I have been working at Capco full-time (Less than a year)
- Recently taken private again
- Flush with opportunity to impact the direction of the firm at every level
- New offices, new clients coming online
- Culture that's true to their word when they say "Pitch a good idea and we'll let you run with it"; this is especially true in newer offices like Charlotte and DC
- Simple yet fair comp structure; doesn't try to pay people less through smoke and mirrors complex bonus programs like at a lot of firms
- Plenty of opportunity for people who want to step up to the plate and leave their mark on the firm
- Quick promotion for those who are ready; no arbitrary forced time in current levels
- Best benefits I've seen in the last decade, especially for families
- A culture of work hard, but with a sincere concern and understanding that you have a life outside of consulting. They have unlimited sick days on top of paid time off but because of the culture I've not seen nor heard of anyone abusing this policy and it's a great one to have when you need it!
- I could keep going, but you get the idea, this is a great firm with a lot of potential as a company and for anyone who works here.
- After splitting from FIS and going private, the operations are VERY lean. Not a terrible con as all of these are being worked on, but it does take time. Having to stand up new IT functions, update corporate policies, finance operations, etc. doesn't happen at the flip of a switch. Anyone who understands this will not be bothered by this
Advice to Management
Capco has a very bright future, keep up the good work with the opportunities afforded to it after going private. Focus on growth but don't lose sight of the amazing culture that is the core of this firm, as many other firms have lost sight of this and are quickly failing.
I have been working at Capco full-time (More than 5 years)
Capco is a company which has slowly transformed from a boutique firm to a major player in the Toronto financial services landscape. They have done this while maintaining a great culture that promotes a flat org structure and fun working atmosphere. The Toronto office is full of wonderful people to work with where egos are often checked at the door.
Depends on the work you want to do - Capco's expertise is in technology implementation and as such most of the work is focused in this space. It would be great if there were more strategic engagements that allowed the financial services expertise here to shine through.
Advice to Management
As the company continues to grow at this pace it will be important for senior management to ensure the culture and quality of Capco consultants is maintained.
I have been working at Capco full-time (More than 3 years)
There is still, somewhat, of a family like atmosphere here and people try to look out for each other. The company is seeing rapid growth.
This was once a great company with a lot of financial services insight and expertise. It's become a coding sweat shop with much of the financial services expertise now gone.
The rapid growth has seen a lot of people join that are not what would be termed "Capco quality" in ability or attitude.
The leadership team has become very weak. Some partners just seemed checked out while others talk a good game but don't seem to sell anything. These issues are fixable but two other things have gone too far.
1) Favouritism - it is rampant here. The CEO has sent out blogs to say that it either doesn't exist or, where it does, it is justified due to performance. (ignoring a problem or denying, doesn't fix it)
I've been here long enough to see that the preferential treatment is definitely NOT due to performance. It seems to be related to how well you get along and, unfortunately, it looks like race has now entered into this equation. This is obvious on the office's largest program where there is a clear and widespread impression that under performers of a certain ethnic background are being overly acknowledged and promoted at the expense of others. This is widely discussed between staff but either hasn't been heard by management or has been, more likely, ignored.
There are even employees who have long left the company (and are part of the "inside clique") who are still showing on the company roster. Rumours are widespread throughout the office as to why this is and those are the whispered office joke.
There are even two "consultants" who actually aren't consultants and no one really knows what they do but they never are on client engagements and seem to have no real performance metrics. Both part of the "favourites group"
2) the partying atmosphere has gotten out of hand. It's fun in small doses but it has gotten ridiculous to the point it is embarrassing. That culture is set by one person. The stories of that person's performance at the last town hall (and the after party for the favourites and insiders) have spread across the office like wild fire and that person owes every Capco employee an apology. For the first time, I'm ashamed to work here.
It's one thing to over indulge a bit once in awhile but the fall down, drooling all over yourself, unable to put together a coherent sentence and trying to become a poster child for why the #metoo movement exists, is a regular occurrence and so and over the top that, as a woman, I'm re-evaluating my employment here. I feel the impact of this individual's "extra-curricular activities" on the Capco brand is now beginning to impact the individual brands of the people in the company.
I'm leaning in the direction that, the moment I find the right opportunity, I'll be sending in my good byes
Advice to Management
Seriously, clean up your act. This isn't university anymore. Start being professional. I really think that you need to start bringing a councillor in.
I have been working at Capco full-time
Capco really can be an amazing place to work but there are too many issues acting as barriers to making Capco truly top tier.
Recent reviews have shown that Capco has its blemishes. Those concerns are not invalid and this review speaks to my view of them but, overall, this place has its potential and you can grow a career here.
I believe that I’ve developed both great colleagues and friends that I will have throughout my career. I have learned a lot in my time here from the people willing to share their knowledge generously.
Most partners and senior management are approachable and, if you get a good coach, there is usually a clear path for promotion (at least at the lower levels). The challenge is, so many coaches are disengaged and, if you have a bad one, you might as well just quit. There is also no real performance criteria for coaching.
There is no shortage of work and, if you’re willing to put in the hours on actual work (not the fluffy stuff), there is great potential for personal growth and interesting work.
In Canada, if you’re a developer, there is no better place to work. If you’re good, you’ll get better. If you’re great, you’ll become awesome.
There is no better true, full service, digital shop.
Previous reviews have not been inaccurate. There is a VERY small group of partners who produce sales. As mentioned in a previous review, there are partners that seem to have no real purpose, other than showing up a couple days a week. Others seem talk for years, about “the big deal” but have seemed to not produce or need a lot of hand holding to close a deal. Of the partners that do produce, sales, most of them seem line their project staff to take the fall and to protect themselves from any client fallout. Often it’s the people left behind after the partners have moved on to their next client (victim) who are left to pick up the pieces and shoulder the blame.
If you can survive those projects you’ll find yourself in great shape to withstand anything that the corporate world can throw at you.
The performance expectation framework is rarely followed in the Canadian office, ad hoc application of standards to some employees and not to others and a generally broken review process where the loudest voice in the room at round tables gets their way and performance ratings end up all over the map.
In their responses on this forum, HC keep claiming how they have an open and transparent process in place and how they’re fixing or have fixed this. They haven’t (HC in NY talks a lot but have few results to show for it. It seems that when they “fix” the review process, they only make it more broken.
Lack of a 360 process – A previous review highlighted the lack of a 360 review process. There was an attempt at creating this a couple of years ago but seemed to be a side effort with very little senior leadership support. The effort really fell flat.
A 360 review should be part of all promotions discussions to senior levels (PC and above). The big barrier to success of the program, other than leadership support, is that Capco has tried to manage this internally and there is a widespread lack of trust that any feedback is confidential.
As noted in the previous review, the lack of a true mechanism for feedback from junior resources regarding more senior resources results in people only managing their careers “upward”. Often this creates an impression/reality of sucking up and certain leadership seem to almost adopt some of these individuals as their favorites. Sometimes that favoritism is deserved because some of these individuals are high performers. Unfortunately, often, some of these people are just good at assigning blame for their own mess ups and poor performance.
Inappropriate behaviour – Yes it is the elephant in the room, but it is nothing new. There have been previous reviews here that spoke to this and they have been consistently here for some time (referring to the office as a frat house among other things).
Nothing was done then and, while Capco will provide lip service to actions they will take, there is no confidence in the office that anything will change and, because nothing has been done in the past, people are highly unlikely to step forward to raise concerns to a corporate function (HC) that they don’t trust. This is particularly true in Toronto where local HC, although trusted, do not have the staff to address concerns without escalating to NY and the NY leads haven’t made an appearance in Toronto (to my knowledge) for over a year. (TBH, I'm not sure senior management want NY HC in the office. HC may find out a few things)
While being careful not to diminish the gravity of the issues (both real and rumoured), it seems corporate HC has either turned a blind eye to these issues or is so disconnected from the goings on in both the Toronto and New York office that it borders on negligence. Given that a lot of the stories of the inappropriate behaviour in New York make it to Toronto and vice versa, it’s hard to believe that corporate HC are oblivious. If they are truly this disconnected then there needs to be some serious questions asked of the general competence of this function in Capco.
Ultimately, this is an issue of individuals and should be addressed that way. HC is right in saying there needs to be a reminder of corporate policy. That part they do have right. The real question are
- will HC directly address the behaviours of those who have caused the issues to be raised (yes there are many)?
- Do the HC people in place today have the ability to create anything but a public facing response? Can they be the agents of change?
- Can the HC organization start to regain the trust of staff? Based on the number of anonymous responses, including mine. HC is currently not trusted to address some of these long standing concerns in a confidential and thorough matter. (Other than passive aggressive responses on this site that don't, in any way represent perception of staff or the reality of HC's performance)
We’re talking about trust and trust is based on perception and a track record of results. So far, there has been a total lack of results on any of these topics from HC (despite what their claims are here).
Advice to Management
Capco is at a crossroads. While it is a fun place and that fun, “be yourself at work” atmosphere has attracted some of the best talent, it is apparent that it has gone too far.
The over lean HC function in Canada is not adequately supported by the New York focused HC function from the US and there is now a fear that, in the desperate need to address some of the abuse, poor behaviour and favouratism, New York HC (who have rarely made an appearance in Canada) will overcorrect and the pendulum will swing so far the other way that the general camaraderie in the office will be lost. HC need to address concerns on an individual basis and be sure not to damage a culture because of a few people who have been unable to manage their own behaviour. HC also need to address their own ownership in leaving the behaviours unchecked before individuals felt the need to resolve issues through other channels. (NONE of the poor behaviour has been a secret for a very long time)
Any corrective action has to be material and has to span more than just one office. Corrective action cannot be “shill” reviews that are solicited by management and HC every time a negative review hits this site. It cannot be victimizing an EA who is trying to help and allowing her to speak for failed leadership (partners should have known better on that one and owned their own failings). It cannot be a CEO email that blames the reviewer for airing dirty laundry when those individuals are speaking of real problems that have come up again and again but are never materially addressed.
The instances of under performers being protected and over promoted are, as stated, “rampant” in both NY and Toronto.
The inappropriate behaviour (factual and rumoured) from over indulgence to at office events, to inappropriate solicitations of employees by men in power, to non employees still holding being on staff to people who couldn't get billable in made up jobs, to in office restroom/boardroom romantic interludes spans both NY and Toronto and needs to be addressed.
We are no longer a “below radar” firm. If we want to play with the Deloittes and Accentures then we need to begin to have a certain level of professionalism along with our fun.
Until Capco begins to really deal with these things, they will always be a firm with great unrealized potential
I have been working at Capco full-time (More than 3 years)
Leading up to joining CAPCO, I’ve worked at a number organizations of sizes ranging medium to large. This is by far the best place I’ve worked at overall. A well-deserved 7th place at the Great Place to Work awards this year!
1) Flat Structure & Open Doors – In all the organizations I’ve worked in (including our clients), large hierarchies and visibility has been one of the biggest challenges for junior employees. Capco is by far (really far) the flattest structure I have ever seen. All employees have equal access to connect with senior management. It is very common to walk through the office and find Partners and MPs working together in a room with Associates and Co-ops. Most of the partners have personal connections with employees at all levels, knowing about their families, interests, etc. This structure and environment is driven from the Managing Partner down through all levels and skillsets. The doors are literally open for anyone to step in and say hello.
2) Culture – This is unbiased feedback from most (if not all) of my colleagues who have LEFT CAPCO in previous years: “The best thing about CAPCO is the culture and its people.” It really has a family feel, which is very surprising given the growth we have seen over the past 4 years. Working out of client site regularly, this is one of the things I miss about working out of the FCP office or even the Bay street office. There are sporting teams/events, theme nights, yoga classes in the office, hack-a-thons, social drinking nights and the list goes on. There is something for everyone to feel at home. Kudos to the management team for keeping this culture alive while maintaining the energy of a start-up.
3) Rapid Growth (Pros) – With the rapid growth there are a lot of opportunities that open up for employees of junior to intermediate levels. Access to knowledge on various practices with the focus on Learning & Development (internally and externally) allow many junior employees to learn and hone skills in different areas. This enables them to be candidates for a wider range of projects/roles and in turn helps Capco position itself more competitively as well.
1) Rapid Growth (Cons) – The same rapid growth has caused CAPCO to take some hits in talent as recruitment tries to keep up with the demands of the business. I would imagine there are more promotions with this growth. However, we have hired at the senior levels quite a bit (a number of whom have not panned out and left). This is disappointing as it signals that the organization would prefer to gamble on someone we do not know well instead of promoting from within. That being said, this is an issue I’ve seen in every organization I’ve worked in. A good majority of junior resources have shown promise but there is a significant number with entitlement issues who believe the work assigned to them is beneath them or do not understand the nature of the consulting business.
2) Continuity in Promotion Requirements – There have been some missed promotions as well as weak promotions – again, this also exists everywhere. If you continue to work hard, you will receive the recognition, even if not immediately. One big concern on this is topic is when high performers who are missed are given reasons along the lines of “Hasn’t managed a large team/workstream”, “Hasn’t been at this level long enough” only to see someone else be promoted completely overlooking those same ‘requirements’. These should either be firmly established rules or never used as a reason someone was missed. This inconsistency will cause a loss in good talent.
3) Favouritism – All the talk of favouritism is the reason for this being on the CONS list. Favouritism exists in everywhere in life. Liking one thing doesn’t mean the dislike of other things. There is no “insiders” group that gets advantages, everyone has an equal opportunity to grow and strengthen their network within the firm. As you grow in any organization, you will have favourites that have helped you succeed and be a favourite of those you have helped succeed. The issue here is leadership in the intermediate-to-senior levels, not favouritism. If you have worked hard and helped your manager succeed, your manager needs to be your representative and lobbyist to their manager and so on upwards. This is how it happens in every organization. If you feel you have continuously been missed although you are a top performer, chances are your manager is not a good leader or you think you are a much higher performer than you actually are. There are avenues and methods to rectify both of these scenarios – whining about the success of others is not one of them. Doing so just shows that you are not ready to solve problems and drive the results you are looking for – you would rather anonymously complain that life is unfair.
4) Inappropriate Behaviour – I am surprised and annoyed that someone who claims to have been with CAPCO through so much of its success is willing to throw the entire organization in a bad light in a public from because of some individual people/situations they do not approve of. Even through the rapid growth, CATO has been able to maintain a ‘friends & family’ atmosphere due to the maturity of its employees. A lot of the employees, especially those that have been here 3+ years, are friends outside of the workplace. This proportion of friends is also something that I’ve found unique to CAPCO vs. other organizations. Everyone does not have the same level of comfort and that has always been respected. I am not supporting inappropriate behaviour by any means – if there are such incidents, it should be reported through whoever you feel comfortable discussing it with (HR, Partner, Manager, Coach etc.) so that it can be investigated and addressed appropriately. But passing judgement on others based on your own comfort framework and taking that judgement anonymously to a public forum rather than resolving through any one of the many channels that exist internally just exhibits the same level of maturity and problem-solving that I referred to in the point above on favouritism – it’s not a surprise that the same person/people have these same issues.
Advice to Management
Look for opportunities to grow leaders internally - years of experience does not necessarily make good leaders.
Continue to maintain our identify amidst the growth and keep CATO's culture alive.
I have been working at Capco full-time (More than a year)
Good culture and nice people
moving away from traditional consulting towards dev boutique
Advice to Management
Keep focusing on people. NOT always are the those who make the biggest noise the smartest ones.
I have been working at Capco full-time (More than 5 years)
There is no doubt that the post from last week has gotten everybody talking. While I am glad that this has opened up the conversation around Capco (Canada) as a workplace, I am disappointed that the conversation has largely centered around ‘Whodunit’ and he-says-she-says and not around the serious points about Capco’s merits and Capco’s flaws. Having worked at the company for 4+ years, I can say that Capco has many irreplaceable strengths but also some very fundamental flaws. I’ve done my best to summarize my thoughts below. This is only the view of one employee and I welcome any views that challenge or disagree with my points.
1. Strong growth – Over the last couple years, the leadership team has been able to drive significant growth for the Business. Just 3 years ago Capco was operating in a small office space no bigger than a large apartment building, and since then we’ve grown to 300+ employees with a diversified Business and many large scale initiatives that have created a large footprint in the Canadian financial services industry. While it is true that certain projects share commonalities (I guess people get sick of hearing the term ‘Digital Transformation Delivery’), I believe the work remains interesting and there are ample opportunities to challenge yourself and gain valuable work experience.
2. Strong People (Varies) –I’ve had the opportunity to work with many strong individuals that have fostered my career development, taught me how to navigate new tools and manage complex delivery. However, this is a result of fostering personal relationships with people that I trust, and I cannot say that the same holds true for everybody at the company. If you are a good judge of character and can surround yourself with strong teammates, you will do well. I realize this is probably what feeds into the perception that Capco can be ‘cliquey’.
3. Decent work life balance – There are long days, there are short days. If you are taking on more work you might have to stay late. Sometimes, this is project based and out of any individual’s control. But overall, I believe Capco has always been respectful of pushing people without infringing on their ability to enjoy life outside of work.
1. One of the biggest flaws of the company in my view is that it is now a LARGE firm (300+ contractors + fulltime) with the governance and organization of the small company it was several years ago. How is it that the company has tripled in size over the last several years but many of the company’s necessary auxiliary functions (Human resources) have not grown proportionately? This has created some fundamental problems. For example, we have performance management tools but nobody to enforce their usage. We have a broken review system (more on that below) that never seems to get fixed. We have a laundry list of ‘nice-to-have’ improvements that seem to go into a suggestion box and never come out (addressed below).
2. 360 Feedback – I’ve heard many people suggest that a 360 feedback system is necessary, but so far in my tenure at Capco nothing has been done to achieve this. Without a 360 feedback system, we’ve created a culture of ‘managing up’. I can think of many examples where certain individuals are good at ‘talking a good game’ or getting personable with the right partners, but when it comes down to having the necessary skills and expertise to deliver a project, they are lacking. Without a 360 feedback system, there is no voice for more junior resources to shed light on the weaknesses of their direct managers or suggest areas of improvement. In my view, there are many people in their current positions that are not fully ready to handle their current positions, but their flaws are largely brushed under the rug. If we continue down this path, the quality of Capco’s delivery will eventually suffer from this short-sighted way of thinking.
3. Broken Review System and Favoritism – It’s no coincidence that this is a strongly contested issue, year in and year out. The fact of the matter is that, regardless of the number of changes we make to the performance review structure, it still remains broken. This is partly related to #2 above (lack of 360 feedback) but also due to the company’s emphasis on Partner approval as the ‘competitive edge’ necessary to set yourself apart from your peers and push you to the next level. This is fundamentally flawed because the Partners are not working on the projects day in and day out and they do not have a holistic view of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses. As a result of this, we promote people that are not ready to be promoted (above problem of ‘managing up’) and also miss a lot of promotion worthy candidates – those who are project delivery stars that simply do not get the recognition they deserve. I don’t have a perfect solution for how to fix this, but I know that it needs to be re-explored very seriously. The performance review framework is just another example of a system that might have worked well for a small company that does not scale well to Capco’s current size. There is a ‘rubric’ that employees are measured against yet the performance reviews continue to feel subjective and arbitrary. While this topic has been beaten to death, don’t be fooled by anybody that tells you that favoritism is not an issue at Capco, because I agree that it is still rampant.
4. Inappropriate Behavior – this is the elephant in the room. The fact of the matter is that there is a lot of gossip and rumor-mongering, and we as individuals need to be more diligent about spreading stories around and understand the implications and consequences of spreading rumors, especially to those that are named. That being said, the reality is that there are NUMEROUS first hand accounts of inappropriate behavior, the last town hall being just the latest example. This is not an isolated event, but rather a pattern of disrespectful behavior, not just towards women but towards everybody who might expect a higher level of accountability and integrity from those that lead us. This is not necessarily one individual’s actions, but the actions and acceptance of many.
5. Building on above, the response to last week’s post has been weak, to say the least. The overall tone of the response completely misses the mark entirely. This is not a cry for help, this is a call for accountability, which are not the same thing. It seems that nobody in a position to make a change or speak on this issue has any intention of doing so. Does Capco as a firm even care? Here’s a perfect example: Capco monitors reviews on Glassdoor carefully and is usually quick to respond to all reviews, including the MOST RECENT. The one review that actually has a significant amount of attention gets radio silence, not even an acknowledgement. If they thought it was a legitimate problem, would they not have addressed it? With the way that the world is changing and the way that scandals are now being brought to light, we often think about how people get away with things for so long, and how we can do better moving forward. The best way to move forward is to lend a voice and be the change. I hope speaking up, even in an anonymous forum, can help us progress and move forward.
Advice to Management
Continue to build on Capco’s core strengths but don’t be fooled that we have fixed the Company’s glaring weaknesses. At this point, Capco is not deserving of it’s #7 rank in Greatest Places to Work. Rating: 2.5/5, but they won’t give half stars on Glassdoor.
I worked at Capco full-time
Great working culture, talented individuals
Must be well liked by the partners or you're on the sidelines
I have been working at Capco full-time
Good employee benefits
Accessibility of upper management
Great work culture
Low opportunity for travel (project dependent)
I worked at Capco full-time (More than a year)
Most Partners in the Canada office are good. I worked with a few Partners in the US and they seemed good too. Like all places, for a few you wonder why they are Partners. But they allow you to have fun at work. You are given the freedom to try out ideas. The Managing Partner at the time was super cool. A lot of people work there only because of him.
The company overall is good and the feedback below is solely intended for future improvement and should not be taken as an old disgruntled employee venting.
1. STOP doing menial work - Capco needs to define what it is. Even though they are focused on Financial industry, they should find their niche. There keep doing a lot of menial work which completely spoils your brand. You cannot use your top talent to do such work else you will lose. Its hard to figure out what they specialize in, if it is menial work, then just do that. My advice - stop doing menial work.
2. Staff augmentation vs Real consulting - You are often pushed into client sites as staff augmentation like any other contractor. You don't get the type of respect a Consultant should get, clients view you as a resource that they can use to do any work, mostly grunt work with little professional value. Sometimes you are the only one from Capco in a client team and leaving you exposed to low to mid management at client sites. This gravely hurts the Capco brand. This also hurts your personal brand. We are not HANDYMEN of consulting.
3. Limited brand appeal, most people don't know about this company. While most Partners are good, this lack of brand appeal hinders them from getting meatier projects. Its disappointing since the Partners are good people but have to cope with this. They don't have much option but to bring in more number of small projects which are a 2-3 month assignment and you still keep waiting for that big follow up project.
4. The attitude of people is very different - if you are joining a consulting firm to fast path your career, then Capco may not be the place for you. Most of the senior talent that left the company and went to banks (only industry they serve) went into mid-management roles rather than executive positions. That's not surprising because most of the senior staff at the time didn't have that executive mindset. For some, that can be disappointing.
5. Little thought goes into hiring people at various level. Sometimes a kid may come in very senior because he knew someone senior at Capco. It is EXTREMELY DEMOTIVATING to other who have worked up to that level.
6. They are trying out a few things from time to time but there doesn't seem to be a clear long term vision. It is unfair on the people that work there to be caught in this confusion
7. Some offices are not that big but the support staff isn't still forthcoming to help. Everyone seems aloof most of the times. Sorry - you are not that big to show such attitude :(
8. Limited projects on offer hence if you get stuck in a bad one, there aren't much options.
9. Looks more like an unruly IT company at times.
10. Little to no strategy consulting work
11. If you have a competing offer from a more established brand, you need to ask yourself, do you want to work towards becoming a big dog in a small operation or not so big dog in a bigger operation. But if you are considering the former, you should size yourself up to the industry than just the Capco office you are working in.
Advice to Management
Hire a real consulting firm to create a 5 year roadmap and strategy. Respect the talent you hire.
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