Interactive Brokers
2.2 of 5 38 reviews
www.interactivebrokers.com Greenwich, CT 500 to 999 Employees

Interactive Brokers Reviews

Updated Apr 08, 2014

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2.2 38 reviews

                             

44% Approve of the CEO

Interactive Brokers Chairman, President, and CEO Thomas Peterffy

Thomas Peterffy

(27 ratings)

26% of employees recommend this company to a friend
38 Employee Reviews
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  • Disapproves of CEO

3 people found this helpful  

Show Me The Money

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Greenwich, CT (US)

I have been working at Interactive Brokers full-time for more than 5 years

ProsThe money is pretty good. They pay programmers very well and they pay managers very well, but everyone else is paid just okay, but you get annual bonuses and stock options. There is little or no bureaucracy, and very few meetings. This place is not bogged down in process. The non-management people who work here are very nice. The business can be interesting. If you're lucky, you get to work on interesting projects. Medical insurance premiums are paid for 100%.

ConsYou work here for the money. That's the bottom line. They pay for lunch, but not because they're nice, it's so you stay at your desk during lunch. They pay for medical benefits, which are ultimately insufficient if you have a major medical issue. You get 15 days off per year for personal, sick and vacation time, then an extra two days at five years. And you are discouraged from taking too much time off. It is for many employees, a sweat shop. The structure of the company is based on silos: each department is competing with other for the CEO's attention and favor; that is the sole motivator behind all day-to-day decisions. Only management is allowed to create projects and come up with creative solutions, in spite of their lack of real experience and training in many areas, such as software project design, marketing, user interface design, and so on. There is no career growth, no annual reviews, no promotions.

If you want to come and make money and work a lot for a few years, this can be a decent place to be. But it will not be personally or professionally satisfying in any way, and you will get cynical and burn out fairly quickly.

The CEO has surrounded himself with a bunch of long-time associates, most of whom are all from Eastern Europe like himself and have all become millionaires. If you're not in that club, you are simply a lowly employee treated disrespectfully.

Advice to Senior ManagementThese guys are hopeless. It all flows from the CEO's benevolent dictator management style. Until and unless he changes his personality, it will continue on this path. They really need to bring in people from other companies and allow them to challenge the status quo. And give employees better work-life balance.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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4 people found this helpful  

terrible place

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Greenwich, CT (US)

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

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

ConsThe 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.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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5 people found this helpful  

Looking forward to leaving.

Software Engineer (Current Employee)
Greenwich, CT (US)

I have been working at Interactive Brokers full-time

ProsIf 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

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

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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good co. to work for

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Interactive Brokers

Prosgreat place and good people

Consnone the co. is a great plce

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7 people found this helpful  

Everyone against everyone. Highly political. No life

Software Engineer (Former Employee)
Greenwich, CT (US)

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

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

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

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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solid job opportunity

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Interactive Brokers

Prosdecent salary and bonus. good perks (free lunch). solid benefits (health, dental, vision, 401K0. opportunity to learn.

Consthere is minimal training. groups are understaffed, so there is a high work load for each employee and tends to lead to friction between employees.

Advice to Senior Managementcontinue to hire new employees to grow staff as many groups are understaffed

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

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the best brokers i ever worked with

Market Trader (Current Employee)
New York, NY (US)

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

ProsVery good working environment and career opportunity

Constoo many strick rules this company should be more flexible

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

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6 people found this helpful  

Mixed feelings

Programmer (Former Employee)
Greenwich, CT (US)

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

Pros- SOME employees are very smart, very good at what they do.
- Agree with other commenter that business is run in an ethical manner. ie. doing the right thing even if no one is looking.
- Still on the cutting edge in some areas.
- Minimal bureaucracy.

Cons- Current incentive structure (no incentivization of employees) guarantees that the smartest and most motivated will leave. This is why HFTs ate their lunch.
- Low pay relative to industry.
- No growth opportunities.
- Company is kept alive by H-1B slave labor.
- Some groups are wildly incompetent (eg. HR, Marketing) due to perceived irrelevance by mgmt and these should be fired en masse.
- Very anti-social office culture.

Advice to Senior ManagementGet a life? TP runs this as a hobby, and I can't imagine a more boring hobby. If you're not HUNGRY, or know how to hire/retain people that are, your failure is guaranteed.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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you get out of it what you put into it

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Interactive Brokers full-time for more than 8 years

Prosthere is opportunity for growth and career development. if you are willing to work, and become a versatile asset, you may be rewarded

Conscould use more vacation days

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

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do not stay long

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Interactive Brokers full-time

Prossalary is very good
free lunch
nice people around
after 2 years, work is easy and not log working hours

ConsNo career growth at al. new comers are given minimal information to barely finish projects with a lot of struggle, You can learn more about the business/technology from outside than from your group members.
You will be pigeonholed to to the same thing for ever
Communication is awkward and frustrating
Management is so obsessed with cost cutting, there is not enough head count, so evey one is drowned in maintainance work.
Eastern European employee get better treatment than others

Advice to Senior Managementspeechless

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Interactive Brokers reviews and ratings - including employee satisfaction and approval ratings for Interactive Brokers CEO Thomas Peterffy. All 38 reviews are posted anonymously by Interactive Brokers employees.