First Derivatives Reviews | Glassdoor.ca

First Derivatives Reviews

Updated 16 October, 2017
181 reviews

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3.3
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First Derivatives CEO Brian Conlon
Brian Conlon
119 Ratings

181 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • The onboarding process when joining client site is frustrating (in 11 reviews)

  • The expenses system is outdated and needs a revamp (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great opportunities and potential"

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

    I have been working at First Derivatives full-time

    Pros

    International reach
    Growth into exciting new markets
    IOT

    Cons

    very centralised management structure can slow decusions


  2. "data analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Data Analyst in Toronto, ON
    Former Employee - Data Analyst in Toronto, ON
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at First Derivatives full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    position offers opportunity for entering the new emerging space of data science

    Cons

    experience is not thrilling and terms of employment are restraining considering low pay


  3. Helpful (2)

    "It's been good so far.. I have been aligned with a good opportunity"

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

    I have been working at First Derivatives full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Benefits structure is good and management is helpful. The quality of recruits is impressive. The defined contribution pension program is competitive

    Cons

    Integration within the company culture and idea exchange across business lines could be improved. Knowledge sharing and training can be improved

    Advice to Management

    Initiatives where employee engagements can be aligned with interests areas, employees should be engaged in thought leadership , flexible training program that is better aligned with employee interest and desired skill development


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  5. "Decent place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at First Derivatives full-time

    Pros

    The employees are good to work with and the culture is fairly open. When things go well it is a nice place to work.

    Cons

    There is not much contact with management and there is not much training provided. No real career paths are defined.


  6. Helpful (41)

    "Avoid this pigeonhole - FD takes all measures to damage your career and your reputation"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at First Derivatives full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    If there are any pros, it's not worth it.

    Cons

    - If you are hired by FD, then you can forget about these things:
       - Career Path
       - Proper training/mentor ship/
       - HR system/
       - short term goals and long term goals -

    - Although they attempt to convey a friendly company (from their random emails with baby staff news and such) , they have NO regard for their resources. This is ANYTHING but a friendly company. They use fear tactic to pigeon-hole you in a role.

    - Roles are assigned not based on skill-sets but based on what FD can sell you for - they change your profile to fit the positions they have open, and once you are placed, they forget you exist

    - If you ever decide to resign, they bully you and threaten to file a law suit against you & the company you will be going to work for

    - They need a 3 month resignation notice which makes it impossible to move to another job without having to fight FD or run the risk of being jobless for a while

    - They are cheap in EVERY possible way when it comes to paying out for your expenses

    Do not work for FD! They damage your career path, they make it absolutely nasty and difficult to change assignments or position, and along the way they damage your reputation.

    Advice to Management

    Stop asking your resources to post fake positive reviews in glassdoor. You know better how you handle your staff.


  7. Helpful (7)

    "Unique Opportunities"

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

    I have been working at First Derivatives (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Capital Market focused
    -Great client interaction
    -Competitive salary
    -Quality projects if you're at a Consultant level or above

    Cons

    -Limited company comradery
    -Difficult to get promoted unless you can validate a higher rate


  8. Helpful (6)

    "IT company with finance focus"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Business Analyst Engineer
    Current Employee - Financial Business Analyst Engineer
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at First Derivatives full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Decent IT body shop but the cheap staff come from Ireland not India and are mostly capable. Interesting product side. Good to get exposure across multiple banks/products/businesses/systems. If you can get an international assignment package is decent. Interesting pivot in progress to non-finance verticals.

    Cons

    No particular opportunity for advancement on client site. Projects are pot luck. Could be working on a sexy derivatives system. Could be slogging it out doing docs in a bad bank. Unwelcome culture of corporate BS and developing as it grows ever larger, nonsense days out planting trees/painting schools are surely in the pipeline.

    Advice to Management

    Watch out for useless local hires and verify the outlandish claims they make on CVs. Give staff on site a per diem or company credit card. Stop being cheap and invest in some OCR software to photograph receipts via smartphone. Maybe develop your own! Receipts are a monumental waste of everyones time. Investigate why certain locations/clients have such a high turnover and note the common denominator.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Good for new grad's, not recommended for experienced hires"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at First Derivatives full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Working at First Derivatives could be a great experience for juniors and new graduates who are looking to get exposure to different areas of technology in finance and banking.

    Compensation is relatively better than similar jobs.

    Cons

    Although company promises exposure to different areas of banking and potential to travel for , it is very likely that a consultant is assigned to one client and similar projects over and over again.

    Compare to other capital markets consultancy firms (Deloitte, PWC), First Derivatives appear to be more of a placement agency.

    Company fails to consider consultant's individual's background in assigning them to a project ; Placement takes priority over overall experience or career path.

    There is rarely any certain career path as consultants often end up developing skills in areas they did not plan for. Consultants can be contracted to a client as Business Analyst but depending on clients need, consultant can be utilized as QA.

    There is not a clear HR support system for consultants working outside of HQ.

    There is very minimal subsidised training options for experienced consultants.


  10. "Lucky Dip"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dublin, Co. Dublin (Ireland)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dublin, Co. Dublin (Ireland)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at First Derivatives full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Opportunity for grads to get experience in finance - FD have a lot of big named clients (Morgan Stanley, RBS, Barclays, HSBC, Bank of America to name a few).
    - Possibility of travel - FD have clients in a lot of major cities (London, New York, Singapore, Boston, Toronto, Dublin, Hong Kong, Tokyo etc).
    - Good expenses package - They pay for all accommodation and travel while on-site.

    Cons

    - Highly unprofessional management - Could be here all day with this one.
    - Zero say over where you go or what job you'll be doing - you are seen as a resource to make them money and nothing else. It is a complete lucky dip as to whether you end up on a good or terrible project.
    - Cattle mart - They take on such a huge amount of graduates each month that it can feel like a cattle mart at times.
    - High turnover rate - The majority of experienced employees leave after 3/4 years when they become too expensive for their business model.
    - Possibility of being stuck in Newry with no expense benefits.

    Advice to Management

    - Focus more on retaining experienced employees - I really struggle to see how the current revolving-door business model is sustainable in the long run.

    - Hire more managers - There is a very flat organisational structure that needs to change, too many entry level employees and not enough managers.

    - Shake off the cowboy feel about the company.


  11. "more cons that pros if you want stability"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at First Derivatives full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    salary
    expense program even when you are not a graduate neither you´re working abroad from your office.
    international and young environment

    Cons

    - HHRR - Assigning people to roles in projects without taking into account what people do or prefer. They offer you projects somewhere you don´t want and usually they don´t care if your profile has nothing to do with the role.
    - FD provides you lot of instability, maybe it is fine if you are a graduate and can travel or get your plans changed from one day to another.
    -Lot of arbitrary decission depending on who you are. A company rule can be different between two people with same experience seated next to each other.
    - FD hires IT profiles for short projects and then, after it ends, they realized that they don´t need that profile anymore so you stay long periods on the bench or you are fired.
    - HR are never clear and transparent. They can "change their mind" from one day to another expecting you are ok with that.
    - There is no management at all in projects.

    Advice to Management

    take care of the employers when offering them any project


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