Silicon Valley Bank Reviews

Updated 16 September, 2014
Updated 16 September, 2014
110 Reviews
2.9
110 Reviews
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Silicon Valley Bank President & CEO Greg Becker
Greg Becker
51 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good people, very focused on their employees and work life balance (in 11 reviews)

  • good benefits, interesting work (in 15 reviews)


Cons
  • They've taken the "Client First" mantra to the extreme where there is no work-life balance (in 5 reviews)

  • Its too late in IT, its to damaged thanks to the depredations of the new CIO (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    SVB (Boston Office)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Financial Consultant  in  Boston, MA (US)
    Former Employee - Financial Consultant in Boston, MA (US)

    I worked at Silicon Valley Bank full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Relaxed & collegial atmosphere. People here are really genuinely nice. Company is improving training resources for new and existing employees.

    Cons

    Poor compensation for work done; most junior associates on good teams will work investment banking hours for half the pay. Promotions are handed out by a managerial committee so there's a significant chance that you'll be passed over for more senior employees unless you network really hard.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    ADP Program is a step in the right direction; consider recruiting from outside managements alma mater(s), you might get better candidates.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Interesting work, great benefits, flexibility but lot of expectation for putting in the hours

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Worker Bee  in  Tempe, AZ (US)
    Current Employee - Worker Bee in Tempe, AZ (US)

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    If you are smart, have good communication skills and ready to work hard, this could be the place for you. You will be amply rewarded. SVB pays above market salaries in Tempe, AZ, however, salaries in bay area are probably inline with the market. Very wide range of useful benefits such as employee stock purchase plan, 401K matching with immediate vesting, generous bonus and good medical benefits. The company takes care of its employees financially.

     People are very professional and friendly in general. The company is growing so there is ample interesting work. If I am not mistaken, they have not had mass lay-offs at least in the last 20-25 years . They remained resilient through the financial crisis because they were disciplined and avoided real estate sub prime loans. (Only because they got burnt in real estate in the 80s and they pledged to stay away from real estate). The former chief credit officer, Dave Jones, was a hawk so he probably kept them away from trouble prior to the financial crisis.

    Cons

    People are overworked. It is a very sales like culture. Talkers do better than doers.

    After years of growth and success, executives have become arrogant and there is lot of politics. Only if you are on the right side of the authority, will you do well. They started the SVB values thing so that more people start drinking the kool-aid. The top execs don't really live by it but want it drilled in the worker bees to create a cult-like culture and increase productivity. The integrity of some of the top guys is also questionable.

    There is lot of group think. Depending on who you work for, you can be shot down for disagreeing with the boss.

    SVB has been lucky to be in the right place at the right time. Venture capital investments are going through the roof and SVB being in that space is benefiting tremendously. The C level management and senior management seem to believe that they are somehow responsible for the success of the company. I believe they have little if anything to do with the success and growth. They just got lucky. Now they believe that higher interest rates will make them even more successful. I am not so sure. Higher interest rates will slow down the economic activity and reduce the money sloshing around in VC world. SVB might benefit in terms of higher margins but will lose in terms of volume.

    Not too many people with good education, not even the senior management has good education but there are a few exceptions here and there. They can promote you to the top even if you don't have a degree (not necessarily bad thing if you did not go to college but are a real go-getter). They are trying to promote more women now to increase diversity. I personally think that discriminating based on gender, skin color, race or sexuality is not the best way to increase diversity. In fact, I see a lot of group think in some departments. If you do not agree with the authority, you are considered a trouble-maker. Increasing difference of opinion is probably a better way to increase diversity rather than discrimination but that is just my personal opinion and obviously not a fact.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You are lucky to be in the right place at the right time and your business model is working great for now. Don't get cocky thinking it is only because of your initiatives that the company is making loads of money.

    You have some rotten apples in the mix. Take out bad and arrogant senior managers who lack integrity. At least take a look at why people are leaving under these managers. Make sure that the SVB values are embraced at all levels not just the worker bees. Pay extra attention to integrity. Preserve the culture, it is worth billions! Don't let some ambitious but unethical managers and executives screw it up. Some of them are more focused on building their empire than doing good for the company. Your job is to find them and take care of them!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    No to SVB-IT

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior IT Project Manager  in  San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Senior IT Project Manager in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Good IT resources sometimes find a way out to the business side, at least they stay in SVB..
    People in IT keep their heads down, soon no-one will will speak and this is what the CIO wants...

    Cons

    Nothing works as it should.
    She was trying to fix what was not broken, and guess what? everything is broken now.
    Key people left, key people moved away from IT to the business.
    The strategy is to get people that matter or that knows what does not work - disappear.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    do not bring her (CIO) any more consultants or coach to help her. She is done, all the HR attempts to mask what is going on is only lipstick on a pig.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 7 people found this helpful  

    SVB IT department is a pool of distrust, dishonesty and disingenuity

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

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    SVB is a great place to work, as long as you're not currently working in IT or Global Services.

    Cons

    I've been with SVB for just over 10 years in the IT dept playing several different roles both as an individual contributor and multiple levels of management. I have been through many CIO's in my time here, good and bad, and I have to say the current CIO is the worst one SVB has every had. First off let me say SVB is a great place with great people and a fantastic culture unfortunately, the IT dept has now devolved into a cess pool of distrust, dishonesty and disingenuity. Management at all levels tell one story to their teams and individual contributors while telling a different story among themselves. Everyone, individual contributors and management, are scared to speak up or voice their opinions as they have seen good people get fired for doing the same. The offices the once used to be vibrant and outgoing are now quiet and introverted. No one speaks unless spoken too and people rarely leave their seats or offices to mingle and interact. It's now like working in a morgue and everyone is just waiting for the next dead body to appear.

    The CIO has a great vision in her One IT culture but unfortunately she is not able to execute on it. She is never in IT leading them but instead chooses to be in the business informing them how IT has failed and how she is going to make it better. She is unable to make a decision and stick to it and constantly changes her mind depending on who she is talking to and what time of day it is. She dissolves and fires any competition to her ideas and gives more responsibility to under performing teams on false promises. SVB IT was once a functioning department, not perfect but I think anyone would be hard pressed to find an IT Dept that is 100% perfect.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I used to tell people I was extremely proud to be part of SVB IT, now I'm embarrassed to tell people let alone interview new people to come on board. The CIO needs to get her head out of the business and start leading her own Dept instead of leaving it to her hired hands. Showing up to IT Mgmt meetings and allowing a Q&A session after her VERY scarce IT All Hands would be a great start.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    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 Silicon Valley Bank full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Strong, collaborative/team oriented culture; management has good strategic focus/objectives; strong benefit package; ability to move around to different roles internally; work/life balance

    Cons

    Visibility around employee compensation relative to competitors; can be overly slow to make big decisions; minor growing pains (real estate challenges, hiring strategy) as bank continues to rapidly scale

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to promote from within, proactively take care of "best people" through empowerment, compensation and attention from highest levels in organization.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Ambitious company with an amazing Brand and client focus

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

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Dedicated senior managers
    Great culture and values
    Amazing business opportunities
    Credit policy discipline
    Global business

    Cons

    IT challenged to keep up with bank growth
    Sales team paid by commission = bad habits
    Fast changing environment - need to be even more nimble

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Think differently about IT - adopt a new cloud based flexible/easy to customise platform and ditch old ASAP
    New CIO is a very good person and will lead us to new great things

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 9 people found this helpful  

    Recall the CIO!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Applications Support
    Former Employee - Applications Support

    I worked at Silicon Valley Bank full-time

    Pros

    SVB has great product, most innovative debt financing portfolios, and has a lot do focus on pay for performance.

    Cons

    The CIO is able to say all the Buzz words (culture, transformation, game changing) without any substances or depth. If you are looking for a broken recorder than repeats what's wrong but doesn't have strategy nor ability to rally the team to fix them, you got the right lady. IT spending is at all time high, so much money wasted with no result. Surprisingly I year after being part of IT, she can still talk about IT issues as if she is an outsider. Absolutely no demonstration of ownership nor accountability.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you don't want SVB drags down by her like California did during Arnols S' regime, it is not too late to recall.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Proud to be an SVBer

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

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    *smart people
    *great culture
    *AWESOME benefits
    *community consciousness
    *challenging environment that embraces creative thinking and willingness to take risks
    *the most hardworking, committed, and fun place I've had the pleasure to work
    *sincere concern and relationships among peers, managers, clients and partners
    *an amazing bank, working with amazing clients who strive to do amazing things

    Cons

    *amount of projects/changes can feel excessive- can be a lot to manage and keep up with at times
    *work/life balance - due to workload and the overall desire to go the extra mile (it's just the DNA of an SVBer)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    *allow for more time to digest change before the next big change hits
    *take time to celebrate the wins - big and small

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    One of the better ones

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Operations Analyst  in  Santa Clara, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Operations Analyst in Santa Clara, CA (US)

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great company, great culture, good benefits, and lots of perks.

    Cons

    Volume of work is high, requiring a lot of overtime. Adequate training is lacking in some areas.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Oh the CIO strikes back again with good reviews

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

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank

    Pros

    Good business side but bad bad bad IT

    Cons

    And the CIO's good reviews comes to glass door again. She is not even visible in office, forget about her taking care of her team and IT. Employee morale is low to zero, frustrated employees and people who ones used to be star performer just doing their job.
    She is busy promoting women in leadership. Yes, it's a good thing, I am a woman and I support it, but she has no clue and has totally forgot about her own team. If you are looking to join in any IT team, yes in any IT team, be warned and do not ruin your career. Regardless of job and compensation do not join IT, off course unless otherwise you have no job. People are good here but at this time immature leadership is ruining it all.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire the CIO. If you are still sleeping after all the feedback, wake up. Or how about sending an employee satisfaction survey for IT employees, you will get it all out.

    Approves of CEO

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