Smith & Williamson Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Smith & Williamson Reviews

Updated 3 August 2018
39 reviews

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3.2
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Smith & Williamson Co-Chief Executives David Cobb & Kevin Stopps
David Cobb & Kevin Stopps
18 Ratings

39 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Transaction Services"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - M&A Executive in London, England
    Former Employee - M&A Executive in London, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Smith & Williamson full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great team, understanding and fun

    Cons

    small transactions, limited growth oppurtunty


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Good place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Smith & Williamson full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    It has a great work to life balance; you never have to worry about being asked to work past 5pm. Bosses understand you have a life outside work and respect that. I haven't experienced negative office politics.

    Cons

    I wouldn't say it's a very driven place. Deadlines are routinely missed, and everyone is looking to push work onto someone else!

    Advice to Management

    Hire some driven people; get rid of the bored middle management.

  3. "Love the company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Smith & Williamson full-time

    Pros

    Great benefits, good work/life balance,

    Cons

    Long hours in December and January


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Shockingly bad management breeding a culture of self-interest and negativity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Personal Tax Advisor in Guildford, England
    Current Employee - Personal Tax Advisor in Guildford, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Smith & Williamson full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - exams paid for
    - good work life balance
    - nice lower level employees who care about each other

    Cons

    If you want to work for a company which wallows in mediocracy, a company that practically encourages you working solely towards your own self-interest rather than the benefit of both the client and the rest of your team, then I would advise you sign up right away.

    The number 1 problem I witnessed at Smith & Williamson is the shocking management and leadership style from most (not all), of the partners. They are motivated solely by their own personal objectives, to the point where they are more than happy to get one over on another department or colleague, rather than working in the best interest of the company or their employees. This culture is contagious and therefore spreads to lower level management. It’s never about the team, it’s all about the individual. Targets set are completely unrealistic, unachievable, and unquestionable. During my time at Smith & Williamson I saw a number of staff openly questioned in front of the whole office about their work, this management style ultimately forced these staff to leave.

    In terms of career development opportunities, I would advise going to this company with very low expectations. This is particularly large problem in the regional offices (outside of London). As an example, a colleague was invited on a training review meeting, he went along and was asked to talk about his thoughts/feelings of the training courses he had been on over the past 2 years. This was surprising to my colleague because he hadn’t been on a single training course since being at Smith & Williamson! To cut a short story even shorter, the partner responsible for the career development had over the past 2 years not sent the graduates on a single one of these compulsory courses. The reason? No doubt because it wasn’t in the partners own self-interest.

    Unless dramatic changes are made to how partners manage their staff Smith & Williamson will be in the dark ages for a long time to come. If you like feeling devalued, not respected, not listened too, and simply a bum on a seat to make some money for the partners then I highly recommend you consider Smith & Williamson.

    It would be unfair of me to say this is all partners and management, however, the few managers that do want to make a change are trapped by unnecessary admin and dictatorial top heavy management who seem to be unaware that if you allow staff to feel valued and respected maybe (just maybe) there will be long term benefits...

    While IT is poor (as no doubt is mentioned in other reviews), changes are being made which will have a huge benefit in the long run.

    Overall, if you are a graduate looking to work in a regional Smith & Williamson office, think long and hard about your decision and carefully consider the above review. I wish I had read some of the reviews listed here before I joined…
    Shockingly bad management breeding a culture of self-interest and negativity

    Advice to Management

    See "Cons" section


  5. "Great place to learn"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Friendly atmosphere and enjoyable place to work, incredible focus on training staff

    Cons

    Salaries appear to level off significantly


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Good people and opportunity to progress your career if you push yourself"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Director in London, England
    Current Employee - Associate Director in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Smith & Williamson full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Nice people and working environment (work/life balence)
    Good opportunities to progress, however you will need to take ownership of that yourself as much as management
    Lots going on across the firm at the moment, especially with a new firmwide strategy

    Cons

    Historically the firm has underinvested in IT, albeit there is now significant upgrades happening e.g. office 365 and skype from business
    As per point above, you will need to drive yourself in order to get on but if you are that way inclined, there seems to be no ceiling

    Advice to Management

    Keep communicating to staff about strategy and progress against it
    Continue investment in technology and people


  7. "Personal Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Personal Assistant in City of London, England
    Former Employee - Personal Assistant in City of London, England

    I worked at Smith & Williamson part-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Expanding financial services company but still maintained a friendly environment.

    Cons

    Management not particularly good at keeping staff up to date with proposed changes.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Profit driven with no regard for employees"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Smith & Williamson full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Most of the staff at student level and lower to middle management we’re fantastic - very supportive and friendly.

    Good training in technical matters.

    Cons

    Upper management/partners has little to no regard for the lower level staff (with some exceptions of course).
    Very poor IT
    Forced to work long hours with no remuneration

    Advice to Management

    Realise that a happy workforce is more productive!


  9. "Guildford office - Corporation Tax"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Corporate Tax in Guildford, England
    Former Employee - Corporate Tax in Guildford, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Smith & Williamson full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    -All ACA training exams paid for

    - Not too worried about mock exam results.

    - People in the other teams were nice.

    -Working hours are reasonable

    Cons

    First of all, AVOID this place like the plague. Reasons for doing so:

    - Toxic people in the team make it the worst of any company I have ever worked at. Staff turnover is exceptionally high, with multiple people being hired in leaving within a year due to the attitudes of two of the senior staff members. I know it continues to be the same even after I have left as I still have friends that work there.

    - No upward feedback of your job or the managers. Everything is top-down. Any feedback exercises they do are farcical, as the negative feedback never gets taken on board. Prepare to be made to feel like you are a failure (I felt like this and I passed all my exams first time!)

    - Office is a dreary, depressing place. If you like your office to be various shades of grey and brown with outdated computers, this is the place for you!

    - Salaries are well below London salaries, even after qualifying, and the work from London often gets outsourced to the regional offices.

    - Limited range of clients - best work gets taken on board by London office.

    Advice to Management

    You need to listen to the ground-level staff and not let it get twisted by the senior staff in the office.


  10. "Great work/life balance and opportunities to get involved"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Tax Senior
    Current Employee - Tax Senior
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Smith & Williamson full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Lots of scope to become involved in work that isn't run of the mill and with senior management/partners. Supportive atmosphere and team.

    Cons

    If you are complacent, you will flounder. You need to be very self-motivated.


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