Interactive Brokers

www.interactivebrokers.com
Employer Engaged

Interactive Brokers Reviews

Updated 6 February 2015
Updated 6 February 2015
54 Reviews
3.0
54 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Interactive Brokers Chairman, President, and CEO Thomas Peterffy
Thomas Peterffy
36 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Free lunch (if you stay in office and work during your lunch hour) (in 13 reviews)

  • Free lunch and free health insurance (you will regret it later) (in 3 reviews)


Cons
  • The work/life balance is non-existent (in 5 reviews)

  • Little to no growth potential for non-programming staff (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Excellent company to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mumbai
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mumbai

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

    Pros

    Good salary and perks. Very competitive environment.

    Cons

    Due to the small size of employee base, not much of human resource management initiatives

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay more attention to HR issues

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Place to Work for Someone Who Works Hard and Wants to be Challenged

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

    I have been working at Interactive Brokers full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    High growth company
    Little politics, advancement based on achievement
    Best of breed broker technology
    Outstanding place to learn and to be challenged

    Cons

    Interactive Brokers would not be a good place for a person who is most interested in doing the minimum, collecting a salary, and spending the majority of their time engaging in water cooler talk.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Challenging and Rewarding - Where Developers Are The MVPs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Greenwich, CT (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Greenwich, CT (US)

    I have been working at Interactive Brokers full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    - once you proved yourself, you have utmost freedom, only your output matters
    - compensation grows fast after a few years to a _very_ competitive level
    - most importantly, the company is evolving, most of the critics here have been listened to and are already being addressed!
    - hard work is valued
    - IT team is not a service department, but the driver of the company -- developers get the attention they deserve
    - only the most intelligent people (developers) are hired, creating an inspiring environment
    - you can use personal mobile internet anytime (it's up to you if your work suffers)
    - recently raised vacation days

    Cons

    Culture: introverted people, you have to actively look for opportunities to socialize
    HR team: not helpful and lots of mistakes
    Being among selected smart people lowers your own ego :)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Revise HR team - otherwise keep on ;)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5.  

    Great Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Interactive Brokers

    Pros

    No politics, friendly atmosphere, opportunities

    Cons

    Low salary, small bonuses, hopefully in the future

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bigger bonuses

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Senior managers are the 1%, everybody else treated like plebs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Developer
    Current Employee - Software Developer

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

    Pros

    If you are hired into senior management, you can make a lot of money and have a lot of fun. If you like to crush your subordinates' ideas under your heel you will love this place.

    Cons

    Company decided to recalculate bonuses after Swiss franc disaster in January 2015. Employees left hanging, the mood is really bad, another month waiting for managers with big egos to throw down some pennies for the rest of us.

    At least half the bonus is paid in shares that vest over a 6 year period. This has an insidious effect, people who are not happy or not productive stay with the company longer and longer because they have a big pool of unvested shares that they don't want to lose by going to another job. If you are a programmer, you will find yourself working with programmers who have been in the company for more than 15 years and never had 1 day of external training, still using legacy technologies like SCCS version control or Java 1.4.

    The CEO, Petterfy, talks a lot about his love of the Republicans and giving people opportunity (as opposed to communism) but the reality is that he has built a horrible culture here where somebody who has been here 10 or 15 years without keeping their skills up to date has acquired a lot of shares in the company and acts like they are superior to a can-do developer who just came in from a successful startup.

    The only way to get the unvested shares is by waiting for retirement, waiting for redundancy or hoping that you find a new job where the next company agrees to give you an up-front allocatiion of unvested shares to compensate for the shares you forfeit by resigning from IB. This is only possible if you plan to move to another company with similar characteristics.

    When you try to value your bonus shares, look at the cashflows: if shares are $25 each on the market and your bonus is 600 shares and 100 vest each year then it is more like the company has agreed to a pay rise of $2500 per year for 6 years. If you can find another job that gives an initial annual salary that is $2500 higher than the Interactive Brokers salary then it completely offsets the value of the unvested IB shares you are giving up.

    As an extra burden, the shares vest in May or June, 6 months after the bonus round. So if you don't like your bonus in January and you resign in February then you won't get any of the shares that vest that same year, including the new shares from the bonus round.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to bring in a new generation of IT skills, both by training existing staff and bringing in new staff. This needs to be applied in every team and office in the company. You need to get these skills to propagate throughout the company, if you think that productive developers with modern skills will work side-by-side with the existing dinosaurs entrenched in the company then you will be disappointed.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  7.  

    Bad managers, lack of perspectives and obsolete technology despite good things to learn

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Developer
    Former Employee - Software Developer

    I worked at Interactive Brokers full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    * Some managers and colleagues are helpful if you approach them with respect.
    * Some teams tackle interesting problems with state-of-the-art tools (depending on the manager)
    * You end up delivering production sotware quickly (and in frequent cycles).
    * IT teams often drive the business process, or have a strong influence.
    * You can learn some interesting stuff about the business itself too.
    * Fairly stable company with solid financial background.

    Cons

    The previous reviews said it all. Avoid this company if you think of yourself as a real Software Engineer --you'll be a coder guy, mostly following orders. I often felt somewhat depressed, and it didn't get better.

    What I'd like to highlight:
    * Managers have huge egos and can get tyrannical. They may give you direct orders, or disregard you.
    * New joiners can expect that some managers and colleagues might NEVER collaborate.
    * A complete lack of perspective (career development) and insights. You are TOLD what to do, and that's it.
    * Often obsolete technology platforms, which cause continuous headaches. Zero initiative to re-engineer stuff.
    * Your ideas and opinions are often overlooked. These huge egos are sure they know it better anyway.
    * Very few trainings to keep your knowledge up-to-date.
    * Work gets dull and boring after a few months, due to the reasons above. Once you've reached the plateau, there's not much to learn and grow as a developer... unless you want to deep-dive into the business.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    * A more open-minded approach would be necessary to attract and retain skilled people. Simply throwing some money at them won't help on the long run.
    * More effort (yes, your precious time and money!) to rethink and rebuild outdated legacy systems.
    * Collaboration over the rigid 1950s management sytle.

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

    Good for programmers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Work with very intelligent people.
    No politics. No red tape.
    Flat Hierarchy .
    Best place to learn the business.
    Everything you do has immediate impact.

    Cons

    High pressure. Demanding .
    Must be able to hit the ground running.
    Zero upward mobility.

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

    Exciting, Fast Moving, Not for Slowpokes

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Legal/Compliance
    Current Employee - Legal/Compliance

    I have been working at Interactive Brokers

    Pros

    Intellectually challenging, Fast paced, Solid comp., Growing, successful business

    Cons

    Not fot hose who like a lot of structure and handholding and bureaucratic processes

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Hope You Like Working Under a Dictatorship

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

    I have been working at Interactive Brokers full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Acceptable Pay, Good Benefits, Job Security

    Cons

    Minimal pay increase at the end of every year, 22 days MAXIMUM vacation and sick time combined even after several years of service, no job growth, no time to yourself during the work day or lunch break, you can never work enough hours to satisfy management requirements, your opinion will never be valued. If you are OK with being micromanaged, being told what to do, how to do it, and to do it immediately on a daily basis while realizing you will never get anywhere in the company then this is the place for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Welcome to Interactive Brokers where if you aren't on top, you mean nothing to no one. Senior management is severely out of touch with today's technological advancements and what customers are looking for from a brokerage company. This company seems to be frozen in the early 90s with little to no improvement in the trading platform, its design, or ease of use. Progressive movement to create original ideas to keep the company in business are consistently shot down. Customer service is also lacking to say the least. Management does not promote from within and hires individuals from outside sources who are not qualified for doing the jobs that are asked of them. Basically, if you know nothing of the position you are applying for, then you are perfect for the job! Culture is cut throat with senior management constantly fighting with each other over who gets to play in the sandbox with the president, with their behavior childish at best. Constant insults and name calling are common place at this establishment at all levels; where sophisticated dialogue utilizing every swear word in the English language are terms used on a daily basis to define a coworker or their performance. President of company also likes to force his political views on his employees to further his own agenda for the Republican party. Most senior management are from foreign countries and do not speak English very well, this makes it very difficult to understand phone calls and emails from them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Spontaneous mess

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Salary, paid lunch, no strict work control, it's easy to talk to people, good location, learn about finance, work with smart people

    Cons

    Managerial disaster, no logical policies (in fact often no policies at all), no real way to move forward, extreme measures to keep you at the firm (you get your current year bonus split over the next 6 years, if you leave you lose the rest c'mon), no vacation days, almost impossible to express your opinion upwards (i.e. 'this is what you have to work with dude'), lack of creativity, lack of proper planning for anything (no idea what PM is), lack of communication between people (on same project?), work sometimes comes 'from the air', lack of organization, managers are not managers, but commanders, dull 9 to 5 job in many cases

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You can make people more dedicated with promoting creativity, clear rules of what is expected from them. Dare to be more generous with vacations, opportunities for promotions, education, etc. Communication is in really bad shape. Managers should manage, not command.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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