Morgan Stanley

  www.morganstanley.com
  www.morganstanley.com

Morgan Stanley Reviews

Updated 17 October 2014
Updated 17 October 2014
1,705 Reviews
3.5
1,705 Reviews
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Morgan Stanley CEO James P. Gorman
James P. Gorman
802 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Their work life balance policies allow you to work from home when you cannot get in (in 110 reviews)

  • Since it's difficult to get into Morgan Stanley, you'll work with very smart people (in 90 reviews)


Cons
  • Very limited work/life balance, which they claimed was very important to them (in 101 reviews)

  • Long hours in the operation department when the market is bad (in 117 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great place to learn

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst in London, England
    Former Employee - Analyst in London, England

    I worked at Morgan Stanley full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great place to learn finance skills

    Cons

    loooooong hours, unflexible hours, lack of feedback

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great company to work for

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

    I have been working at Morgan Stanley full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    good working hours
    collegiate atmostphere
    well compensated

    Cons

    demanding work and steep learning curve

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Nice people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern in London, England
    Former Employee - Intern in London, England

    I worked at Morgan Stanley as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    I had a very steep learning curve

    Cons

    The hours are long. Early morning

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    A good place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Executive Director, Technology in London, England
    Former Employee - Executive Director, Technology in London, England

    I worked at Morgan Stanley full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    These comments are specific to my time in Technology & Data in London.

    I found a welcoming collegiality during my time at Morgan. Co-workers were realistic about the good and bad of the systems they were in charge of, and always seemed open to discussions about new approaches to improving them (and often acting on those discussions). This collegial aspect was reflected through the organization, with management setting the tone for those below them to follow. I generally found most people easy to work with.

    There's lots of smart people in Morgan IT, both from a business as well as a technology perspective.

    Morgan has evolved a substantial capability for remote work, and many managers are comfortable with people working from home on a regular basis (and they do it themselves). For the parts of the organization I'm familiar with, I would say that Morgan has less stress on perpetually working long hours that other places have. In general, I found work-life balance good, hampered the most through their inconvenient location in Canary Wharf, which often entails miserable commutes.

    Promotions are available but aren't handed out willy-nilly. ED level promotions are taken quite seriously and a lot of review by a lot of people takes place. This results in getting pretty good people in senior roles.

    One thing I really appreciated was the fact that Morgan has such a good culture but doesn't go around broadcasting it as a selling point. I've come to learn that the organizations that talk the most about how good their culture is often have lots of unattractive aspects to hide, but Morgan doesn't talk about it's own culture much at all-- they simply walk the walk. I'm starting to be convinced that this is a hallmark of a truly good culture.

    Although some complain about it, I found Morgan's internal automation of IT to be pretty impressive. Most of the time software can be delivered with minimal fuss

    Cons

    Morgan is resource constrained, and IT finds much of its budget devoted to things it has to do rather than things that it feels are new and important to do, either for itself or for the business. Thus, new and interesting work, although available, isn't always easy to get involved with, so if that's important you may want to bear that in mind.

    Morgan also has some fairly old systems that it has to live with due to the point above; some are better than others, although many are surprisingly robust and handle significant volumes on a daily basis. There's strategic work to lay the foundation for changing many of those, but that's going to take a good amount of time to achieve.

    Some people complain that there's too much consensus building, and that it takes too long to reach decisions. I've heard stories about how people thought that a decision was reached, but when someone discovered they had been left out, the entire decision was scuttled and had to be discussed all over again. I never witnessed that specifically, and making significant decisions doesn't seem any more fraught than in any other big bank, but I have had that communicated to me by multiple people there.

    While the rigorous promotion process yields quality results, Morgan is frugal with promotions, and there's a fair amount of competition, so if moving up rapidly in IT is important, you should bear this in mind.

    As with other banks, Morgan pays above average for IT as a whole, but bonuses have suffered in recent years. Some MDs have told me their view is that since the days of big profits are probably not coming back, Morgan may be constrained structurally in how good bonuses will get.

    Morgan's location strategy is to focus on building IT capacity in non-major metro areas, which includes Glasgow, Montreal, Budapest, and Shanghai. Often this leads management to conclude that London is ideally situated as it has significant time overlaps with all of these locations. If you're happy to spend the majority of your day on the phone in meetings with remote workers as they overlap with the UK business day, then this will be heaven for you, but if you want to actually get work done, the amount of communication you need to perform will be challenging to say the least.

    Morgan uses a quintilling process (forced ranking) as part of the review cycle, and there's just too much evidence that this is actually a poisonous practice for organizations. Morgan seems to have so far managed to avoid its ill effects, but be aware that a ranking distribution must be met.

    As with most banks, career opportunities dwindle as you move up in the org.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't lose your nerve regarding your strategic IT initiatives-- their success will become a big part of what will help you recruit quality candidates in the future. Keep up the good work with establishing the collegial tone of the place; it engenders a lot of loyalty and goodwill. Dump the quintilling practice-- there's too much evidence out there that it poisons workplaces. Make the case for improving IT bonuses; the retention of institutional memory is worth it. Find some way to make the location strategy more effective; too much time is spent by senior people in NY and London managing people in the other locations.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Lots of change and unfortunately, not for the better

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

    I have been working at Morgan Stanley full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Strength of brand in the market place
    Very high calibre of skilled, experienced and talented individuals
    Genuinely nice people who care about what they do
    Good work-life balance depending on your role
    Excellent in-house training opportunities

    Cons

    Too many layers of management
    Increasingly political
    Very draconian with excessive micro-management
    Best practices/recommendations easily overridden to meet individual/political agendas
    Poor management communication
    Lots of attrition and good people leaving, often for wrong reasons
    Standard "Who you know" vs. "What you do" culture

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't keep building empires. Build strong, requirement driven teams
    Don't feel the need to know everything, even when you don't. Empower your employees and trust their judgement.
    Speed is not always Doing the Right Thing. Sometimes, the right thing takes time.
    Corporate values should be applied across the board without compromise

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  7.  

    Great, engineering oriented place with focus on doing the right thing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Vice President, Technology in London, England
    Former Employee - Vice President, Technology in London, England

    I worked at Morgan Stanley full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    - Quality people: Hiring is rigorous and results in a challenging work environment
    - Work Culture: Excellent work culture with focus on work-life balance and a consensus driven approach
    - Technology: Long tradition of well engineered technology

    Cons

    Very few - A stronger focus on delivery would help create faster time to market.

    Overall, I would highly recommend Morgan Stanley to potential employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Placement Year

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Prime Brokerage in London, England
    Former Employee - Prime Brokerage in London, England

    I worked at Morgan Stanley as an intern (more than an year)

    Pros

    Friendly workplace, interesting projects, insight into full-time employment, training

    Cons

    May not get placed in the team you want

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    good corporate culture, but felt like small COG in large machine

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Vice President, Technology in London, England
    Former Employee - Vice President, Technology in London, England

    I worked at Morgan Stanley full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    - great corporate culture
    - meritocracy
    - made some great friends
    - hired great intelligent people, everyone kept smart

    Cons

    - could be very political at times, and promotion came down to who would champion you and who you knew versus what you did

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Highly disappointing "graduate programme"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Operations Analyst in Glasgow, Scotland
    Former Employee - Operations Analyst in Glasgow, Scotland

    I worked at Morgan Stanley full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The best thing about my experience at Morgan Stanley was gaining the brand on my CV.

    Cons

    The work is not challenging and the company still suffers from the age-old problem with investment banking - having to show "face time", that is, put in long hours even though there is no work to do, simply so that senior management see you in the office.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Attempting to fix the office culture by buying pizza at lunchtimes will not help. To raise morale you need to pay your staff more and recognise that a great deal of the work is not challenging, and this is why many are frustrated.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Worst company to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technology Associate in London, England
    Former Employee - Technology Associate in London, England

    I worked at Morgan Stanley full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    You can only progress with this company if you are nasty or evil and liked by incompetent and ignorant management who couldn’t seem to do anything right.

    Cons

    Career suicide. Nasty environment with bullying mentality. You are only good when you are young and healthy, Soon you reach 40, have a problem with your health or you decided to voice you concerns or else they will get rid of you within a few weeks or months. Employer's loyalty does not exist and you are treated like an animal.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go to Hell this is where you belong

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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