With the recruiting war over engineering talent being more competitive than ever, investment banks have had to up their game, offering tech recruits more money and more responsibility. Wall Street’s recent adoption of cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning hasn’t hurt, either. But which bank is leading the charge?
We went to Glassdoor to see what current and former tech employees of seven of the biggest investment banks on Wall Street had to say. To get a more complete picture, we included employees who identify themselves as engineers, developers and technologists who work in the New York City area, including Brooklyn and Jersey City, where several banks have moved some of their back-office staff. The composite score for each bank is below (out of 5 stars), along with the ranking that all New York employees give the bank, providing a window into the overall culture and how happy tech employees are compared to the rest of their colleagues.
As you can see, Morgan Stanley ranks as the top Wall Street bank for tech talent, and it isn’t all that close. Recent reviewers cited the bank’s reasonable working hours and opportunity to work on cutting-edge technologies as the main reasons for their positive marks. “This place is good for people with children who want to go home to their wife,” said one current employee.
The bank recently relocated its head of technology, Rob Rooney, back to New York and took away his responsibilities as the head of EMEA to make the tech unit his sole focus. Interestingly, Rooney doesn’t have a personal background in tech, cutting his teeth in sales and trading, though engineers at Morgan Stanley don’t seem to have a problem with it.
Tying for second were three of the big U.S. investment banks – J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup – which all received above average reviews. They were followed by Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, respectively. Finishing last by a decent margin was Bank of America. The firm was graded particularly harshly by its developers, who complained about the legacy technologies they are forced to work with. “The technology is at least 5 years behind competitors,” said one software developer.
The one thing you can say on behalf of Bank of America is, like the two European banks that also finished in the bottom half of the rankings, it doesn’t call New York home. The firm’s headquarters are in Charlotte, where the average rating among tech employees is a full half-point higher. Perhaps working in the same place where all the action is happening – where they can be heard – is one of the real keys for keeping tech talent happy.
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