BlackRock Reviews in San Francisco, CA

Updated 26 August 2014
Updated 26 August 2014
640 Reviews

3.4
640 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • While it was not quite as relaxed as the San Francisco office, I found solid work life balance (in 41 reviews)

  • these are very smart people with tremendous resources spread across the globe (in 46 reviews)


Cons
  • if you want any type of work life balance rethink your idea to join this firm (in 58 reviews)

  • Very long hours, if you are not an investor you're kind of second class (in 44 reviews)

More Highlights

113 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person 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 for 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
  2.  

    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 for 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
  3.  

    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 for 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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  5.  

    They took the soul out of iShares.

    Former Employee - E-Business  in  San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - E-Business in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at BlackRock as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    Depends on the group you are in. Better to be in headquarters in New Jersey where the seat of power is.

    Cons

    Not creative, very hierarchal. Everything dictated out of the New Jersey HQ. California people are just puppets.

    Doesn't Recommend
  6.  

    BlackRock

    • 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 for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Not a lot to say about pros. Nice office (because they bought Barclays Global Investors).

    Cons

    Lots of cons: boiler room environment where they'll work you long hours with little perks, management has cheap mentality even when company is hugely profitable, almost everyone worships (or appear to worship) Larry Fink (CEO) - in some meetings there's a poster of Larry Fink, which reminds me the North Korean dictator. They might have a good reputation of being the biggest asset manager but it's an awful place to work . Arrogant people - they think they're the best even though they're far from it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management will lie through their teeth telling you things you want to hear (e.g. they care about people, etc.) but they'll let you go and won't even acknowledge it. It seems there's always restructuring, I think it's just their excuse to let people go. There must be a better way to make a living than working for this company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Great Company. Great People.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Securities Lending Product Services Specialist  in  San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Securities Lending Product Services Specialist in San Francisco, CA (US)

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

    Pros

    Solid people and a solid culture.

    Cons

    Some teams are stretched thin and limited training.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Good place to cut your teeth, not a great place to grow

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

    I worked at BlackRock full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Global name, vast product exposure, global network of some really great people

    Cons

    Rigid promotional structures, slow moving to changes in careers and there are a lot of people in managerial positions who shouldn't be there. The performance management system is unclear and support of HR is squarely with the firm and not the employee.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The culture clash between BLK and BGI is still apparent and has never really been dealt with well properly.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Best in class

    • 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 for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Great benefits includign medical, dental, and additional services outside the standard generally provided by employers. Amount of paid time off is generous and compensation is competitive.

    Cons

    Compensation does not move with trends. Difficult to get competetive pay for those who have been here for a long time. Extremely competetive for new joiners.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    8-5

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

    I worked at BlackRock full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    very eight-to-five; most people work 8-5 and a few extra hours on occasion. the company is situated right at the heart of downtown with all the energy that the city brings. The environment is very professional, with casual fridays being quite trendy.

    Cons

    there are no annual salary base increases. if you're not in the core business of the company. overall not too many cons.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Happy to be outta there

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

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

    Pros

    Looks good on a resume

    Cons

    No humanity. Cold. Too big.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    .

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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