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Ocean Tomo Reviews

Updated 21 April 2015
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3.2
17 Reviews
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Ocean Tomo Managing Director & Board of Managers Andrew W. Carter
Andrew W. Carter
7 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Expert Testimony

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

    I worked at Ocean Tomo full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    The whole idea of intellectual property is extremely interesting. I think the founders of the company had good intentions when starting the group, but failed to keep up with the evolution of the industry, its constituents, its employees, and the changing business landscape.

    Many of the people who work at this company are truly brilliant. Sadly, social and business skills are lacking, so the brilliance of many cannot be translated into much real gain.

    Most employees have the opportunity to run their own schedule. I have listed this as a "Pro" but some may find this a "Con" because they prefer more direction. Personal preference.

    Cons

    People seem to be far overqualified for the type of work they are doing. For example, many "entry level" employees (i.e. analysts) have 5+ years experience under their belts in addition to graduate degrees. On the other hand, people who are far UNDERqualified are often in higher positions than they deserve - I can only assume this is because of personal characteristics or relationships, because it certainly isn't based on work quality.

    Some of the folks in the organization are quite unprofessional and tend to make others uncomfortable with their commentary and crude behavior.

    The organization is too heavily reliant on their Expert Testimony group, which is a dying business. Try to engage in new ideas that are forward-looking. Many of the ideas that have been attempted in the past seem to be insubstantial - simple attempts to make outsiders perceive the company as well-diversified.

    Much of the work (especially for analysts) is horribly monotonous and often pointless. Efficiency is not a quality that is valued in this company, and wasting time seems to be almost rewarded.

    Advice to Management

    The best advice I can give is to raise your standards. Good people can get uncomfortable in a work environment like this, and no matter what "behind the scenes" kind of benefits you can give, you can't make up for feeling uncomfortable every time you walk in the door in the morning.

    Please understand that employees are not machines. We all have something unique to offer - isn't that why you hired us? So listen to new ideas, don't ruin people's lives by calling them into the office over holidays and while you know they are with family.

    Do not have overqualified people working on nonsense.

    It really is all just common sense...

  2. Not impressed - questionable business and personal behavior from top to bottom

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL (US)
    Former Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL (US)

    I worked at Ocean Tomo full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    -A few people are very smart
    -Lots of exposure to different industries and technologies
    -The location is pretty good and office space is nice.

    Cons

    -Some employees (management included) have some very shady business and personal practices. May explain why a background check is not part of the recruitment process.
    -Common practice is to fill analysts' time with checking numbers and report sections that are already in the process of being changed - just another way to add more chargeable hours for doing pretty much nothing productive.
    -Lots of politics - if you're not a relative or close friend of someone at the top, you're not valued as an employee or as a human being.
    -Secretive activities abound. You never really know what management is doing and they are rarely honest and forthcoming.
    -Benefits aren't great. No 401K match, not much support for furthering education, etc. Ocean Tomo tends to find the cheapest way to do everything with no attention to quality or effect on employees.
    -Terrible morale, specifically in the pool of analysts. Often management doesn't even know analysts' names because there is such high turnover (or because they just don't care about them in the first place...)

    Advice to Management

    -Treat your employees with respect.
    -Crack down on shady practices of employees.
    -Raise standards of general behavior.
    -BE HONEST with employees or they won't trust you.
    -Be more diligent with the recruitment process so mass layoffs and random firings are not so commonplace.
    -Establish some sort of policies and/or encouragement for career progression within the firm.
    -Make promotions performance-based. (Currently, I'm not sure what the policy is - good performers are often not promoted while good looking people, family friends, and/or shady people tend to be promoted randomly... That doesn't provide much incentives for moral average Joes to work hard!)

  3. Patent Review Process

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Ocean Tomo

    Pros

    Company was very professional from the start and you feel you're in good hands.

    Cons

    Ocean Tomo informs you that during the patent review they can use any data provided as they see fit as well as ask any question regarding the technology and say its part of the review process. This is data mining.

    Advice to Management

    Provide a non disclosure statement to patent owners before any information is accepted.

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  5. Helpful (1)

    Ocean Tomo is Dazed and Confused

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Management Consultant (Director)
    Former Employee - Management Consultant (Director)

    I worked at Ocean Tomo

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Some smart, capable people work there.

    Cons

    Cult-like, dysfunctional culture. Most of revenue is litigation support (Expert Testimony) and efforts to diversity revenue streams are nothing more than marketing fluff. A good example is the patent brokerage... simply an attention getter for OT.

    Advice to Management

    Get over yourselves.... you are not the smartest guys in the room all the time. The hubris among senior management is palpable.

  6. Helpful (3)

    Entry-Level Analysts Beware

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

    I have been working at Ocean Tomo full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    -Work with some smart people
    -Learn about interesting technologies/topics
    -Good office space

    Cons

    -No integrity in the firm's senior leadership
    -Salary on a per hour basis is a joke (no 401K match either)
    -Bonus is a joke
    -Incredibly long hours and weekends doing trivial, monotonous work that can and will be slightly altered and need to be completely redone on the whim of a director or managing director
    -1/2 the job of an analyst is to check and recheck sentences and numbers in reports

    Advice to Management

    Be more open and less secretive. Treat your employees with respect. If you anticipate that a project will cause someone to work 80 hour weeks, maybe staff some more people on it. Hire more people instead of pouring the money into luxury cars.

  7. Helpful (1)

    Took awhile, but I finally found my "this is it!" company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL (US)
    Current Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL (US)

    I have been working at Ocean Tomo full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Cutting edge in its field. I have learned a lot here in less than 2 years. The people here are the best. Everyone is willing to help and I learn from them every day. The work environment is very flexible, which makes it great for working mothers. The Chicago and SF offices are very nice (I have not been to the Houston office yet). And, while this may seem small, they pretty much pay for my cell phone. It's nice little gestures like that that really show they care.

    Cons

    Almost too much socializing. We go out monthly, have semi-annual all-company get-togethers, and there are the random "let's everyone grab something at the bar" nights. Last year I couldn't make it to everything (missed the Cubs rooftop and Whirlyball nights). Would be nice if they we got to vote on what nights the monthly outings are so I don't miss things.

    Advice to Management

    Management should promote their family-friendly attitude more. They have great family policies but downplay them (I almost did not accept the job because I didn't know about the flex time). I pretty much work 4 days a week, which in consulting is unheard of. In other words, dear bosses, don't be humble... tout what makes your great!

  8. Great people, space, and work. I really enjoy it here.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Expert Testimony Analyst in Chicago, IL (US)
    Current Employee - Expert Testimony Analyst in Chicago, IL (US)

    I have been working at Ocean Tomo full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Smart, fun, and helpful coworkers. I love the people here. Management appears to really care about us. Great office space. The work is interesting and challenging, and it seems like I frequently learn something new.

    Cons

    Work can be erratic at times, with some unplanned late nights. While I understand this can happen in consulting, it still can be upsetting when I have to change my personal plans to finish a project.

    Advice to Management

    It would be good to have monthly outings, instead of only having "fun" nights every other month. This would be especially important if we have had to work any late nights.

  9. Great culture, manageable hours, overall good people to work with

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

    I worked at Ocean Tomo full-time

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    1. Company has "unlimited PTO", which is good because you don't have to acrue PTO before using it. It is bad because you may not have ownership over a certain amount of days, so it may be hard to take off 3 straight weeks even though you have 15 days, for example, depending on your boss. Management is overall very understanding of taking time off, and I would say the average employee takes more time off here than most other firms, which is a plus. All time off is paid.

    2. Very casual, familial culture. Some employees, especially the director and MD level employees seem to have been there a long time. I think this is a sign that people really do enjoy working there if there isn't turnover.

    3. Paid continuing education classes if management approved of it.

    4. Alot of after work fun events designed to allow employees to have fun and bond, even in the economic downturn.

    Cons

    1. No 401K match even in an uptick in the job environment.

    2. Niche business, so transferability of skills is very weak at best, most exit opportunities are other patent-related businesses. If patents are what you love, this isn't a con. Business school is intriguing as the experience is very different than other business school applicants. There isn't much the company can do about this con as patents are their business.

    3. We paid 20% of the healthcare costs pretax.

    4. From my understanding, some of the business lines may pay below market rates.

    5. There is some expectation that you work for other groups in times of downturn in your business line, which I disliked. Employees have their strength and weaknesses which make them bad fits for other business lines sometimes. We also don't get compensated based upon work for other lines, so incentives are not aligned there.

    Advice to Management

    Aim for a higher standard of entry-level employees. Except on the West Coast where there are USC and UC Berkeley hires, aspire to hire the top students everywhere. In the Midwest (biggest office) in Chicago, management does not hire heavily at U of Chicago, Northwestern, Notre Dame, etc, which are the best schools in the region. It is more common to see U of Illinois, Indiana University and DePaul at the firm. No disrespect to those schools, but there isn't even a recruiting presence at the previously mentioned schools. I think it results in lower quality work.

  10. Great experience with friendly people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst in Chicago, IL (US)
    Current Employee - Analyst in Chicago, IL (US)

    I have been working at Ocean Tomo full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Location
    Friendly people
    Smart people
    Well-rounded individuals in and out of the office
    Learn some of the soft skills - they are all really good talkers since they work with clients and sell jobs
    Chicago's biannual meeting was always fun

    Cons

    Can feel lonely and stressed a couple of days - but you feel that in every job
    Work can get boring since you work with lots of data in MS Excel and type up reports in MS Word

  11. Great Space, great workers, not great management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL (US)

    I worked at Ocean Tomo full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great space, great offices, great people

    Cons

    management sucks! they don't always do what they say they will do.

    Advice to Management

    Be fair to all employees

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