Vanguard Reviews | Glassdoor.com.au

Vanguard Reviews

Updated 18 Oct 2019

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3.1
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Rating TrendsRating Trends
51%
Recommend to a Friend
73%
Approve of CEO
Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley
Tim Buckley
261 Ratings
  1. "Great Place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Engineer 

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

    Pros

    Takes good care of employees

    Cons

    Pay could be higher, but out of local control

    Vanguard2019-10-18
  2. Helpful (41)

    "Too Big to Fix"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Advisor 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Vanguard full-time

    Pros

    Benefits were good, especially medical insurance. The Index funds are great. If you have zero experience but are enthusiastic, they might hire you.

    Cons

    Vanguard likes to claim they are the only ethical firm in the business, when in fact they are no different than any other financial firm. It may have been different under founder John Bogle, but they removed him 20 years ago and it’s a miserable culture now. If you can imagine a combination of Walmart’s cut rate atmosphere, high school gossip and cliques, and a religious cult in which questions are not tolerated,... you’ll get the idea. Managers are condescending and officious, and the floor is in a constant state of panic due to system failures and lack of staffing. Meetings, prep time, and lunches are regularly cut short as they herd you back to the phones for the latest emergency. Management constantly feeds you conflicting information, and even outright lies, and then refuses to take responsibility for it. In a constant effort to wring more and more out of you, you’re scheduled for training and meetings during your unpaid lunch, and encouraged to work off the clock before and after your shift. You’re taking calls every minute of your shift with zero time in between, so if you want to read email or training updates, you have to do on your own time. Every Taco Bell manager knows you can’t work people off the clock, but it happens at Vanguard. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a class action lawsuit at some point. On our first day on the job, we were told we were eligible for the full annual bonus, even though we started late in the year. A few months later, they reneged and told us we’d been misinformed and it would be prorated. When people complained, we were herded into a room where an executive shouted at us for believing what we’d been told. No apology, ever. This kind of scenario is typical: major misinformation from higher-ups, and when things come to a head, management gets hostile and confrontational. Prior year’s bonus is not paid until the end of June of the following year, so you have to stick around for six months after the end of the year. For your first 6 years the bonus is a reduced amount. You hear a lot about the high 401k match, but it’s smoke and mirrors. Vanguard’s starting pay is about 20% lower than other firms. If you do the math, you’ll see that Vanguard’s is a lower match for the first few years because you get zero for the first year, and then it takes 6 years to vest. You’ll leave for a higher-paying job before then. PTO is hard to schedule, so if you try to take a week off with your family, it’s likely you’ll only get some of the days approved. I’ve had supervisors tell me to cancel PTO after it was approved and I’d already made plans. You can’t count on anything you’re told no matter how much confirmation you’re given. System failures cause your PTO to drop off the calendar like it never existed. Often, you’ll arrive for a meeting to find the room has been double-booked due to system issues. Or you’re scheduled to be in three different places at the same time, seriously, or in a room that doesn’t exist, or the room is shut down for repairs. I also saw exit doors boarded over during renovation, which is a fire code violation. The disrespect for employees is jaw-dropping. Managers are obsessed with monitoring restroom usage. You have to go into Break status to use the restroom, and this is forbidden during the first and last hour of the day, as well as the hour before and after lunch, and within a half hour of market close. I once took a 2-hour call that ran into the last hour of the day, and then went to the restroom. My manager reprimanded me afterward, and even after I explained the situation, I was told that I should have cleared it first! After a team meeting, managers tell employees not to use the restroom on the way back to their desk. You’re expected to go back to your desk and switch your status from Meeting to Break, before you can use the restroom. Vanguard also provides about 50% less break time than competitors. Vanguard managers tend to be arrogant and standoffish, as if they’re lowering themselves to speak to you. Management is not concerned with your opinions, even when you’re trying to improve processes. They don’t trust employees with decision-making authority. The atmosphere is like being on a high school field trip and the chaperones are following you around, shouting “Don’t touch that! Don’t go over there!” Even a CFP advisor is unable to adjust a client’s investment mix by more than 10% without manager approval. And a CFP in a non-advisory position isn’t allowed to make recommendations at all. Why encourage the certification if you’re not allowed to use it? Jobs are reduced to assembly line simplicity whenever possible, and employees follow a script and a checklist for every call, even at the highest Advisory levels. Deviation from the script is forbidden, and if you forget a checklist item, you’ll hear about it. Vanguard will send out a mailer to clients without informing staff, and then when clients call in to ask about it, you are blindsided. Communication between departments is nonexistent. You’ll call another department for help, only to find that the phone extension has changed. You weren’t notified because the meeting to explain it was canceled due to lack of staffing. Meanwhile, details will be emailed to you that you’ll be expected to read on your own time. If you do happen to reach the right person, they’ll give you pushback to avoid taking your call. The client languishes on hold while you try to find someone, anyone, to help. The average client is transferred SIX times before reaching the right person. Vanguard seems to be pushing older and middle-age staff out the door. Managers over 40 are rare, and managers over 50 are unheard of. In recent years they’ve been hiring managers straight out of college into the Accelerated Development Program, in which inexperienced staff are put on the fast track to leadership. Nevermind that most of them have no leadership skills. Vanguard is looking for unquestioning obedience and the ability to reproduce the latest buzzwords and catchphrases when communicating. If this sounds like the kind of atmosphere you want to work in, where you’re just a number, then step right up. Otherwise, there are much better options out there.

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    Management isn't listening.

    Vanguard2019-09-07
  3. "Vanguard IMDP"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IMDP Analyst 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time

    Pros

    Great Intro to Buy Side/ Learning experience

    Cons

    location is not totally ideal if you like cities

    Vanguard2019-10-15
  4. Helpful (26)

    "Increasingly Metrics Driven and Administrative"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great benefits and wonderful coworkers.

    Cons

    As an advisor, you’ll be encouraged to get your CFP only to find it’s very hard to move up to the next position, and even if you do, much of your day will be spent on mundane administrative tasks. Even worse, there is an increasing emphasis on metrics. They watch every little keystroke and are constantly adding tasks. It’s sink or swim, where swimming feels like doing the butterfly across the Atlantic. Plus the... pay is low.

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    Advice to Management

    Try to come up with ways to reward highly performing crew, not just the six out of thousands you single out for a loudly trumpeted extra $20,000 in a year the rest of our lock-step bonuses went down.. And we know the bonuses of upper management went up as we work harder and harder. That created a great deal of ill will toward management. The rumbling is getting louder. Pay attention.

    Vanguard2019-09-07
  5. "Great"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Compliance Analyst in Phila, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Vanguard full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    coworkers, resources, campus, technology, people

    Cons

    The location outside of the city was a tough commute.

    Vanguard2019-10-14
  6. "Come through and interview here!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Client Service Associate in Malvern, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    A great process for interviewing candidates

    Cons

    I wish I spoke to more people related to the role.

    Vanguard2019-10-13
  7. "Tough but fair"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Vanguard full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great company culture. A product and service you can be proud of. Great co-workers. Education benefits

    Cons

    No flexibility AT ALL. For example: You take vacation time if traffic makes you late. Hard to move up. Management keeps a file on what you’ve done well and what youve struggled with and expects you to do the same

    Vanguard2019-10-11
  8. Helpful (3)

    "Great place to start out, however, it gets old very quick."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Investment Professional in Charlotte, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Vanguard full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Excellent 401k options, HSA, Medical and PTO

    Cons

    Salary is not even tempted competitive with other firms and you’re lucky to get a 1% raise each year. Also, don’t expect any opportunities for growth.

    Vanguard2019-10-18
  9. Helpful (27)

    "Chaos but don’t say a word. Hush!!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Benefits very good obviously, they have to be.

    Cons

    CEO and change management. I’m waiting for a market correction. That correlates with a system crash and the cat is out of the bag. Desperately trying to keep up with antiquated systems and price war at expense of prudence and employees. The CEO thinks we’re all paid too much and have too much “free time”. He’s a unit of production focused manager but doesn’t consider how laborious and inefficient the... systems are and instead blames the employees. This has become a soul sucking experience in futility and I’m a good producer in a coveted role. I’m so discouraged.

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    Advice to Management

    Change. Encourage education. Be honest and stick up for us, please. There is a too much and the jobs have become so stressful. I hear it in others voices every day. Tell management, what you’re expecting is unreasonable in your attempt to keep up at all costs. You’re people are not expendable and have made a significant commitment of. Time and effort to prevail despite your horrific systems and horrible... training to represent you to clients. Just be honest with yourselves.

    Show More
    Vanguard2019-09-18
  10. Helpful (6)

    "Solid place to work and develop professionally."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Learning and development, mission-driven organization easy to get behind and they truly make decisions that put clients first.

    Cons

    Too process driven makes work hard to get done at times. Too much value put on worker’s executive presence. It ranks higher than actually producing business results. Lately, lots of higher up senior leaders more interested in bringing in outside talent than promoting from within.

    Vanguard2019-09-23
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