding clients. Management is not overwhelming with there demands. Salary, considering scope of work, is in line with competitors.

ConsIt's somewhat difficult get proper direction on procedures. Directives are out of date and those that are updated are in a different area. Management not hands on, you are often referred to other reps for help or difficult clients.

Advice to Senior ManagementCreate a team to maintain procedures, continue to include employees as much as possible, and do more to promote growth to different roles.

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

 

My experience there was wonderful and educational I enjoyed my employment there immensely.

Securities Technician (Former Employee)
Chicago, IL (US)

I worked at Northern Trust full-time for more than 3 years

ProsThe availability of cross training within the department to ensure that all employees were efficient enough to handle working in all areas whenever a shortage arose.

ConsNot receiving all the information needed to setup new accounts and having those new clients stonewall you because they only want to correspond with the person who brought them into the company. The very small severance package that is given to employees that had not had the opportunity to gain more than 4 years there.

Advice to Senior ManagementWhen you know something about the loss of position don't wait to inform your employees, and don't have those same employees be the ones to train the ones who are coming to take their positions across seas.

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • No Opinion of CEO

 

Great Institution but headed in the wrong direction

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Chicago, IL (US)

I worked at Northern Trust full-time

ProsNorthern Trust was built on their service and commitment to their clients. For many years they were at the top of their game but are vulnerable now to some of the larger players particularly in the personal side of their business. To their credit they are trying to innovate however they've lost significant talent over the past 5 years.

ConsGenerally they do not have a leadership position in the market with their product and service offerings. Very slow to adapt and initiatives take too long to complete.

Advice to Senior ManagementMaintain the client focus as that is really your edge in the market. Learn to innovate much faster. Technology execution needs to be significantly improved. Need consistent management support for key or large initiatives.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • No Opinion of CEO

 

Very good culture, great reputation.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Northern Trust

ProsNorthern Trust offers a flexible work schedule, competitive benefits and a supportive work environment. It is a well respected, established name in the money management space and has a huge presence in Chicago.

ConsNorthern Trust has a reputation of paying below the market average. Most employees are generalists and never become masters of one specific discipline.

Advice to Senior ManagementNorthern Trust should seriously consider adjusting head count and awarding truly excellent employees.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • No Opinion of CEO

 

Networking is crucial here

Officer (Current Employee)
Chicago, IL (US)

I have been working at Northern Trust full-time for more than 3 years

ProsA good place to start your career. People are intelligent and know the business well. If you are excellent at networking you will have more opportunities for career advancement.

ConsAdvancement can be slow and it's more political (hence the networking above) and less of a meritocracy. There are also a lot of inefficient HR or administrative processes that they are working to improve upon.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • No Opinion of CEO

 

"Old School" Firm

Vice President (Current Employee)
Chicago, IL (US)

I have been working at Northern Trust full-time for more than 8 years

ProsCulture that built a great reputation serving clients well and supports work/life balance. Senior management is extremely accessible and promotes internal networking.

ConsSlow moving; not receptive to change. Overweighted with middle management that is out of touch with what is going on in the field. Lack of accountability.

Advice to Senior ManagementPromote a culture based on meritocracy. Stop relying on the old ways of doing things and recognize the changing industry dynamics that are occurring and adapt accordingly.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

 

Good working environment, dinosaur bosses

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Northern Trust

ProsPositive work life balance. Yes, Bankers Hours still exist. (Most are 8-4 with a 90 minute lunch)
Some smart people. It varies widely
Good benefits. Sometimes to good for the company (see cons)
The bar is set pretty low. Mediocrity is rewarded and encouraged because it gets work done and is non threatening to management.
Never rushed.
Recognition for any time put in working past normal hours.

ConsManagement insulates itself from the workers.
Old School.
MANY people are there to finish up their pension time and retire. Veterans spend more time insulating themselves and consolidating their position than they do working. Often spending cycles doing CYA rather than something productive.
Meetings drag as people seem more concerned about filling the time than getting something done
Mid level managers can take WEEKS to reply to an email just to display their power even if it is costing the company thousands of dollars a day. Not an open door environment
Bottom Line: Management could be in a coma for three weeks before anyone would notice.

Advice to Senior ManagementBeing known as a conservative, slow to change, no risk, stoic bank is your trademark. And it works for your reputation.
But it REALLY sucks as a management style.
Real Advice: Buy out some of the dead wood with early pensions and get some talent in. It will pay off pretty fast.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

Was this review helpful?
Yes | No
Add Employer Response Flag Review
RSS Feed Embed

Worked for Northern Trust? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.

Glassdoor is your free inside look at Northern Trust reviews and ratings - including employee satisfaction and approval ratings for Northern Trust CEO Rick Waddell. All 419 reviews are posted anonymously by Northern Trust employees.